Cleveland Winslow

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Cleveland Winslow
Born (1836-05-26)May 26, 1836
Medford, Massachusetts
Died July 7, 1864(1864-07-07) (aged 28)
Alexandria, Virginia
Allegiance United States United States of America
Service/branch United States Union Army
Years of service 1861–64
Rank Union Army colonel rank insignia.png Colonel
Commands held New York (state) 5th New York Veteran Volunteer Infantry Regiment (1862-1864)
Battles/wars American Civil War

Cleveland Winslow (May 26, 1836 – July 7, 1864) was a United States Army officer who served with the 5th New York Volunteer Infantry, otherwise known as the famed Duryee's Zouaves, during the American Civil War. He was also a participant in the New York Draft Riots in 1863. Although a charismatic and courageous battlefield commander (and noted for his fondness of flamboyant uniforms), he was reputed to be a strict disciplinarian generally considered to be unpopular with the lower ranking soldiers.

Early life and career

Born in Medford, Massachusetts, as the eldest son of Reverend Dr. Gordon Winslow and Katherine G. Fish, he served in the New York State Militia prior to enlisting in the Union Army after hostilities began between Union and Confederate forces in early 1861 (his father, Gordon Winslow would also enlist in the 5th Infantry as a regimental chaplain while his younger brother, Gordon Winslow, Jr., would join the unit later on as a lieutenant).

Civil War

Early war years

Assigned to the 5th New York Volunteer Infantry, Winslow initially served as captain of Company K and Company E, before assuming command from Hiram Duryea shortly before Second Battle of Bull Run. He would later command the regiment during the Seven Days Campaign as well as engagements during Antietam although his regiment was largely held in reserve aside from taking part in minor skirmishes.[1] Following these battles, Winslow rapidly rose through the ranks, being promoted to major on September 24, 1862, and colonel on December 4, 1862.

New York City Draft Riots

Returning to New York in May 1863, the original regiminent was mustered out after its two-year enlistment period. However, after having subsequently reorganized the 5th New York Infantry as a veteran battalion on May 25, Winslow was recalled to New York City to suppress the New York City draft riots the following month.

Commanding a small force consisting of 50 men from his regiment as well as 200 volunteers under a Major Robinson and two howitzers under Col. E.E. Jardine, Winslow was one of many infantry forces overwhelmed by the rioters and, despite artillery support, was forced to retreat after engaging a large mob numbering an estimated 3,000 rioters[2] in house to house fighting along First Avenue between 18th and 19th Streets.[3]

Cold Harbor and Death

After several months of garrison duty while stationed in Alexandria, Virginia, Winslow and his battalion was assigned to the V Corps attached to the Army of the Potomac and gradually brought up to full strength and later led the New York 5th Infantry in its final campaign at the Battle of Chancellorsville.[4] During the Battle of Cold Harbor, Winslow suffered a severe shoulder wound while rallying his soldiers at Bethesda Church on June 2, 1864.

Escorted by his father Gordon Winslow, then a representative of the United States Sanitary Commission to the Army of the Potomac, Winslow was brought back to Alexandria on a hospital steamer (during which time, the elder Winslow drowned after falling off the steamer) and eventually died of his wounds at the Mansion House hospital on July 7, 1864.

Winslow is portrayed by Stan McGee in the 2007 film Red Legged Devils.

See also


  1. ^ Winslow, Cleveland (1862-09-24). "Capt Cleveland Winslow's Official Report: Report of September 24, 1862 of Antietam and Shepherdstown". Antietam on the Web. Retrieved 2007-05-01.
  2. ^ Lynch, Denis Tilden. "Boss" Tweed: The Story of a Grim Generation. New York: Boni and Liveright, 1927. (pg. 265)
  3. ^ Asbury, Herbert. The Gangs of New York. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1928. ISBN 1-56025-275-8 (pg. 150)
  4. ^ "War between the States: History of Duryee's Zouaves - Baptism of Fire: Big Bethel to the Peninsula". Retrieved 2007-05-01.

Further reading

  • Tenney, W.J. The Military and Naval History of the Rebellion in the United States: With Biographical Sketches of Deceased Officers. New York: D. Appleton & Company, 1866.

External links

  • "Cleveland Winslow". Find a Grave. Retrieved 2008-02-15.
  • Antietam on the Web: Capt. Cleveland Winslow
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