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Levi Bird Duff, U.S.V.
Lieutenant-Colonel Levi Bird Duff, U.S.V.
Lieutenant-Colonel Levi Bird Duff was born near Saulsburg, Huntingdon
County, Pennsylvania, 13th September, 1837, of Pennsylvania parents. His
father, Samuel Duff, was born at Perkiomen Bridge, Montgomery County, and
his mother, Catherine Eckeberger, in Huntingdon.
He was educated at Eldersridge Academy and Allegheny College, graduating
from the latter in June, 183 j. He studied law in Pittsburg and was
admitted to the bar in April, 1860. May 1, 1861, he enlisted in Company A,
Ninth Regiment, Pennsylvania Reserve Corps, and was mustered into the
United States' service at Washington July 26, 1861, as corporal. The
regiment was engaged at Dranesville, December 20, 1861, and the Commanding
General Ord recommended a number of officers and privates " for reward for
gallant conduct" in the engagement, among whom was Corporal Duff.
February 6, 1862, Mr. Duff was appointed captain of Company D, One Hundred
and Fifth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, then in Heintzelman's division
of the Army of the Potomac, subsequently the First Division of the Third
Army Corps. Captain Duff had command of his company during the siege of
Yorktown and at the battles of Williamsburg and Fair Oaks (or Seven
Pines), where he was severely wounded in the right chest by a musket-ball
which passed through his right lung.
On recovering from his wound he rejoined his regiment at Harrison's
Landing, August 16, 1862. The division was ordered to join General Pope,
and when General Jackson captured Manassas Junction, Captain Duff with his
company was guarding the railroad at Catlett's Station. He joined General
Hooker in the pursuit of Jackson, and was engaged at Kettle Run August 25,
1862. He rejoined his own regiment and was engaged at Bull Run August 29
and 30, and at Chantilly September 1, where General Kearney, commanding
division, was I killed. During the Antietam campaign the division lay in
front of Washington, but joined the army on the march to the Rappahannock.
Captain Duff commanded his company during this march and at the battle of
Fredericksburg, 13th December, 1862.
In March, 1863, he was appointed acting assistant inspector-general of
the First Brigade, First Division, Third Corps. He served on the staff at
Chancellorsville, and General Birney, commanding division, said he was
proud of the conduct displayed by Captain Duff on that field of battle."
May 4, 1863, he was promoted to major of his regiment, and May 1 1 he was
appointed acting assistant inspector-general of the Third Division, Third
Corps; and June 26 appointed acting assistant inspector-general of the
First Division, Third Corps. He served on the staff at Gettysburg and in
the campaign to the Rappahannock, including the affair at Manassas Gap,
July 24, 1863.
||In November, 1863, he was placed
in command of the One Hundred and Tenth Regiment Pennsylvania
Volunteers, which he commanded in the Mine Run campaign and until
April 9, 1864, he was appointed acting assistant inspector-general
of the First Division, Third Corps, then the Third Division of the
Second Corps. He served on the staff at the Wilderness, and was
then, at his own request, returned to his regiment. He commanded his
own regiment and the Sixty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers, which was
added to his own for field-service, from May 8 until June 18, and
was engaged at Po River, Spottsylvania Court-House, North Anna,
Totopotomy, Cold Harbor, and the first assaults on Petersburg. June
18, in an assault on Petersburg, commonly called by the soldiers the
" Hare-House slaughter," he was wounded, with loss of his right leg.
May 18, 1864, he was appointed lieutenant-colonel of his regiment.
October 25, being disabled for field duty, he was, at his own request,
discharged from the service. He returned to Pittsburg and resumed the
practice of his profession. In 1865 he was elected district attorney of
Allegheny County, and held the office three years.
In a letter dated August 31, 1864, General Birney, commander of the Tenth
Corps, says, "It gives me pleasure to state that I have always regarded
Major Duff as one of the best soldiers and most efficient officers in my
former command, the Third Division, Second Army Corps."
Colonel Duff was married July 21, 1862, to Harriet H. Nixon, who died July
13, 1877. He was again married January 16, 1882, to Agnes F. Kaufman. Two
sons, children of the first wife,-Samuel Eckeberger and Hezekiah Nixon;
Source: Officers of the Volunteer Army and Navy who
served in the Civil War, published by L.R. Hamersly & Co., 1893, 419
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