Edwin Vose Sumner



Edwin Vose Sumner was a life-long military man who rose to the rank of Major General during the Civil War. Born in 1797 in Boston, he enlisted in the United States Army in 1819. For the next 44 years, the military was his life.

His service took him all over the western territories. In 1846, he was promoted to Major and fought in the Mexican War. It was at the Battle of Cerro Gordo that a musket ball glanced off Sumner's head, thus earning him the nickname, "Bull Head," which was later shortened to "Bull" Sumner.

The mid-1850s saw Edwin Sumner right in the middle of "Bleeding Kansas." A few years later the storm clouds of Civil War gathered over the nation, and Edwin Sumner was appointed Brigadier General of Volunteers. Sumner led the Second Corps of the Army of the Potomac at the Battles of Antietam and Fredericksburg.

In March, 1863 he died in Syracuse, New York. His daughter, Sarah, had married Syracuse native, William W. Teall. Sumner was on his way west for reassignment when he stopped in Syracuse to visit his family. He caught pneumonia and died on March 21. He is buried along with his wife, Hannah, in the Teall family plot in Oakwood Cemetery.

To read General Sumner's obituary, click here.


Maintained by Sue Greenhagen.
E-mail: greenhsh@morrisville.edu