Stephen Gardner Champlin
[[Image:150px|center|200px|border]]Stephen Gardner Champlin
Personal Information
Born: July 1, 1827(1827-07-01)
Place of Birth: {{{place of birth}}}
Died: January 24, 1864 (aged 36)
Place of Death: {{{place of death}}}
Nickname: {{{nickname}}}
Birth Name: {{{birth name}}}
Other Information
Allegiance: United States of America
Participation(s): {{{participations}}}
Branch: United States Army
Union Army
Service Years: {{{service years}}}
Rank: Brigadier General
Service number : {{{servicenumber}}}
Battles: American Civil War
Other work: {{{otherwork}}}

Stephen Gardner Champlin (July 1, 1827 – January 24, 1864) was an American physician, lawyer, soldier, and judge. He served in the Union Army during the American Civil War, rising to the rank of brigadier general before succumbing to wounds he received in combat.

Early life[edit | edit source]

Champlin was born in Kingston, New York, a son of Jeffrey Clarke Champlin (1798–1872) and his wife Allis Ellen (1804–73). He received his initial education at local public schools, and then he attended the academy at Rhinebeck in Dutchess County for a single term. In 1842 Champlin began studying medicine at Harperfield in Delaware County, and by 1845 a he had a medical practice located at Warwarsing in Ulster County. Champlin decided in 1848 to give up working as a physician, and by 1849 he was studying to become a lawyer. He attended the law school at Balston Spa for two terms, and in 1850 he continued his studies in Kingston, New York.[1] Also that year Champlin was admitted to the New York state bar association, and in 1850 started a law practice in Albany, New York.[2]

On January 1, 1851, Champlin married Mary E. Smedes at the town of Wawarsing in Ulster County. The couple had at least one child together, a son named Alexander. During 1853 he relocated his family to Grand Rapids, Michigan. There Champlin created a law partnership with Lucius Patterson, and in 1856 he was elected a judge of the Recorder’s Court of Grand Rapids for two years service. He was also active in the Michigan state militia, and on April 22 he was elected a captain in the Grand Rapids Light Artillery (“Ringgolds” Light Artillery.) During 1857 he began a new law partnership, this time with Harry Yale. In February 1858 Champlin was elected a major of the Grand River Battalion. That fall he was elected the Prosecuting Attorney for Kent County.[1]

Civil War service[edit | edit source]


Champlin during the American Civil War

When the American Civil War began in 1861, Champlin chose to follow the Union cause. On June 10 he entered the Union Army as a major in the 3rd Michigan Infantry.[3] This regiment was organized at Grand Rapids to serve three years, and left the city on June 13.[2] Camplin was in command of a reconnaissance on August 30 near Bailey's Corners in Virginia.[1] Afterwards he was highly praised for his performance in this minor action by the Union Army of the Potomac's commander, Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan.[4] On September 5, McClellan sent the 3rd Michigan an aide with the following message: "The general is much pleased with Major Champlin's dispositions on the occasion, which he deems eminently proper, and he desires you to convey his thanks to Major Champlin for the efficient manner in which this service was performed." That fall Champlin was appointed commander of the 3rd Michigan, with the rank of colonel as of October 28.[1]

Champlin participated during the 1862 Peninsula Campaign, and was wounded in his hip at the Battle of Seven Pines on May 31. Subsequently he was granted a 30-day leave to mend.[5] Champlin was commended for his actions during the battle by divisional commander Maj. Gen. Philip Kearny, shortly before the latter's own death in combat.[6]

Partially recovered, Champlin led his regiment during the Second Battle of Bull Run on August 28–30, and was again injured during the battle's last day,[3] re-opening his wound he received in May.[1] During this second leave for recuperation, Champlin was promoted to brigadier general in the Union Army, to rank from November 29, 1862. While resting in Washington, D.C., he wrote to Michigan Governor Austin Blair on January 3, 1863, formally resigning his command of the 3rd due to his promotion.[1]

In 1863 Champlin was appointed to command of the Draft Depot at Camp Cleveland, Ohio. However this order was revoked in late August, most likely due to his health condition. Instead, Champlin was assigned to the command of the Draft Depot near his home in Grand Rapids on September 22. Champlin's hip wound still bothered him, and he reportedly resigned his commission in the Union Army on November 8, 1863.[1]

Champlin died in early 1864 at his home due to his wounds. His funeral was conducted at St. Mark’s Church in Grand Rapids on January 28, and he was buried there in Fulton Street Cemetery. In his honor, Grand Army of the Republic Post #29 in Grand Rapids was named for him.[1]

See also[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 "3rd Michigan site biography of Champlin". Retrieved 29 November 2008. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Warner, p. 78.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Eicher, p. 170.
  4. Warner, pp. 78-9.
  5. 3rd Michigan site biography of Champlin. Injury described as: "...received a ball near the hip bone, which must have entered diagonally, and, striking the bone, glanced and passed out, leaving two external wounds, some five inches apart."
  6. Warner, p. 79.

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.