b. 1845 Port Hope, Ontario, Canada. d. 12/01/1901 Canton, Ontario, Canada.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 19/07/1864 Ashby’s Gap, Virginia.
Born near Port Hope, Ontario, Canada in 1845, Edward Edwin Dodds was a son of Thomas Dodd (1811–1885) and Sarah (Young) Dodd (1811–1894).
At the age of 21, Dodds enlisted for a three-year term of military service in the American Civil War. Enrolling at Rochester, New York, on July 31, 1863, he then officially mustered in on August 28 as a private with Company C of the 21st New York Volunteer Cavalry (also known as the Griswold Light Cavalry). Promoted to the rank of sergeant on May 1, 1864, he was wounded in action at Bolivar Heights near Harpers Ferry, Virginia.
He then joined his regiment in the fighting at Ashby Gap, Virginia, on July 19, 1864. During the minor engagement, known as the Battle of Ashby’s Gap, a small group of Union cavalrymen, including members of the 21st New York, attempted to cross the gap in order to disrupt the movement of Confederate Lieutenant-General Jubal Early’s army by crossing the gap and attacking supply trains bringing up the rear of Early’s forces during the Valley Campaigns of 1864. During the engagement, when one of his regiment’s captains was placed at risk of enemy capture after falling wounded on the field, Dodds rescued that captain while under heavy enemy fire, and moved him to safer Union-held territory.
Dodds was, in fact, discharged on a surgeon’s certificate of disability on July 29, 1865, at Alexandria, Virginia “by reason loss of right arm and other wounds received at the battle of Winchester, Virginia”
Following his honorable discharge from the U.S. Army and 21st New York Volunteers, Dodds opted to remain in the United States. Settling in the community where he initially enrolled for military service — Rochester, New York, he secured employment as a reporter with Rochester’s newspaper, the Democrat and Chronicle.
During the 1870s, he chose to return home to Canada where, in 1877, he became Town Clerk of Hope Township in Northumberland County, Ontario. From October 13, 1892, until at least early 1896, he served as the U.S. Consular Agent for Port Hope’s Peterborough office. During this time, according to historian Marsha Ann Tate, Ph.D., Dodds was “[a]rguably one of the most noteworthy individuals associated with the Port Hope Commercial Agency.” Engaged in the newspaper business in both the United States and Canada, he also “‘professed a fair knowledge of international law’ and was ‘a Republican.'”
Dodds was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas and Sarah Dodds, who died, respectively, on August 25, 1885, and October 24, 1894. Both were laid to rest at the Canton Cemetery in Canton, Ontario, Canada. Two years later, on June 11, 1896, he was awarded the U.S. Medal of Honor.
Dodds died on January 12, 1901, and was laid to rest at the same cemetery where his parents had been interred — the Canton Cemetery in Northumberland County.
At great personal risk rescued his wounded captain and carried him from the field to a place of safety.
BURIAL LOCATION: CANTON CEMETERY, CANTON, ONTARIO, CANADA.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: FAMILY.