Rice C. Bull

rice bull

Rice C. Bull

Union Army Soldier
Secretary Treasurer of Troy Railroad

Rice Cook Bull was a Union Army Soldier in the Civil War and author of the book, Soldiering: The Civil War Diary of Rice C. Bull, 123rd New York Volunteer Infantry. Still in print today, it is considered by many historians to be one of the finest first-hand accounts of an enlisted man’s experiences in the Civil War. 

Born in Washington County, New York, Bull was a farm boy before the Civil War. He enlisted in 1862 and served in the 123rd New York Volunteer Infantry. He fought and was seriously wounded in his first major battle at Chancellorsville, Virginia. His diary describes his experience of lying in the mud, wounded, while men are dying all around him. 

Bull recovered, rejoined his unit and was eventually promoted to sergeant. After the fighting in the Battle of Gettysburg, the 123rd New York was transferred to the newly formed XX Corps in the Army of the Cumberland under General George Thomas, who is also buried at Oakwood Cemetery. 

After the war, Bull returned to Troy, where he was banker and Secretary-Treasurer of the Troy and New England Railroad. Several years after the Civil War, he wrote his recollections of his experiences in the conflict. His son George had the recollections transcribed. Those transcriptions were used by K. Jack Bauer in his published edition of Bull’s 
war experiences in Soldiering.

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