Captain James L. Rickards

Captain James L. Rickards, carte-de-visite, by Garrett's, Wilmington, Delaware, c. 1862
James L. Rickards served with the 1st Delaware Volunteers. On April 1, 1862, he was promoted from Company B to be captain of Company C. During the Battle of Antietam in Maryland on September 17, 1862, Rickards was killed. With Smyth (cat. #3955W), Postles (cat. #3855J), McAllister (cat. #3955P), and other fellow soldiers, Rickards was able to hold the front line for a considerable amount of time, but unfortunately this is where the war ended for him.
James Rickards did not believe in killing a wounded enemy. While he was on the front lines, an injured Confederate soldier approached. A Sergeant Dunn rose to kill him, but Rickards would not let Dunn shoot him, shouting, “You wouldn’t shoot a wounded man!” The injured Confederate soldier fired upon Rickards, killing him almost instantly. The soldier was then taken down in a fury of bullet fire.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Object Type
date made
depicted (sitter)
Rickards, James L.
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
overall: 4 in x 2 3/8 in; 10.16 cm x 5.9944 cm
place made
United States: Delaware, Wilmington
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Civil War
Seville Collection
Civil War
Battle of Antietam, 1862
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Photographic History
Seville Collection
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of M.W Seville
Additional Media

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