Medal of Honor recipient Richard Napoleon Batchelder was born in New Hampshire on July 7, 1832. At the beginning of the Civil War he was appointed as 1st Lieutenant and Regimental Quartermaster for the 1st New Hampshire Infantry on May 2, 1861. He then was appointed Quartermaster of the 7th Brigade, Army of the Shenandoah, (July 1861 – August 1861); Captain and Assistant Quartermaster of Volunteers, August 1861; Chief Quartermaster Corps of Observation, Poolesville, Maryland (August 1861- March 1862) and was present during the battle of Ball’s Bluff. He then became Chief Quartermaster 2d Division, 2d Corps, Army of the Potomac (March 1862-January 1863) where he participated in the battles of Fair Oaks, Antietam, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville.
He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and Chief Quartermaster 2d Corps, Army of the Potomac (January 1863-June 1864) and participated in the battles of Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Spottsylvania and Cold Harbor. While serving in this position he distinguished himself during actions against Confederate raiders between Catlett and Fairfax, Virginia, October 13-15, 1863. He moved his supply wagon trains by continuous day-and-night marches without the customary escorts. He armed his teamsters and fought off repeated attacks from Mosby’s Rangers, bringing them through without loss of a single wagon. In 1895 he was awarded the Medal of Honor for these actions.
He became Acting Chief Quartermaster of the Army of the Potomac (June – August 1964). Promoted to Colonel he assumed duties as Quartermaster of the Army of the Potomac until it was mustered out in June 1865, during this time he was involved in the siege of Petersburg and capitulation of Confederate forces at Appamattox.
Promotions: He received brevet ranks of Lieutenant Colonel to Brigadier General in the Volunteers and Colonel of the Regular Army for faithful and meritorious services during the War.
He reverted to the regular Army rank of Captain assumed the positions of Assistant Quartermaster U.S. Army at the end of the war. He served as Chief Quartermaster of the Military Division of the Atlantic in Philadelphia (February-October 1865); Chief Quartermaster Department of Kentucky ( October 1865-January 1867); he was promoted to Major on January 18, 1867 and assumed duties as Chief Quartermaster Depot of Jeffersonville, Indiana (January 1867-January 1868). He moved to New Orleans as the Depot Quartermaster (January-September 1868). General Batchelder served as Chief Quartermaster , 5th District, Jackson, Mississippi (1868-70); Assistant to the Depot Commander at New York City (1870-73); Chief Quartermaster Department of Columbia, Portland, Oregon (1873-77); in the Quartermaster General’s Office (1877-1878); as Depot Quartermaster at San Francisco, California (1878-1882) and in the Quartermaster’s Department as director of General Depots and National Cemeteries (April-June 1882).
He was appointed as Brigadier General and Quartermaster General on June 26, 1890 serving until July 27, 1896 when he retired. The Quartermaster Branch Insignia was designed at the direction of General Batchelder.
Brigadier General Batchelder died on January 4, 1901 and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Section 2 Site 998cl.General Batchelder was inducted into the Quartermaster Hall of Fame in 1990.