Special Agent Josiah M. Woodruff

Special Agent Josiah M. Woodruff

United States Army Criminal Investigation Division, U.S. Government

End of Watch Saturday, October 1, 1864

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Josiah M. Woodruff

Special Agent Josiah Woodruff and Deputy Provost Marshal John Bashore were shot and killed while attempting to serve arrest warrants on several Civil War draft dodgers in Poweshiek County, Iowa.

The two agents had encountered a man on the roadway and informed him they were looking for the deserters. The man informed them he would help locate them, but was a sympathizer to a group known as the Copperheads. The subjects named on the warrant had threatened violence towards any officers who attempted to arrest them. When the man separated from the agents, he immediately informed the subjects the officers were looking for them and vowed he would help them resist the agents.

The subjects located the agents and opened fire on them, killing Special Agent Woodruff and fatally wounding Marshal Bashore. Despite his wounds, Marshal Bashore was able to return fire and wounded one of the men. Marshal Bashore succumbed to his wounds several hours later. The wounded man was convicted of both murders in 1867 and subsequently sentenced to death, however, he late received clemency from President Andrew Johnson.

Special Agent Woodruff is buried in Graceland Cemetery in Knoxville, Iowa.


  • Age 21
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Location Iowa
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Death sentenced commuted

Most Recent Reflection

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Rest in peace and know that no passage of time will ever erase your service and sacrifice.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

October 1, 2020

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