Joseph Rundle, Jr.

Joseph Rundle (Rundell), Jr., was born in Baltimore, Maryland, around the year 1837 to Joseph and Elizabeth Rundle. His father was a successful English-born butcher who was naturalized in April 1838. The younger Joseph attended school in Baltimore before enrolling at the University of Virginia in 1856 to study law. He withdrew from the University on June 16, 1857. He returned to his family’s home in Baltimore, where he worked as a farmer and butcher. He also briefly served as a real estate broker, buying and selling land and houses in the city.

On May 16, 1863, Rundle enlisted in Company D of the Purnell Infantry Legion in Baltimore. Enlistment records describe him as 5 feet, 3 inches tall, with blue eyes, brown hair, and a dark complexion. He was promoted to corporal on August 1. The regiment served mostly on detached duty in the Middle Department, which encompassed the Mid-Atlantic states. It joined the Army of the Potomac on May 26, 1864, and took part in the Overland Campaign, serving in operations on the Rapidan River, the Battle of Cold Harbor, and the siege of Petersburg.

On October 24, 1864, the army transferred the remnants of the Legion to the 1st Maryland Veteran Volunteer Infantry. Rundle’s new regiment participated in the Appomattox campaign in the spring of 1865 and marched through Washington, D.C. as part of the Grand Review. Rundle, however, likely missed these momentous events, as he served on detached duty in the commissary department from November 1864 until June 1865. He mustered out with his regiment at Arlington on July 2, 1865.

Following the war, Rundle returned to his family home and resumed his work as a butcher. He probably joined the Republican Party during or immediately after the war, and in September 1866 he joined hundreds of other Maryland soldiers in endorsing Congress’s Reconstruction policies. They denounced President Andrew Johnson’s lenient policies and declared themselves “ready and willing to resist a revolutionary overthrow of the Republican Government of the United States.” They viewed Reconstruction as an extension of their wartime sacrifices, insisting that the “grass is not yet grown on the graves of our dead comrades…[who] fell by our side for principle.” They vowed that the “day of trial” would find them “in the front line of battle, contending, as of old, foot to foot, and hand to hand, with traitors and their allies.”

Rundle, however, contracted tuberculosis, and his health steadily declined. He died at his parents’ home in Baltimore on March 23, 1873, and was buried in the city’s Mt. Olivet Cemetery.


Joseph Rundle, Jr., Defends Radical Reconstruction

Name:Rundle, Jr., Joseph
Alternative names:
  • Rundell, Joseph (alternative name)
  • Soldier
  • UVA (Union)
Purnell LegionD
1st Regiment Maryland Volunteer InfantryK
Branch of service:Army
Enlistment1863-05-16Baltimore, MD
Transfer1864-10-24Petersburg, VA
Muster Out1865-07-02Arlington, VAMustered Out
Residence at UVA:Baltimore, MD
UVA Begin Year:1856
UVA End Year:1857
Residence at enlistment:
Rank In:Private
Rank Out:Private
Highest rank achieved:Corporal
Birth date:1837
Birth date certainty:about
Birth place:Baltimore, MD
Death date:1873-03-23
Death place:Baltimore, MD
Causes of death:disease: tuberculosis
Occupations:Farmer, Attorney

Compiled Service Records for Joseph Rundell, RG 94, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.; 1850, 1860, and 1870 U.S. Federal Censuses, accessed on; The Baltimore Sun, March 25, 1873; Maximilian Schele De Vere, Students of the University of Virginia: A Semi-centennial Catalogue with Brief Biographical Sketches (1878); Frederick A. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion (1909); The Daily Exchange (Baltimore, MD), May 16, 1859; The Baltimore Sun, September 15, 1866.