Birdsall was born in 1833 in Monroe County, New York.

Horatio Birdsall was described as 5’10” tall with brown hair and blue eyes. During the war Sgt. Birdsall was wounded in the head and lost part of his right thumb. Soon after the war he left Iowa for Kansas, settling around the city of Lawrence.

He died November 29, 1891 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.