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Lieutenant George Bacheler Peck, U.S.V.


Lieutenant George Bacheler Peck, eldest son of George B. (deceased) and Ann Power Smith Peck, was born at Providence, R. I., August 12, 1843. His general education was received in the public schools of that city and in Brown University, which institution bestowed upon him a civil engineer's diploma January 21, 1864, the degree of Bachelor of Arts September 7, 1864, and that of Master three years later. He was mustered conditionally upon raising a company on December 13, 1864, as second lieutenant Company G, Second Regiment Rhode Island Volunteers; was on recruiting service about a month, and at the draft rendezvous, more generally known as the Conscript Camp, at New Haven, Connecticut, two months. With his men he reported for duty before Petersburg in the Third Brigade, First Division, Sixth Corps, March 17, 1865. He participated in the closing events of that siege and in the pursuit of Lee, receiving a bullet wound, four inches long, through his left side, near the hip, at Sailor's Creek. He rejoined his regiment before Washington as soon as he could walk without crutches, but on account of poor health he resigned, and was honorably discharged July 5, 1865, reaching his home just a week before his comrades. No pension has been applied for.

In March, 1863, Peck enrolled himself as private in the Providence Marine Corps of Artillery, at one time widely known as (Governor) "Sprague's Battery," the mother of Rhode Island's light batteries. This organization was chartered in 1801 for the sea-coast defense, but appeared at brigade training October 17, 1847, with modern equipments, the first light battery ever organized in the United States outside the regular army. Its excursion to Boston in 1852 prompted the formation of the First Massachusetts Battery, then of others throughout the country. Peck remained an active member eight years, occupying nearly every position to that of major, which commission he held the last two. He has been adjutant and ex-officio necrologist of its Veteran Association for the past seventeen years.

After four years in his father's office-wholesale and retail coal and wood- Mr. Peck spent a full year at the Hahnemann College of Philadelphia in the study of medicine, and an equal time at Yale, receiving his doctorate in 1871. He passed the ensuing year at the Sheffield Scientific School, and the two succeeding at the Naval Torpedo Station, Newport, as assistant chemist. In the fall of 1874 he was in charge of the chemical department of the University of Vermont during an illness of Professor Peter Collier. He commenced the practice of medicine June 1, 1875, and has prosecuted it unremittingly, having taken but a single vacation unconnected with work an eight-weeks' California trip-in all the subsequent years.

He was secretary of the Rhode Island Homoeopathic Society seven years, vice-president and president each two; is now treasurer. Since joining, in 1879, the American Institute of Homoeopathy, the oldest national medical society in the United States, he has presided over the deliberations of its Bureau of Obstetrics five times.

He is an honorary member of the New York State Homoeopathic Medical Society, and was two years vice-president of the Western Massachusetts Society. He has been admitting physician and a trustee of the Homoeopathic Hospital since its opening, declining other, positions as likely to curtail his general usefulness. He was surgeon of the Battalion of Light Artillery, Division of Rhode Island Militia, from 1876 to its disbandment in 1879. He is fulfilling his sixth year as surgeon of Prescott Post, No. 1, Grand Army of the Republic, which he assisted in organizing. He also holds membership in the Massachusetts Commandery of the Loyal Legion and the Yale Medical Society.

Dr. Peck is passing his twelfth year on the Providence School Committee, and his sixteenth on the Board of the Baptist State Convention. He served ten years as clerk of the Narragansett Baptist Association, and was afterwards chosen moderator, the first layman to be accorded the office in that section of the country. He is president of the Rhode Island Soldiers' and Sailors' Historical Society, after three years in its vice-presidency.

As a Freemason he is enrolled in the What Cheer Lodge of Providence, the Washington Commandery of Newport, and the Rhode Island Consistory, 32. From 1868 to 1875 he contributed frequently to the Providence journal. Since then his writings have been chiefly professional. He is unmarried, and resides with his mother, in the house built by his grandfather, where himself and father were born.

Source: Officers of the Volunteer Army and Navy who served in the Civil War, published by L.R. Hamersly & Co., 1893, 419 pgs.


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