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Major-General George Jerrison Stannard, U.S.V.
Brevet Major-General George Jerrison Stannard, U.S.V.
Brevet Major-General George Jerrison Stannard, than whom Vermont had no
better soldier or more gallant fighter, was the first citizen of his State
to volunteer as a soldier in the war of the Rebellion, having tendered his
services to Governor Fairbanks April 15, 1861. He was mustered into the
service of the United States at Burlington, June 21, 1861, as
lieutenant-colonel of the Second Vermont Infantry; commissioned colonel of
the Ninth Vermont Infantry May 21, 1862; appointed brigadier-general U. S.
Volunteers March 11, 1863; commissioned brevet major-general U. S.
Volunteers, to date from October 28, 1864, for gallant and meritorious
services in the attack upon the enemy's works at Fort Harrison, Virginia,
September 29 and 30, 1864. He resigned from the United States service June
He took part in the following battles: Bull Run, Yorktown, Golding's Farm,
Lee's Mills, Williamsburg, Winchester, Harper's Ferry, Gettysburg,
Drewry's Bluff, Petersburg, Chapin's Farm, Bermuda Hundred, Cold Harbor,
the Mine, and Fort Harrison.
As lieutenant-colonel of the Second Vermont, General Stannard served in
the Peninsular campaign until ordered to Vermont to organize the Ninth
Regiment. He commanded this regiment as colonel at Winchester and Harper's
Ferry, Virginia, where his troops, with others under the command of
Colonel Miles of the U. S. Army, were basely surrendered. Upon being
paroled, Colonel Stannard took his command to Chicago, Ill., and was
placed in charge of several regiments at Camp Tyler, and later at Camp
Douglas. He was promoted to the rank of brigadier-general for bravery and
distinguished valor at Harper's Ferry, and assigned to the command of the
Second Vermont Brigade, then on duty near Fairfax Court-House, Virginia.
In the Gettysburg campaign General Stannard's brigade (composed of the
Twelfth, Thirteenth, Fourteenth, Fifteenth, and Sixteenth Vermont
Volunteers) was the Third Brigade, Third Division, First Army Corps. On
the afternoon of July 3, 1863, General Stannard distinguished himself and
his brigade by the attack upon Pickett's flank, which is considered by
many historians to have decided the fate of the grand Confederate assault
of the third day at Gettysburg, and changed a doubtful struggle into
victory, at the time he was severely wounded. Upon the muster-out of his
brigade, he was ordered to command of defenses in New York harbor, which
duty he performed until assigned to a brigade in the Tenth Corps in the
spring of 1864. Later he was transferred to the command of the First
Brigade, Second Division, Eighteenth Army Corps, General " Baldy" Smith
commanding, and was present with it at Cold Harbor, where he was wounded.
On the 14th of June he led the advance of the Eighteenth Army Corps on
Petersburg, with his brigade. He was ordered to the command of the First
Division, Eighteenth Corps, while in front of Petersburg, a part of his
line being within one hundred yards of the enemy's fortifications. Here he
was again wounded and compelled to leave the field, to which he returned
in time to lead the advance of the Tenth and Eighteenth Corps to the north
of the James River on the 29th of September, 1864, which resulted in the
storming of Fort Harrison. The next day General Lee in person assaulted
Fort Harrison with Hoke's and Field's divisions, Longstreet's corps, but
was unable to dislodge Stannard's division. Near the close of the
engagement General Stannard received a bullet which shattered his right
arm, necessitating amputation near the shoulder. He was again sent home,
and upon recovery was placed in command of the northern frontier, with
head-quarters at St. Albans.
||He continued on duty in the
Department of the East until February, 1866, when he was assigned to
service in the Freedmen's Bureau at Baltimore, Maryland, June 27,
General Stannard died at Washington, D: C., June 1, 1886, and is
buried in Lake View Cemetery at Burlington, where the State of
Vermont and his comrades-in-arms have erected a monument to his
memory, surmounted by a bronze statue of him, the work of Karl
A heroic bronze statue of General Stannard also surmounts the tall
State monument at Gettysburg, which faces the field upon which he
and his brigade performed such gallant service.
Gallant, truthful, unselfish, patriotic, his fable is cherished as a
priceless inheritance by his comrades and fellow-citizens.
Source: Officers of the Volunteer Army and Navy who
served in the Civil War, published by L.R. Hamersly & Co., 1893, 419
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