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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 28, 1866.

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, 1866.

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 Gerhart, sculptor.

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 pgs.

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