Sunday, April 25, 2010

Certificate of Record for George F. Small, Cape Elizabeth, Maine - Civil War

I found this document photocopied onto two sheets and thought you all might enjoy a transcription.

Certificate of Record for George F. Small, Cape Elizabeth, Maine for his service in the Civil War.

"Certificate of Record
To all whom it may concern
Bequeathed to every American is a priceless legacy
Preserved to us by the valor of the Boys in Blue

This certifies that GEORGE F. SMALL: Enlisted from Cumberland County, Maine, on the 21st day of July, 1862, to serve three years, and was mustered into the service of the United States at Cape Elizabeth, Maine, on the 18th day of August, 1862, as a Private of Captain Ellis M. Sawyer's COMPANY "E", 17TH REGIMENT MAINE VOLUNTEER INFANTRY, Colonel Thomas Roberts commanding.

This regiment was recruited in the counties of York, Cumberland, Oxford and Androscoggin.  It arrived at Washington, D.C., August 23, 1862, where it was engaged in drill and garrison duty until October, when it crossed into Virginia and joined Berry's (3rd) Brigade, Birney's (1st) Division 3rd Corps.  The regiment made a creditable record at Fredericksburg, and at Chancellorsville, it sustained a loss of 10 killed, 65 wounded and 38 missing.  At Gettysburg, Lieutenant Colonel C. B. Merrill commanding, it was engaged in Sickles' fight on the second day, losing 18 killed, 112 wounded and 3 missing.  In March 1864, Birney's Division was transferred to the 2nd Corps, the regiment being placed in General Alex Hay's Brigade of that Division - 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 2nd Army Corps.  Led by Colonel West, it crossed the Rapidan with 507 men and fought under Grant at the battle of the Wilderness, where its casualties amounted to 22 killed, 155 wounded and 15 missing; total 192.  In June it was transferred to the 1st Brigade, with which it took part in the storming of Petersburg, June 16-18, 1864.  Its losses in those bloody and disastrous assaults were 13 killed, 66 wounded and 5 missing.  In June, 129 men were received by transfer from the Third Maine, the term of that regiment having expired; even with this accession, the ranks showed but little over 200 muskets in the line.  The regiment took part in the following battles: Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, VA; Gettysburg, PA; Wapping Heights, Mine Run, Wilderness, Spottsylvania, North Anna, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Petersburg Trenches, Jerusalem Road, Boydton Hatcher's Run, Sailor's Creek, Farmville.  [crossed out line and a half].  Was also present at Auburn, Va; Po[tomac] River; Totopotomoy, Strawberry Plains, Deep Bottom, Appomatox.  The 17th sustained the heaviest loss of any infantry regiment from Maine.  It was mustered out June 4, 1865.

On account of meritorious service the said George F. Small was promoted to Corporal, then to Sergeant and Orderly Sergeant.  He received a flesh wound at Gettysburg, July 2, 1863, in left thigh, bullet was extracted while on field, was confined in hospital about 94 days; was wounded again at Locust Grove, Va., Nov 26, 1863, in right shoulder, was confined in Fairfax Seminary Hospital, after which was furloughed two months.  On account of said confinement in hospitals he was not able to be with his command on all occasions, but he was always to be found at his post of duty, rendering faithful and meritorious service.

He received an HONORABLE DISCHARGE at Portland, Maine, on the 10th day of June, 1865, by reason of close of the war.

He was born at Cape Elizabeth, Me., on the 18th day of May 1840; was united in marriage to Susan J. Colson [the surname Wheeler was  crossed and Colson written in] at Cape Elizabeth, Me., on the 17th day of November, 1866, from which union the following children were born, viz: - Edith G., Lizzie W., George F, Jr., Etta C., Charles H [another strikeover] and Percy L.

He is a member of  Bosworth Post, No. 2, Department of Maine, Grand Army of the Republic, and was Officer of the Day and Commander of John R. Adams Post, G.A.R., previous to joining Bosworth Post.  He is also a member of the I.O.O.F., Ancient Bros. No. 4.

He has held office in the Custom House of Portland, Maine.  Mr. Small was presented with a medal by the citizens of Philadelphia [strikeover] for meritorious conduct at Chancellorsville.

These facts are thus recorded and preserved for the benefit of all those who may be interested.

Compiled from Official and Authentic Sources by the Soldiers and Sailors Historical Benevolent Society.  In testimony whereof: I hereunto set my hand and cause to be affixed the seal of the Society.  Done at Washington, D.C. this 4th day of September, AD 1903.  No. 200048.   H. W. Kellogg, Historian"

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  1. I came across this in my genealogy searching. George F. Small is my 3 times great grandfather and his daughter Etta C. is my 2 times great grandmother. It was amazing to read this document, thank you so much for posting.

  2. Glad you happened by - hope you got a kick! If you have any corrections, please let me know so I can amend the post.