Union XII Corps

      General Joseph K. Mansfield                      General Henry Warner Slocum                General Alpheus S. Williams                     General John W. Geary


Brigadier General, Brevet Major General George Henry Gordon

Brigadier General, Brevet Major General George Henry Gordon, 3d Brigade, 1st Division, Union XII Corps

"GORDON, George Henry, soldier, b. in Charlestown, Mass., 19 July, 1825; d. in Framingham, Mass., 30 Aug., 1886. He was graduated at the U. S. military academy in 1846, and assigned to the mounted rifles. He engaged in the siege of Vera Cruz in 1847, in the battle of Cerro Gordo, where he was wounded and brevetted 1st lieutenant, took part in the battles of Contreras and Chapultepec, and in the assault and capture of the city of Mexico. In a hand-to-hand encounter with two guerillas near the San Juan Bridge on 21 Dec., 1847, he was severely wounded. On 8 Jan., 1848, he was promoted 2d lieutenant and assigned to recruiting service. Ill health necessitated leave of absence in 1848-'9, when he was assigned to duty in the cavalry school for practice at Carlisle, Pa. From 1850 till 1854 he was on frontier duty, and was promoted to a 1st lieutenancy, 30 Aug., 1853. He resigned, 31 Oct., 1854, studied law, and entered upon practice in Boston in 1857. At the beginning of the civil war he raised the 2d Massachusetts regiment, became its colonel on 24 May, 1861, and was made military governor of Harper's Ferry. In 1862 he commanded a brigade under Gen. Banks, and for his conduct in the retreat from Strasburg to Williamsport was made brigadier-general of volunteers on 9 June, 1862. He was engaged in a large number of battles and skirmishes, took part in the North Virginia and Maryland campaigns, was in the second battle of Bull Run, and at Antietam fought with his brigade in Gen. A. S. Williams's division of Mansfield's corps, and guarded the upper Potomac at Harper's Ferry from September to December, 1862. He engaged in operations about Charleston harbor, S. C., in 1863-'4, was in command of Florida in May, 1864, kept open the communications by White river with Little Rock, Ark, in July, and took part in the operations against Mobile in August. In 1864-'5 he was on duty in the Department of Virginia in command of the eastern district, and he was brevetted major-general of volunteers on 9 April, 1865. He then returned to the practice of law in Boston, and was for some time collector of internal revenue. He published "The Army of Virginia from Cedar Mountain to Alexandria." (Boston, 1880); "A War Diary," (1881); and "From Brook Farm to Cedar Mountain" (1883).”

Source: Wilson, James Grant, & Fiske, John (Eds.). Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American Biography. New York: Appleton, 1888, 1915.

Gordon was a founder of the Military Historical Society of Massachusetts.  He died in Framingham, Massachusetts, on August 30, 1886.  He was buried in Framingham Centre.

Cullum, George W., Biographical Register of the Officers and Graduates of the U.S. Military Academy (3 vols.). Boston and New York, 1891.

Pfanz, Harry W. Gettysburg: Culp's Hill and Cemetery Hill. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1993.

U.S. War Department. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. 128 vols. Washington, DC: GPO, 1881-1901. Series 1.

Warner, Ezra J. Generals in Blue: Lives of the Union Commanders. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1964, pp. 177-178.