site logo
G. F. Lemon

G. F. Lemon

Federal (USV)

Major

George Frank Lemon

"Frank"

(1822 - 1862)

Home State: New York

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 32nd New York Infantry

Before Antietam

He had previous service in the Mexican War, enlisting as Sergeant Major of the 1st New York Volunteer Infantry in 1847. By 1848 he was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant and appointed Post Adjutant at San Francisco. After discharge in 1848 he remained in San Francisco and was a member of the local legislature, and, after 1850, held various City offices. In a measure of the wild nature of the City at that time he fought a pair of very public duels in July and August 1851 with local lawyer and gunman William H. Graham, a "former friend". This after Graham published the following in the 1 July 1851 San Francisco Herald :

I hereby post and publish George Frank Lemon as a scoundrel, villain, liar and poltroon, and declare him to be out of the pale of gentlemen's society.
The cause of the rift was not reported, but both men were wounded.

Lemon came East with the California delegation to President Lincoln's Inauguration in 1861, then went to New York City where he enrolled in the 32nd New York Infantry on 22 May and mustered as their Major on 31 May 1861. He was commissioned on 20 June to date from 22 May 1861.

On the Campaign

He was mortally wounded in the left thigh by a gunshot which broke his femur in action at Crampton's Gap on 14 September 1862.

The rest of the War

He was treated at a field hospital in Burkittsville, MD and was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on 22 October. By 3 November "a speedy recovery [was] beyond doubt", but then he began to bleed, probably from his femoral artery, and his general health failed. As a last resort to stop the bleeding his leg was amputated at the thigh on 9 November 1862, but he died 12 hours later from the shock.

References & notes

His service from Mexican War Veterans 1 and the State of New York.2 Wound and hospital details from the MSHWR,3 as G.F. Lamon. The 1851 duel information from Dan L. Thrapp's Encyclopedia of Frontier Biography (Vol. II, 1988) and Mary Williams' History of the San Francisco Committee of Vigilance of 1851 (Ph.D thesis, 1921). Further personal details from the bio sketch on his Findagrave memorial by Tim Reese. His picture from one at the US Army Military History Institute, also provided by Mr Reese; it's now available online from the Library of Congress.

Birth

01/10/1822; Troy, NY

Death

11/10/1862 Burkittsville, MD; burial in Oakwood Cemetery, Troy, NY

Notes

1   Robarts, William Hugh, Mexican War Veterans: a Complete Roster of the Regular and Volunteer troops in the War between the United States and Mexico, from 1846 to 1848, Washington, DC: Brentano's, 1887, pg. 64  [AotW citation 21720]

2   State of New York, Adjutant-General, Annual Report of the Adjutant General of the State of New York [year]: Registers of the [units], 43 Volumes, Albany: James B. Lyon, State Printer, 1893-1905, For the Year 1899, Ser. No. 21, pg. 952  [AotW citation 21721]

3   Barnes, Joseph K., and US Army, Office of the Surgeon General, The Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion, 6 books, Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1870, Vol. 2 , Part 3, pg. 313  [AotW citation 21722]