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G.M. Downey

G.M. Downey

Federal (USA)


George Mason Downey

(1841 - 1910)

Home State: Maryland

Command Billet: Quartermaster

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 14th United States Infantry, Second Battalion

Before Antietam

He was appointed 1st Lieutenant, 14th United States Infantry on 26 October 1861.

On the Campaign

He was with the Second Battalion of the 14th Infantry in Maryland as the Quartermaster.

The rest of the War

He was also at Chancellorsville and Gettysburg - for which action he was later brevetted Captain for "gallant & meritorious service" - and on the Wilderness campaign. He was made Regimental Adjutant on 11 December 1864, and promoted Captain on 5 October 1865.

After the War

After the war he continued in the Regular Army. In December 1865, he was part of the regimental staff establishing the headquarters at Fort Vancouver, Washington. The Third Battalion of the 14th became the 32nd Infantry and he was assigned to them on 21 September 1866. The 32nd was merged with, and became the 21st Infantry on 19 September 1869 - Downey serving as Captain of Company K.

The regiment, with 1180 enlisted men in 10 companies, transferred to San Francisco over the then just completed Union and Central Pacific Railroads, being the first troops that made the transcontinental journey entirely by rail. The regiment remained temporarily at the Presidio in San Francisco, and then deployed to their stations in Arizona. In 1872, Company K was transferred to Fort Boise, Idaho.
By 1878 he was back at Vancouver with his Company and in the field against the Bannocks and Pi Utes, engaged at the Umatilla Agency (Oregon). Company K was later assigned to Fort Russell, Wyoming (1884), southern Kansas during a threatened outbreak of the Cheyennes (1885), and to Fort Duchesne (and likely Strawberry Valley), Utah (1886-7).

He retired for disability from the Army in 1888 and moved to Salt Lake City as a principal of the Salt Lake Telephone & Telegraph Company and the Commercial National Bank. In 1893, he built a mansion and carriage house (at 808 East South Temple, at a cost of $17,0000) - the family home into the 1920s.

References & notes

His brother Stephen was also in action on the Maryland Campaign, with the 3rd Maryland Infantry, Potomac Home Brigade. George's military service dates from Heitman1. Additional details compiled by descendant Robert Downey Boutin and used here, citing Anderson2. Thanks also to Mr Boutin for the photograph of the Lieutenant from a group shot (c. 1870) which includes his wife, parents, mother in law, and (probably) Assistant Surgeon Charles Styer.


1841 in MD


09/29/1910; Salt Lake City, UT; burial in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA


1   Heitman, Francis Bernard, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army 1789-1903, 2 volumes, Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1903, Vol. 1, pg. 381  [AotW citation 1150]

2   Anderson, Thomas M. (Col. 14th Inf), and Theo F Rodenbough and William L. Haskin, eds., Fourteenth Regiment Of Infantry, from Historical Sketches Of Staff And Line, New York City: Maynard, Merrill, & Co., 1896  [AotW citation 1151]