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Federal (USV)


George Adams Gay

(1841 - 1862)

Home State: New Hampshire

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 5th New Hampshire Infantry

Before Antietam

A resident of Newmarket, he enlisted 8 October 1861 as Private, Company K, 5th New Hampshire Infantry. He was appointed Sergeant in April 1862. Wounded in action 30 June 1862 at White Oak Swamp, VA. Appointed Regimental Sergeant-Major on 14 August 1862. Commissioned 2nd Lieutenant, Company D on 11 September 1862.

On the Campaign

He was mortally wounded in action on 17 September 1862 at Antietam.

The men had been firing only two or three minutes when Lieutenant George A. Gay went to the colonel and catching him by the arm, said, "Colonel, the enemy are outflanking us." "Impossible," said Cross. "They are — come and see, quick." Cross ran with Gay to the left of the regiment, and sure enough, the enemy were coming — a whole brigade. Five battle flags and one large stand of colors were plainly advancing on our left.

'Poor Gay', only four days a lieutenant, a young gentleman of extraordinary talent, cheerful, diligent, beloved by his entire circle of acquaintances, was struck in the top of the head by a fragment of shell. His brain was instantly paralyzed, though his body contained the vital principle for some hours. Before his body could be rescued from the field it had been robbed of sword, watch and other articles by some Federal miscreant"

The rest of the War

His body was returned to Boston and buried in Cambridge in October 1862.

References & notes

Basic information from Child, M.D.1. Quotes above from Child and Colonel Cross' journal (also in Child's History). Further details from family genealogists. The GAR post in Newmarket was named for him.


08/16/1841; Boston, MA


09/17/1862; Sharpsburg, MD; burial in Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, MA


1   Child, M.D., William, A History of the Fifth Regiment New Hampshire Volunteers, Bristol (NH): R.W. Musgrove, Printer, 1893, pp. 121 - 132  [AotW citation 13353]