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Federal (USV)


George F. Goodwin

(1836 - 1864)

Home State: New Hampshire

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 5th New Hampshire Infantry

Before Antietam

A resident of Lebanon, ME, he enlisted as Sergeant, Company D, 5th New Hampshire Infantry on 12 October 1861 at age 25. He was appointed 2nd Lieutenant, Comnpany F on 1 August 1862.

The rest of the War

He was wounded in action at Fredericksburg, VA on 13 December 1862. He was promoted to First Lieutenant, Company D on 17 December 1862 and Captain on 4 March 1863. He was wounded again, in action in May 1863 at Chancellorsville, VA. He was killed at Cold Harbor, VA on 3 June 1864...

The Fifth was the only regiment in Barlow's Division that took any prisoners or cannon; the only regiment that broke the rebel lines; the only regiment that left any dead or wounded within two hundred yards of the rebel main line. We lost many men inside their line. Captain Goodwin was killed, and fell at my feet, twenty yards inside the rebel works. Had all of Barlow's Division kept on with the Fifth New Hampshire Volunteers, the battle of Cold Harbor might have resulted differently, and General Grant would not have regretted that he ordered the charge to be made. Still, neither Colonel Hapgood nor the regiment has ever received any credit for what they did. Had it been a Massachusetts regiment the country would have rung with it. We would never hear the last of it. It would become a familiar story to our descendants. But as it is when the participants are dead, the memory of the gallant charge of the Fifth Regiment New Hampshire Volunteers, June 3, 1864, will be dead also.

References & notes

Basic service information from Child1, as is the quote above about Cold Harbor from George D Gove. Goodwin was mentioned for leadership and "gallant conduct" in Maryland in Colonel Cross' after action Reports. His birth date from family genealogists.


03/01/1836; Lebanon, ME


06/03/1864; Cold Harbor, VA


1   Child, M.D., William, A History of the Fifth Regiment New Hampshire Volunteers, Bristol (NH): R.W. Musgrove, Printer, 1893, Roster, pp. 73, 74  [AotW citation 13490]