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Federal (USV)


George H. Watts

Home State: Rhode Island

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 4th Rhode Island Infantry

Before Antietam

From Burrillville, he enlisted on 17 August 1861 in Company D, 4th Rhode Island Infantry. He was promoted to Sergeant on 20 September 1861 and appointed 2nd Lieutenant on 11 August 1862.

On the Campaign

Lt Colonel Curtis described part of the action in his Report:

... [The 4th Rhode Island] found the Sixteenth Connecticut giving way and crowding upon its right, compelling it to move to the left, and rendering it almost impossible to dress the line, which an advance in line of battle across two fields of full-grown corn had slightly deranged. It was now subjected to sharp musketry fire from the front, but as the enemy showed the national flag (the corn concealing their uniform), and as our troops had been seen in advance on our right, moving diagonally across our front, the order to cease firing was given, and a volunteer officer to go forward to ascertain who was in our front was called for. Lieutenant George E. Curtis and George H. Watts immediately stepped forward, and placing themselves one on each side of the color bearer (Corporal Tanner, Company G), carried the flag up the hill within 20 feet of the rebels, when the enemy fired, killing the corporal. Lieutenant Curtis seized the colors and returned, followed by Lieutenant Watts.
He was severely wounded in that action.

The rest of the War

He was absent until May 1863, but promoted to First Lieutenant to date from 1 November 1862. He resigned and was honorably discharged on 13 August 1863.

References & notes

Basic information from Dyer1.

More on the Web

A post-War photograph of him is in the collection of the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC).


1   Dyer, Elisha, Annual Report of the Adjutant General of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations for the Year 1865 (corrected), 2 Volumes, Providence: E.L. Freeman & Son, 1893, Vol. 1, pp. 317 - 322  [AotW citation 14117]