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G.W. Batchelder

G.W. Batchelder

Federal (USV)


George Wellington Batchelder

(1838 - 1862)

Home State: Massachusetts

Education: Harvard College, Class of 1859

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 19th Massachusetts Infantry

Before Antietam

A lawyer from Salem, age 23, he enlisted 15 April 1861 as Sergeant, Company I (Salem Zouaves or Light Infantry), 8th Massachusetts Infantry for 3 months' service. The regiment was at Annapolis, along the B&O Railroad at Relay House, and at Baltimore, in Maryland, before mustering out on 1 August. He then served as drillmaster and recruiter for the new 19th Regiment. He was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant, Company C, 19th Massachusetts Infantry on 22 August 1861. He was promoted to Captain on 21 March 1862.

On the Campaign

He was in command of Company C on the Maryland Campaign.

Capt. George W Bachelder and Second Lieut. Edgar M. Newcomb of Company C were fast friends and as they were about to turn in for night, on this eve of the battle of Antietam, Bachelder asked his junior officer, as he sat reading his Bible, to read a chapter aloud. Surprised at the captain's request, he happily complied and was asked to continue until several chapters had been read. Then, under the same blanket, they lay down to rest, but not to sleep, for Capt. Bachelder, as if forewarned of the fate which was to be his within a few hours, talked as he never had before to Newcomb in regard to the affairs of the company; telling him, among other things, of certain money, "The Company Fund," which he had from time to time sent home to his father in Lynn for safe keeping, advising him in regard to matters pertaining to the company and making in general such arrangements as one would make if taking leave of them forever. Then they slept, - Capt. Bachelder his last on earth, for he was killed in the battle of the following day; Newcomb being spared, but to answer the final summons in the next battle, - Fredericksburg.
Batchelder was mortally wounded by a shell which "shattered his leg" in action at Antietam on 17 September 1862.

The rest of the War

He died within a few hours, on the field at Sharpsburg.

References & notes

Casualty information from Nelson1 with service from Soldiers.2 Details and the quote above in Waitt's History,3 which has him as George W. Bachelder. His gravesite is on Findagrave, source also of his photograph, from one in the Scott Hann collection.


12/20/1838; Lynn, MA


09/17/1862; Sharpsburg, MD; burial in Pine Grove Cemetery, Lynn, MA


1   Nelson, John H., As Grain Falls Before the Reaper: The Federal Hospital Sites and Identified Federal Casualties at Antietam, Hagerstown: John H. Nelson, 2004, pg. 125  [AotW citation 16308]

2   Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Adjutant General, Massachusetts Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines in the Civil War, 8 Vols, Norwood (MA): Norwood Press, 1931-35, Vol. 1, pp. 516, 538; Vol. 2, pg. 428  [AotW citation 17720]

3   Waitt, Ernest Linden (compiler), History of the Nineteenth Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, 1861-1865, Salem (MA): The Salem Press Co., 1906, pp. 131-132, 140  [AotW citation 17721]