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G.V. Weir

G.V. Weir

Federal (USA)


Gulian Verplanck Weir

(1837 - 1886)

Home State: New York

Branch of Service: Artillery

Unit: 5th United States Artillery, Battery C

Before Antietam

From West Point, NY, son of noted artist and USMA Professor of Drawing Robert Walter Weir, he enlisted in Company B, 7th New York State Militia for 30 days in April 1861 and was discharged on 3 June. He applied for a US Army commission and was appointed 2nd Lieutenant, 5th United States Artillery to date from 14 May 1861.

On the Campaign

He commanded a section of the battery in Maryland. He and the battery were complemented by General Meade in his after-action Report:

... I cannot close this report without calling your attention to the skill and good judgment, combined with coolness, with which Captain Ransom, his officers (Lieutenants Weir and Gansevoort) and men, served his battery ... I have described the advance of the enemy through the corn-field, and the check the column received from Captain Ransom's fire. I consider this one of the most critical periods of the morning, and that to Captain Ransom's battery is due the credit of repulsing the enemy.

The rest of the War

He was promoted to First Lieutenant on 8 October 1862. He commanded the battery at Gettysburg in July 1863, and on 2 July enemy troops captured 3 of his guns there. Although they were re-captured soon afterward, he was apparently devastated by their loss. During the war he was honored with brevets to First Lieutenant, for his actions on the Peninsula Campaign, and Captain, for his role at Fredericksburg, VA.

After the War

He continued in Regular Army service, was Regimental Adjutant from 1 April to 1 December 1867, and was promoted to Captain on 10 November 1874. He suffered years of accusations of cowardice for the loss of his guns at Gettysburg, and after a visit to the Gettysburg battlefield in 1885 he reported himself a "broken man." He killed himself with a rifle shot to the heart in his quarters at Fort Hamilton, NY on 18 July 1886.

References & notes

His service from Heitman.1 Personal details from family genealogists. His gravesite is on Findagrave, source also of his picture, from a CDV contributed by Lorenzo Brieba.

He married Ellen Merrick (1845-1914) in 1868 and they had 7 children, the youngest, Gulian Verplank, Jr., was born in November 1886.

More on the Web

See more about Weir in a fine profile by Allison Herrmann on the Grand Army Blog.


12/28/1837; West Point, NY


07/18/1886; Fort Hamilton, NY; burial in United States Military Academy Post Cemetery, West Point, NY


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. 1015  [AotW citation 26155]