site logo
[no picture yet]

[no picture yet]

Confederate (CSV)


George Michael Neese

(1839 - 1921)

Home State: Virginia

Branch of Service: Artillery

Unit: Chew's (VA) Battery

Before Sharpsburg

In 1860 he was a 20 year old house painter living with chair maker James Wickes and his family in New Market, VA. He had been serving in a local militia Company in Winchester, VA until 11 December 1861 when he enlisted in Martinsburg, VA as a Private in Captain Preston Chew's Company of Horse Artillery. He reenlisted in March 1862 and was promoted to First Corporal at the battery reorganization on 19 May 1862 at Woodstock, VA.

On the Campaign

He was in Maryland with the battery in September 1862; at Shepherdstown on the 16th and early on the 17th ...

This morning my gun [the Blakely, disabled in the fight at Crampton's Gap on 14 September] was still in Martinsburg [VA; left on the 15th] undergoing repairs, which circumstance alone kept us from the battle-field to-day, for twice during the day an urgent despatch came for us to hasten to the front and help to play in the bloody act that was in full glow and raging over the fields around Sharpsburg. About three o'clock this afternoon my gun arrived from Martinsburg ready for fight, and we started immediately for the fiery vortex of battle that was still raging with unabated fury.

Our progress was necessarily slow, and the ford in the Potomac is rough and narrow and the river was full of wagons going and coming. The road all the way between the river and the battle-field was crowded with ordnance wagons and ambulances. Shepherdstown seemed to be full of our wounded when we passed through. We had to go a mile below town to ford the river. Below Shepherdstown there are high bluffs along the river on the Virginia side, and right at the ford I saw a battery of artillery in position on top of the bluff, which thoroughly commanded the ford and its approaches on the Maryland side, which is much lower than the Virginia bluff.

It was nearly sunset when we arrived on the battle-field and the last firing for the day had just ceased...

The rest of the War

He was with his battery until he was captured on 9 October 1864 at Fisher's Hill, VA. He was at Point Lookout, MD by 13 October and was a prisoner there until he was released on 29 June 1865 after taking an oath of allegiance ...

Just at nightfall the steam transport that is bearing us away from our winter resort drew up to the wharf, and the gangplank had hardly touched the shore before the newly made citizens of the United States rushed up the gangway like Rebels, crowding and pushing each other like cattle, everyone trying to get aboard first, for fear that the boat would not hold us all. At ten o’clock to-night our boat left Point Lookout, and now at midnight it is plowing through the long heaving swells of Chesapeake Bay, bound for Richmond, Virginia ...
He arrived home on 4 July 1865.

After the War

By 1880 and to at least 1910 he was an unmarried house painter and lived with another painter, William Rupp, and his wife, (George's aunt?) Mary Zirkle Rupp in New Market, VA. By 1920 he had retired there and boarded with the Rupp's sons Charles and William, also painters.

References & notes

His service from his Compiled Service Records,1 online from fold3, with details and his presence on the Maryland Campaign from his memoir,2 source of the quotes above. Personal details from family genealogists and the US Census of 1860 and 1880-1920. His gravesite is on Findagrave.


12/301839; New Market, VA


04/10/1921; New Market, VA; burial in Zirkle Cemetery, New Market, VA


1   US War Department, Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers, Record Group No. 109 (War Department Collection of Confederate Records), Washington DC: US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), 1903-1927  [AotW citation 29116]

2   Neese, George Michael, Three Years in the Confederate Horse Artillery, New York: The Neale Publishing Company, 1911, pp. 124-126  [AotW citation 29117]