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Federal (USV)


George Byron Ely

(1825 - 1886)

Home State: Wisconsin

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 2nd Wisconsin Infantry

Before Antietam

Raised in Hightstown, NJ from age 9 - after his father's death - he studied law in Trenton and was admitted to the bar in New Jersey in 1848. He moved to Janesville, WI in 1851, and was district attorney there 1854-55. He helped organize Company D, 2nd Wisconsin Infantry on 17 April 1861 and was commissioned Captain on 22 April.

On the Campaign

He assumed command of the Regiment as senior officer standing, after Lieutenant Colonel Evans was wounded, but was himself wounded in action on 17 September 1862 at Antietam. He led the Regiment from the field at the end of the day.

The rest of the War

Discharged for his Antietam wound on 21 December 1862. He was appointed Assistant Paymaster, US Volunteers on 19 February 1863 and served in Washington, DC. He was honored by brevets in March 1865 to Major and Lieutenant Colonel for his actions at 1st and 2nd Bull Run, Gainesville, South Mountain, and Antietam. He mustered out on 20 July 1866.

After the War

He moved to Brooklyn, NY and practiced law in New York City.

References & notes

Basic information from State of Wisconsin1 and Heitman2. Details from family genealogists. His gravesite is on Findagrave. He married Caroline Ely Boies in Northampton, MA on 3 May 1848. Her 1898 portrait by William Merritt Chase is in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art Collection.


10/25/1825; New York City, NY


10/12/1886; Manhattan, NYC, NY; burial in Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, NY


1   State of Wisconsin, Adjutant General's Office, and Chandler P. Chapman, Adj. Gen., Roster of Wisconsin Volunteers, War of the Rebellion, 1861-1865, 2 volumes, Madison: Democrat Printing Co., State Printers, 1886, Vol. 1, pp. 355 - 356  [AotW citation 10151]

2   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. 404  [AotW citation 14667]