G.A.R. Post: John Buford Post #89 Everett, WA
12th MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEER INFANTRY
Organized: 6/26/61 Ft. Warren, Boston, MA
Mustered Out: 7/8/64 Boston, MA
The 12th was a three-year unit known as the “Webster Regiment” because its members were recruited by Fletcher Webster, son of statesman Daniel Webster. Following Federal muster the regiment spent the second half of 1861 on duty at various locations between Washington D.C. and Frederick, MD.
1862 began with scouting duties in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. In August the 12th was engaged at the battle of Cedar Mtn. and at 2nd Bull Run where, on the Chinn Farm, it lost 25 killed or mortally wounded including Co. Webster. The year drew to a close with heavy losses suffered during the attack against the Confederate right at Fredricksburg.
In May, 1863 the regiment suffered some loss at Chancellorsville then moved to Gettysburg where they suffered severely in actions on the extreme Union right near Oak Hill. The year was capped by operations along the Rappahannock and the advance of the Army of The Potomac to Mine Run.
Spring 1864 found the 12th suffering dearly along the Orange Turnpike and the Plank Road in The Wilderness. It again sustained heavy losses at Spottsylvania on the Alsop, Jones, and Spindle farms. Its military history was closed with further losses along the North Anna River, at Cold Harbor, and in front of Petersburg.
Residence: Haverhill, MA Age: 23.6 yrs.
Enlisted/Enrolled: 6/26/61 Boston, MA Rank: Pvt.
Discharged/Mustered Out: 7/8/64 Boston, MA
Highest Rank: Cpl.
George O. Austin was born 11/29/37 in Mt. Vernon, ME. All that is known about his birth family is that the first name of his father, who was born in Maine, was George and the last name of his mother, who was also Maine-born, was Getchell. There are no document notes on George’s formative or teenage years.
In 1861 the 5’10 ½ “(est.) shoemaker entered the U.S. Army. Aside from several skirmishes with disease including bronchitis and malarial fever, his term of duty appears to have been uneventful. If anything, it was a positive experience as the darkly complexioned infantryman rose from the rank of private to that of corporal during his tenure.
After leaving the military George returned to Massachusetts, but quickly moved on to Maine, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois, New York and, by 1871, Minnesota where he stayed until 1904. At some point in his travels Mr. Austin married Ann Sophie Presler. The couple divorced 5/22/95 in Minneapolis leaving no living children.
On 6/16/95 he remarried to the twice-wed Ellen F. Hurd/Schuyler (nee Googins) in St. Croix Falls, WI. The Austins do not appear to have borne children. In 1904 George and Ellen moved to Everett, WA. Documents are silent as to why the transition was made.
However, it was in Everett on 2/17/16 that the Union veteran died at the age of 78.2 years. Cause: Apoplexy (stroke). Contributory: Rheumatism and old age. At death the former infantry corporal was receiving a $30 government disability stipend. Ellen continued to receive this payment until her death on 12/28/26.
Buried at Snohomish G.A.R.
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