G.A.R. Post: John Buford Post #89 Everett, WA
1st MINNESOTA VOLUNTEER HEAVY ARTILLERY *
Organized: on 9/1/64
Mustered Out: 9/27/65
This "eastern theatre" regiment had an interesting history. That history began on 6/15/63 with U.S. President Abraham Lincoln's call for six month militia units to be raised to help counter the threat of Rebel forces then moving northward toward what become three fateful days of battle at Gettysburg, PA. Not formulated in time for that battle, the 21st Cavalry was sent out in company detachments for duty within Pennsylvania and around Harper's Ferry, VA.
About 2/1/64 the regiment was reunited at Chambersburg, PA and reorganized to serve for three years. At that time, those choosing not to re-enlist for the long term were mustered out of service.
In May, 1864 with ranks filled by recruits all companies, except "D" which was which had initially been detailed to Scranton, PA, were ordered to Washington where they were dismounted, armed as infantry and sent southward to join the Army of The Potomac for Union Gen. U.S. Grant's Overland Campaign. At that time the dismounted portions of the regiment were apparently designated the 182nd Infantry.
The 21st /182nd joined Grant's forces at Cold Harbor, VA and during that horrendous June battle lost 1 officer/7 men killed and 4 officers/43 men wounded. June 18 found it in the initial assault on Petersburg where it lost 11 killed, 79 wounded and one missing. When "the mine" was exploded on 7/30 the regiment met with further loss. Losses around Petersburg continued at Peebles' farm and Poplar Spring Church. The last cited engagement was the final during which the regiment functioned as infantry.
On 10/5/64 the 21st/182nd was moved to City Point, VA where it was once again mounted/assigned as cavalry. It subsequently lost heavily at the Boydton Plank Road late that month before ending the combat year in December at Stony Creek Station on the Weldon Railroad.
In February, 1865 the 21st participated in the Union movement to Hatcher's Run. By March 1st new recruits had once again brought the regiment up to full strength, but now nearly half the command once again consisted of dismounted men. The latter were ordered to City Point, VA and, in early April, participated in the final assault on the Petersburg fortifications. Meanwhile, the cavalry portion of the regiment had, on 3/29, had begun movements which took them into action at Dinwiddie Ct. House, Five Forks and Amelia Springs. At Amelia Springs in less than an hour's time the regiment lost 98 out of 234 men sent into action. Actions at Sailor's Creek and Farmville preceded Confed. Gen. R.E. Lee's surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Ct. House on 4/9. News of Lee's surrender came while engaged with the enemy on the Lynchburg Rd.
With the war in Virginia all but ended, the 21st was ordered to support the forces of Union Gen. Wm. T. Sherman then marching northward from Georgia through the Carolinas. It then returned to Petersburg, VA upon receiving the news of the surrender of Confederate forces under Gen. Joseph E. Johnston. Provost (military police) guard duty occupied the regiment, by detachments, until final muster.
Residence: Inf. not avail. Age: 38.7 yrs.
Enlisted/Enrolled: 2/9/65 Ft. Snelling, MN Rank: Pvt.
Mustered Out: 9/27/65
Highest Rank: Pvt.
George M. Doyle was born in Chambersburg, Franklin Co., PA to Isaac B. (b. 1818 PA, occ: confectionary (candy maker)) and Rebecca (b. 1822 No nee, PA) Doyle. He was the oldest of at least five Doyle children: George M. (b. 7/14/42 PA), Caroline "Alda" (b. 1844 PA), Theodore (b. 1846 PA), Elizabeth (b. 1848 PA) and Jonathan (b. 1850). While no details are available pertaining to George's childhood, formative or teenaged years, he obviously had a basic education and trade training as, when the 5'6" fair complexioned, brown eyed twenty one year old entered the U.S. Army, he listed his occupation as "printer."
Private Doyle's military tenure was apparently exceptionally benign. Except for a 3/3/65 detached service assignment to the cavalry dismount camp at City Point, VA - he may have lost his horse to the rigors of combat or disease - he was always reported as present for duty. Available documents reflect no awols, confinements or medical history.
With the War over, it is not clear if trooper Doyle returned to Chambersburg, but he did remain in Pennsylvania. It was there at Philadelphia on 6/2/69 he married Gulielma/Gulielmar Askew Foley (b. 5/13/48 or '51 Wilmington, DE. Note: the 1860 U.S. Census listed surname as Fols.) The union would produce eight children: Clara R. (b. 3/7/70 PA), Alda "Addie" M. (b. 1871/'72 PA), George M. (b. 5/30/74 PA), Avon I (b. 1877 PA), Gulielma/Guliema (b. 1879/'80 PA), Florence (b.8/1880 Frank (b. 8/24/83 PA), Warren (b. 10/3/86) and Edna (b. 1/23/89) .
In 1900 George and Gulielma were in Philadelphia, PA. Residing in the home were children Frank, Warren, Edna and Florence. By 1910 George's health had apparently failed, so although still married after 41 years, he was an inmate of the National Home for Disabled Soldiers in Chesapeake, Elizabeth Co., VA.
By 1920 Doyle had been reunited with Guilielma in Orange, Essex Co., NY. In that census his occupation was noted as "retired."
By 1927 George and Gulielma had moved westward to the Puget Sound area of Washington State. Likely the move was to be near the families of two adult daughters residing in Everett.
George M. Doyle died 6/17/27 at his home in Everett, WA "following an illness of several months." His obituary noted that he was survived by his widow, four daughters: Mrs. D.R. Kyes of Everett, Mrs. W.R. Jones of Pennsylvania, Mrs. Fred Thompson of Los Angeles, CA and Mrs. Edna Beech of Everett as well as 2 sons: Frank and Warren, both of Philadelphia, PA.
Some years earlier George had applied for and been granted a U.S. Government disability pension based on ailments/illnesses which traced back to his Civil War soldiering. At death his stipend was $72 per month.
Following her husband's death, Mrs. Doyle began the paperwork to receive a portion of this pension. Sadly, that process was never completed. She died on 7/8/27, only three weeks after George's passing. Both are buried in Everett's Evergreen Cemetery.
Buried at Evergreen Cemetery
Thomas Ian Griffing
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