George King

Researcher: Rachel McCaffrey

            George King, a civil war solider, father, husband and doctor, gave up his life to be apart of the war and fight for his country, the Union.  George was born in Rochester and died in Franklin from a disease from the bowels.  He married Lucy A., and she was born in Middleboro.  Together the two had a child named George King Jr.  He died on October 8, 1865.  George presided in Franklin for some of his life.  He lived on 4 High street and he worked as a physician.  Deciding to go into the army he felt that he wanted to help out his country.  King went into the war as a Surgeon helping the sick and wounded. 

            George King was a member of the 16th Massachusetts Infantry for three years.  Also, his company was the field and staff, which meant he assisted the sick and treated the wounded because he was a surgeon on duty.  Army life was very rough for some people.  Many members got little or no sleep; they only showered every so often, and only ate hardtack, a type of hard disgusting bread.  If lucky every few weeks they would get some salted meat, which would be considered a delicacy.  If in battle soldiers got wounded or hurt, many of them would have died shortly after because the doctors did not have the medical supplies or the experience that we have today to treat the patients.  In the 16th regiment, 16 officers and 134 enlisted men were killed and many were mortally wounded.  Also, 2 officers and 93 enlisted men were killed by diseases.  The 16th infantry was organized at Camp Cameron in Cambridge.  They fought in many battles throughout the United States.  Some consisted of Manassas, Kettle Run, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Mile Run, and Petersburg.  Throughout many of the battles, the 16th infantry of Massachusetts were lead by the brains of General George Meade. 

            In the battle of Manassas, the Union’s leader was General John Pope and they fought hard and rough for three days in August of 1862.  In the battle the Confederate troops were able to come out with a victory.  Fredericksburg, another battle, was in Spotsylvania County and Fredericksburg.  It occurred in December 11-15, 1862.  General Ambrose E. Burnside led the Union and he was the commander of the Potomac.  The battle was a result in another confederate victory and a disappointment for the Union.  A major battle in the war, Gettysburg, was the turning point of the war.  General George Meade was the commander and chief.  Both sides fought heavily for 3 days in July.  Then finally the Union came out of this battle with a victory and knowing that they have a chance to keep winning and keep succeeding in the Civil War.  Finally on June 15-18, 1844, the battle of Petersburg was taking place and General U.S Grant and General Meade put their brains together in hope to come up with another Union victory.  Even though the Union fought hard, the Confederate was able to seize Petersburg and have another win.  With the help of King and other physicians, the Union was able to save some of their men from dying during battle. 

            George King, a surgeon, was a very important asset to the 16th infantry because of his skills in medicine and in surgical procedures.  He played a very important role while at war by helping the sick and wounded and trying to give the best medical attention they had.  His experience and practice as a doctor pursued him to keep helping as many men as possible and trying to keep many of them from losing limbs or even losing their lives.  After the war was over, King went back home to his wife and settled down in Franklin until his death.  Because of King many lives were lived longer and many soldiers were able to spend more time with their loved ones.