George Henry Scott was born on February 16th, 1846, to Lucy Anne and George W. Scott. His father, George W., was a laborer and there family did not have a lot of money. His father most likely worked in one of the local Franklin factories that produced hats among other things.
George’s story begins in 1863. He has finally turned 18, and is ready to join the Civil War. He enlists in December 1863, as part of the Massachusetts 18th regiment. He meets up with them at Brandystation and Stevensburg sometime in between January and May 1864. The Mass. 18th had already been through many tough battles, and George was there to replenish their lines after heavy casualties and leaving of old enlistments. He would serve under Gen. Warren as part of the Massachusetts 18th regiment, Company I in the 3rd brigade, 1st Division, 5th Army Corps.
Grant was starting his Overland campaign, it’s goal being to take the Confederate capitol at Richmond, Virginia. This was the final part of the Anaconda plan. The first two parts, to surround the South’s coast by water using a blockade, and to take the Mississippi and cut off the south from the west, had gone as planned. The main idea of the Anaconda plan was to surround and crush the south, like an Anaconda kills its prey. Now, it was time to take out the Capitol in Richmond as the final part of the plan. Little did George know that his first battle would be one of the biggest in the war. The battle of Wilderness began on May 5th and lasted through to the 7th. It featured some of the fiercest fighting of the war with no conclusive victor.
His next battle was at Spotsylvania, from May 8th threw the 21th. Nearly 20 hours of sustained fighting occurred with heavy casualties on both sides. Again there was not a winner, but a draw. Following the battle, George Scott and his fellow soldiers under Warren were moved south towards Richmond, trying to out flank Lee’s army. However, Lee had the use of the roads and railways to the south and beat the Union troops there. George met the confederate troops once again at North Anna River and Totopotomy Creek from may 23rd to May 31st. Warren’s men, of which Scott was part of, played a crucial part in this battle, taking heavy casualties once again.
Grant moved the union troops downstream and faced of against the Confederates line at Cold Harbor from the first of June until the twelfth. With the Confederates able to repulse the Union advance on Richmond once again, Grant decided quickly to attack Petersburg, south of Richmond. Thus began the siege of Petersburg, which would last for almost a year. George Scott would be part of the attacking force, coming from the south. George and the rest of Warrens Brigade were attacked Weldon Railroad on June 21st, through June 23rd. This was a vital part of the siege on Petersburg, cutting off Petersburg and Lee’s troops from supplies.
In July, old members of the Massachusetts 18th left. George stayed and continued fighting in the battles of Poplar Spring church in July, Boynton Plank Road in September and October, and in Hatchers Run on October 27th and 28th. The remaining members of the 18th Mass. consolidated with the 32nd Massachusetts. George Henry Scott was now part of the 32nd and continued his story there.
As spring 1865 approached, Lee’s forces were spread thin protecting Petersburg and Richmond. They finally retreated West and Grant began the Appomattox Campaign, from March through April 1865. George Henry was now part of the Union force marching across Virginia, chasing down Lee’s troops. Scott would be part of the Five Forts battle on April 1st. George was present as Lee finally surrendered at Appomattox courthouse and the Confederates lost the war.
With the war over, George marched back to Washington D.C. and stayed on duty there until June 29th, when he was mustered out. He was discharged on July 11, 1865. After the war, George lived a long and peaceful life. He became a painter and was living in Pawtucket Rhode Island in 1880. He married his wife, Mary A. Scott. By 1910, Scott was living back in Franklin on Bent Street, and was 64 years old. His residence was the same in 1920 and he was still living with his wife.