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Col George H Covode
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Birth: Aug. 19, 1835
Death: Jun. 25, 1864

Civil War Union Army Officer. Colonel He was born at Covodesville, being the oldest son of Hon. John Covode, for many years a member of Congress from this district, and who se character and attainments are given elsewhere in this work. From his youth he was noted for his athletic proportions, being tall and well built and peculiarly fitted for the hardships of a military life. He was educated in Ligonier Academy and at Elders Ridge, then under the supervision of Dr. Donaldson. After he left school he was engaged in the mercantile business for some years, but not with great success. In 1858 he was married to Annie Earl, of Somerset county, who lived but a few months. In 1861, when the dark clouds of the Civil War were gathering, he was married to Miss Bettie St. Clair Robb, a granddaughter of Major General Arthur St. Clair. With the assistance of Dr. George S. Kemble, of Ligonier, Company D of the Fourth Pennsylvania Cavalry was raised in Ligonier Valley, and the young merchant entered it as a private. The company was called the "Covode Cavalry," a name they were not allowed to retain when mustered into the service. At the election of officers Covode was chosen first lieutenant. The company was soon transferred to Camp Campbell, near the Soldiers' Home, in Washington. Dr. Kemble was promoted and Lieutenant Covode was made captain of the company. On March 12, 1862, Captain Covode was promoted to major, after which the company, with its regiment, moved rapidly to the front. They were in the battle of Malvern Hill, and Major Covode received flattering recommendations from Generals McClellan and Porter. They then marched to Yorktown, and later took part in the second battle of Bull Run. After reaching Maryland the Fourth Cavalry was under General McClellan. After marching to Frederick City it was assigned to General Averill's brigade. During the fall of 1862 the regiment was encamped on the north bank of the Potomac, near Hancock, Maryland, this being the only quiet season in his military life. At Kelly's Ford, General Averill gained over General Fitzhugh Lee the first cavalry victory of the war, and the Fourth under Major Covode was the only regiment of Hooker's command which participated. From that on they were subjected to almost constant skirmishes. They won a splendid name at Kelly's Ford, and after that were always called on when a close combat was at hand. On his promotion his company presented Major Covode with a brace of silver-mounted pistols, one of which he lost in a charge in 1863, while the other is yet in possession of the Covode family. The regiment participated in the battles of Antietam, the Seven Days battles, Chancellorsville, Fredericksburg, and many others. When Lee's army invaded Pennsylvania, the Fourth did noble service on the bloody field of Gettysburg. On one occasion, at Falls Church, Major Covode and a few troops were entirely surrounded by the enemy, but, dashing against them, he used his sword so skillfully that he opened a way for his men to follow, and all escaped. His strength made him a power in a hand-to-hand contest of this kind, but in addition to that he was a man who was almost without personal fear. In camp life he was jovial, and was always unusually good natured. When a paper could be procured he invariably gathered around him a group of soldiers and read aloud to them. On December 8, 1863, he was promoted to lieutenant-colonel, and on May 28, 1864, was made colonel. His death occurred on June 24, 1863, while in command of a brigade. He was always nearsighted, and mistaking some Confederate skirmishers for his own troops, he rode towards them and was shot in the arm and through the stomach by a volley which came when he had discovered his mistake and was turning to ride away. In the retreat his body was left within the enemy's lines. He died a few hours after being shot. This was in General Sheridan's retreating raid across the country between the Chickahominy and the James rivers. His body was afterwards recovered through the exertions of General Gregg, and brought to Westmoreland for interment in the old family burial ground of West Fairfield, near his old home. On a quiet elevated knoll overlooking three valleys which wind in either direction to the mountains beyond, he rests within the same community through which he wandered and played in childhood. Colonel Covode left a widow and one child, Sarah Hay, who is now the wife of Mr. Charles D. Davis, of Wishington City. His widowed died in 1876. St. Mary's Church, VA. On the advance of the army, the Fourth fought bravely at Hawe's Shop, on the twenty-eighth of May, and did excellent service at the battle of Cold Harbor, four days afterward. At the battle of Trevilian Station, which occurred during Sheridan's raid towards Lynchburg, the regiment delivered a most gallant charge, by which the enemy was wholly routed, though the loss to the Fourth was very severe. Starting now for, the James River, and having in charge the army trains which it conveyed from the White House, the division again met the enemy, who was in strong force at St. Mary's Church; in which action the Fourth was hotly engaged, and suffered the loss of Colonel Covode, who was mortally wounded, and fell into the hands of the rebels. The entire loss of the Fourth in this fight was eighty-seven, killed, wounded, and missing.
 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Elizabeth St. Clair Robb Covode (1839 - 1876)*
 
 Children:
  Sara Hay Covode Davis (1862 - 1950)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
West Fairfield Methodist Episcopal Cemetery
West Fairfield
Westmoreland County
Pennsylvania, USA
 
Created by: Gregory Spesh
Record added: Nov 23, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 12477092
Col George H Covode
Added by: Michael S. Caldwell
 
Col George H Covode
Added by: Michael S. Caldwell
 
Col George H Covode
Added by: Gregory Spesh
 
 
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- Lester Letson
 Added: Jul. 23, 2012
R.I.P. The Union Lives!
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