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Pvt George H. Gibson
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Birth: Sep. 24, 1831
Dearborn County
Indiana, USA
Death: Jun. 3, 1912
Marshall County
Illinois, USA

Private GEORGE H. GIBSON, Co. I, 86th Illinois

George H. Gibson was born on September 24, 1831 near Bright, Indiana in Miller Township, Dearborn County, one of three sons born to Robert Gibson and Ann (Henry) Gibson. Robert was born about 1797, while Ann was born about 1801. Robert and Ann were married on January 1, 1829 in Dearborn County, Indiana. Six children are known to have been born to Robert and Ann at this time. They are;
1. Jane H. Gibson, born c 1830.
2. George H. Gibson, born c. 1831.
3. Charles G. Gibson, born c. 1833.
4. Nancy M. Gibson, born c. 1835.
5. William H. Gibson, born c. 1839.
6. Mary Gibson, born c 1844.

At the time of the 1850 census, Robert, Ann and these six children are found residing in Miller Township, Dearborn County, Indiana. It is not known for certain when Robert and Ann died. Robert is believed to have died in 1861. Some believe that this occured in Dearborn County, Indiana, but I believe he must have died in Fulton County, Illinois.
At least some of the Gibson family is known to have left Indiana in the 1850's, settling in Orion Township of Fulton County, Illinois. At the time of the 1860 census, much of the family is found there. In the 1860 Federal Census, Orion Twp., Fulton Co., IL is Robert Gibson (age 60), Ann (age 58), Jane (age 30), and Mary (16).
George H. Gibson was married to Ellen Wells on December 25, 1853, in Dearborn County, Indiana. Ellen was born on August 28, 1836 in Ohio, the daughter of John Wells and Hester (Mitchell) Wells. Ellen is known to have had at least three brothers, George Washington Wells, John M. Wells and Hugh N. Wells, the last two serving in Co. I of the 86th with George. Six children are known to have been born to George and Ellen. They are;
1. Esther A. Gibson, born c. 1854 in Illinois.
2. Charlotte "Lottie" Gibson, born c. 1857/56 in Illinois.
3. John R. Gibson, born c. 1859 in Orion Township, Fulton County, Illinois.
4. George A. Gibson, born c. 1866 in Illinois.
5. Ella Gibson, born October 12, 1872; died February 16, 1873; buried in the Rutland Cemetery in Rutland, Marshall County, Illinois.

Shortly after they were married, a number of members of the Gibson family and the Wells family were on the move headed west to Illinois. There they settled initially in Orion Township in Fulton County, Illinois, near Breeds, Illinois. At the time of the 1860 census, George and Ellen are found residing in Orion Township with their three eldest children and Ellen's parents. William H. Gibson, George's younger brother, who was born c. 1839, is found residing in Orion Township as well.
George Gibson M 28 Indiana
Ellen Gibson F 22 Ohio
Hester Gibson F 5 Illinois
Charlott Gibson F 3 Illinois
John Gibson M 1 Illinois
John Wills M 60 Pennsylvania
Hester Wills F 60 Pennsylvania

On August 9, 1862, George H. Gibson and brother, William H. Gibson, as well as George's brother-in-laws, John M Wells and Hugh N. Wells, who also resided in Orion Township, all went into Lancaster, Illinois and volunteered to serve in a company which was being raised in the Lancaster, Illinois/Timber Township area of Peoria County by well known local business man and merchant, Allen L. Fahnestock. At the time they volunteered, George gave his age as 31, while William gave his age as 22. William was single at this time. They all gave their residence as Orion Township, Fulton County, Illinois.

Rank PVT Company I Unit 86 IL US INF

Personal Characteristics
Residence ORION, FULTON CO, IL Age 31 Height 5' 5 1/8 Hair LIGHT
Eyes BLUE Complexion FAIR Marital Status MARRIED Occupation FARMER

Service Record
Joined When AUG 9, 1862 Joined Where LANCASTER, IL
Joined By Whom A L FAHNESTOCK Period 3 YRS
Muster In AUG 27, 1862 Muster In Where PEORIA, IL
Muster In By Whom N/A Muster Out N/A
Muster Out Where N/A Muster Out By Whom N/A

When Fahnestock had about 100 volunteers he led his company into Peoria, where they went into camp at Camp Lyon, near present day Glen Oak Park. Fahnestock was elected by the men of the Lancaster/Timber Township men to be their Captain and on August 27, 1862, Fahnestock, and 96 of the other Timber Township volunteers, including now Privates George H. Gibson, William H. Gibson, John M. Wells and Hugh N. Wells, were mustered in as Company I of the 86th Regiment of Illinois Volunteer Infantry.
The men of the 85th & 86th Illinois marched out of the gates of Camp Lyon on September 7, 1862, with much fanfare, through the streets of Peoria down to the railroad depot, where they boarded a train bound for Camp Joe Holt in Jeffersonville, Indiana, located across the Ohio River from Louisville, Kentucky. Three weeks later the men of the 86th were in the field in Kentucky as part of Colonel Daniel McCook's Brigade in pursuit of Confederate troops. On October 8, 1862, the men of McCook's Brigade were engaged with those Confederate troops during the Battle of Perryville, Kentucky, suffering their first casualties. After the battle it was reported that the 86th Illinois had suffered one man killed and thirteen men wounded. Two of the men who were wounded were from Co. I, including Private William H. Gibson who was wounded in the left arm and right leg. The 86th would suffer many more casualties in the coming years. After the Battle of Perryville, the Confederate forces withdrew from Kentucky, while the men of McCook's Brigade marched on toward Nashville, Tennessee.
It is not known how serious the wounds were to Private William H. Gibson, whether either required amputation of a limb or not. He was first sent to a field hospital, where his wounds were initially treated. Private William H. Gibson, was soon on his way to an Army Hospital back north in Louisville, Kentucky, where he remained until his wounds healed. He may very well have lost an arm or leg as on February 3, 1863, Private William H. Gibson was discharged from the service because of his wounds. He then returned to his family in Fulton County, Illinois.
Many of the new troops by this time were having great difficulty with their health from the poor diet and living conditions. Even before the 86th had left Louisville on the Perryville Campaign about the 1st of October, many of the green troops were sick, many being left behind in Louisville area hospitals. The health of many of the men continued to deteriorate during the Kentucky Campaign. After leaving Perryville on their march toward Nashville, the men of McCook's Brigade passed through Bowling Green, Kentucky. Here they rested for several days. When they pulled out severals days later, many of the sick troops were again left behind in a makeshift Union Hospital. One of these sick troops was Private John M. Wells. On through the month of November, John's health continued to fail and on December 1, 1862, Private John M. Wells died from his ailment. His earthly remains were initially buried in a Union burying ground there in Bowling Green. Shortly after the war came to a close, his earthly remains were exhumed and moved to the Nashville National Cemetery.
After leaving Bowling Green, the men of McCook's Brigade, including Privates George H. Gibson and Hugh N. Wells, marched on toward Nashville, Tennessee. They arrived in Nashville on November 7, 1862. There they would go into winter camp. The men of the 86th remained in camp through the winter of 1862/63, camped "under the guns of Fort Negley" in Nashville. Probably early in December, George probably found out about the passing of his brother-in-law and had to write his wife, Ellen, about the passing of her brother, which was undoubtedly tough on all parties.
During the spring and summer of 1863, short expeditions were made out from Nashville, but, the men of the 86th soon found themselves back in Nashville. On August 20, 1863, the men of McCook's Brigade struck out from Nashville in a southerly direction for what would prove to be the last time. Thus began the opening movements of the Campaign for Chattanooga for the men of McCook's Brigade. One month later, the men of McCook's Brigade were engaged with Confederate troops on September 19th and 20th in the Battle of Chickamauga, Georgia. Eleven more men from the 86th were killed or wounded, including three more from Co. I. Private Ezra Selick, of Co. I was shot through the head and killed. Private Jonathan Wolgamott, of Co. I had one of his thumbs shot off and another still unidentified Private from Co. I is believed to have been wounded.
This all apparently proved to be too much for Private George H. Gibson. The wounding of his brother, the death of his brother-in-law, all of the death and dying. Four days later, Private George H. Gibson disappeared while the 86th was in the North Chickamauga, Tennessee area and never returned to the 86th. He was officially listed as having Deserted on October 23, 1863.
By November of 1863, of the two Gibson brothers and the two Wells brothers who joined back in August of 1862, only Private Hugh N. Wells remained. Hugh served on faithfully with the 86th for almost another two years. Hugh was with the surviving members of the 86th Illinois when they were mustered out of service on June 6, 1865 in Washington City (now D.C.). By the end of June, he was back home in Fulton County with his family.
After he deserted, it is not known if Private George H. Gibson returned directly to Fulton County and his family or not. At the time of the 1870 census, George H. and Ellen Gibson are found residing in Radnor Township, Peoria County, Illinois with Esther, Charlotte, John and George.
At the time of the 1880 census, George and Ellen are found residing in Bennington Township, Marshall County, Illinois with "Lottie", John R. and George A.
At the time of the 1900 census, George and Ellen are still found residing in Bennington Township near Toluca, with their youngest son, George A. Gibson. At the time of the 1910 census, only George and Ellen's sons, John and George are found residing in Marshall County. It is not known where George and Ellen were at this time.
Private George H. Gibson died on June 3, 1912 at __________, Illinois. Ellen (Wells) Gibson died on February 24, 1914 at ___________, Illinois. Their earthly remains were laid in the Rutland Cemetery in Marshall County.

by Baxter B. Fite III (FAG Contributor # 47203738)

(Baxter would enjoy hearing from anyone, especially descendants of the Gibson family, who might be able to add to the biographical material that we currently have about George H. Gibson and the Gibson family. Baxter would also enjoy seeing copies of any pictures which may still exist of George H. Gibson, especially any showing him in uniform from his time in the 86th, added to his Find A Grave site.)

Family links: 
  Ellen Gibson (1836 - 1914)*
  John R. Gibson (1859 - 1942)*
  Ella Gibson (1872 - 1873)*
*Calculated relationship
Rutland Cemetery
Marshall County
Illinois, USA
Maintained by: Baxter B. Fite III
Originally Created by: Bob & Nancy Cannon
Record added: Oct 05, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 16010055
Pvt George H. Gibson
Added by: The VanFleets
Pvt George H. Gibson
Added by: Bob & Nancy Cannon
Pvt George H. Gibson
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Tony Cannon
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- Scotty P
 Added: Nov. 8, 2015

- Bob & Nancy Cannon
 Added: Oct. 5, 2006

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