Pvt William Scott

Pvt William Scott

Birth
Groton, Caledonia County, Vermont, USA
Death 17 Apr 1862 (aged 23)
York County, Virginia, USA
Burial Yorktown, York County, Virginia, USA
Plot 351
Memorial ID 11663370 · View Source
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The Sleeping Sentinel. Five Scott brothers fought in Civil War, only one survived. Received basic education in local schools. Worked on family farm. Enlisted in Company K, Third Vermont Regiment, July 10, 1861. Third Vermont was assigned to guard Washington DC, including bridges over Potomac River. On August 31 he was assigned guard duty on one of the Potomac bridges after a day of strenuous marching and drilling. He was found asleep at his post. He was arrested, court-martialed, convicted, and sentenced to death by firing squad, with an execution date of September 9. Lucius Chittenden, A Vermonter working for the Treasury Department in Washington, was approached by several of Scott's comrades who believed the sentence, meant to serve as an example to new recruits, was too harsh. Chittenden met with President Lincoln, who agreed. Lincoln then interceded with Army of the Potomac Commander General George B. McClellan, who issued a pardon. He was returned to duty with Company K, and performed capably. Killed while fighting in Peninsular Campaign. Subject of poem romanticizing his court-martial, "The Sleeping Sentinel," by Francis De Haes Janvier. The William Scott Memorial Association erected a monument to him on site of Scott Family farm, US Route 302 in Groton. US Route 302 from start in Montpelier east to border with New Hampshire is William Scott Memorial Highway.

Bio by: Bill McKern


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  • Created by: Diana Williams
  • Added: 2 Sep 2005
  • Find a Grave Memorial 11663370
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Pvt William Scott (9 Apr 1839–17 Apr 1862), Find a Grave Memorial no. 11663370, citing Yorktown National Cemetery, Yorktown, York County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Diana Williams (contributor 46802962) .