Maj George B. Force

Maj George B. Force

New Jersey, USA
Death 17 Sep 1862 (aged 31)
Sharpsburg, Washington County, Maryland, USA
Burial Rochester, Monroe County, New York, USA
Plot Section L Lot 20
Memorial ID 7398517 View Source
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Civil War Major. He served at the siege of Corinth, Mississippi, as a member of the 13th Michigan, before being discharged due to ill-health. He moved to Rochester NY in order to re-enlist with the new 108th New York Volunteer Infantry, initially as a camp instructor where he was ranked Major. He was acting Lieutenant Colonel at the 108th's entry into Antietam. He was quoted by several soldiers as giving a rallying cry of "Boys, you will follow your Major, won't you?" before rising to face the enemy. He died almost immediately the 108th entered the fray, as he led them into action on the left flank of Colonel Morris's Brigade at Sunken Road, shot in the back possibly by one of his own men in the confusion. He was taken from the battlefield to a safe house where 108th surgeon William S. Ely attempted to treat him, but found that "it was too late. The lifeless countenance, the glazed eye, announced that life was extinct". In fact it is likely that he died when he was shot and had been dead for some time before Dr. Ely received his body. His body was brought back to his hometown by George C. Putnam on the evening of October 3rd 1862, along with the remains of Lieutenant Robert E. Holmes who also lost his life on the battlefield at Antietam. His death was a huge blow to the 108th, who had not had any formal military training by the time they were engaged; Major Force had provided all of what little training they had received at camp, and was the only field officer in the 108th with previous military experience.

The following report of Major Force's funeral was originally printed in the Rochester Union & Advertiser, Monday October 6th 1862.

FUNERAL OF MAJOR GEORGE B. FORCE - The funeral of Major Geo. B. FORCE, late of the 108th Regiment, killed at the battle Antietam, took place yesterday from the Universalist Church, the Rev. Mr. SAXE officiating. The 54th N. Y. S. M., of which Major FORCE was formerly a member, were out under command of Colonel ANGLE, and the several military companies at Camp PORTER joined in the obsequies, under the command of Col. TAYLOR, of the 33d Regiment. The body of deceased was enclosed in a metallic burial case and drawn in a hearse by four gray horses, led by four members of the Union Grays (artillerists) to the cemetery. The hearse was covered with the American flag, and the procession was made up by military and numerous friends and relatives, headed by Newman's Band and a detachment of Police. At the grave the usual military honors were paid to the deceased. The remains of the gallant Major FORCE, whose life was sacrificed on the alter of his country, now rest quietly in our beautiful Mt. Hope, where the tribute of affection can be paid him and the tears of the bereaved shed over him.

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  • Created by: Mount Hope NY
  • Added: 29 Apr 2003
  • Find a Grave Memorial 7398517
  • Mount Hope NY
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Maj George B. Force (27 Aug 1831–17 Sep 1862), Find a Grave Memorial ID 7398517, citing Mount Hope Cemetery, Rochester, Monroe County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Mount Hope NY (contributor 219) .