Maj George Clinton Hopper

Maj George Clinton Hopper

Birth
Jordan, Onondaga County, New York, USA
Death 22 Jun 1914 (aged 83)
Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, USA
Burial Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, USA
Memorial ID 96994616 · View Source
Suggest Edits

Son of Henry Hopper (b. NJ) and Elmira Taylor (b. NY), per death certificate

Married

Retired railroad paymaster

*******
Major George Clinton Hopper was born at Jordan, Onondaga County, New York, March 20, 1831. He received an education at the common schools of Seneca County and the Waterloo Academy, and at the age of fourteen entered the service of his father, a railroad contractor, who built a portion of the New York Central & Hudson River Railroad, then called the Auburn & Rochester Railroad. One year afterwards he removed to Michigan, and took position on the Michigan Central as clerk, where he remained five years; he then took the position of conductor, running between Detroit and Chicago ten years, when the outbreak of the war called him to the field.

He entered the First Michigan Infantry, and was mustered as first lieutenant at Ann Arbor, August 19, 1861. He went with his regiment to Washington about the 15th of September; camped at Bladensburg and Annapolis Junction, doing duty as railroad guard, in which duty he was in command of his company ten weeks. In April he was ordered to Old Point Comfort, and took part in the advance on Norfolk and Portsmouth, which resulted in restoring those places to the Union.

On April 28, 1862, he was promoted to captain. About June 20 he joined the Army of the Potomac at Gaines' Mill, and was engaged in the battles of Mechanicsville, June 26, and Gaines' Mill, June 27, 1862; was shot in the right side in the last battle, and sent to Washington.

Rejoining the regiment at Harrison's Landing, August 10, 1863, with his company, he supported General Averell in a reconnaissance to the south side of the James River, and had a fight with Confederate cavalry. August 29, 1862, was engaged on the skirmish line at Bull Run, and August 30, while charging on the enemy, was shot through the right thigh and taken prisoner; was paroled on the field, and taken to Washington. He was exchanged and rejoined the army December 20, 1862, and was in the "mud march," January 20, 1863.

He was promoted to major March 18, 1863; was under fire three days at Chancellorsville; supported the cavalry at Kelly's Ford in its fight at Brandy Station, June 9, 1863. He joined General Vincent's brigade at Aldie Gap, in their support of the cavalry in its advance to Ashby's Gap, June 21, 1863, and was engaged July 2 and 3, 1863, at Gettysburg.

On August 20, 1863, he was detailed as president of a board of examination of the non-commissioned officers of the First Division, Fifth Corps, for promotion.

November 7, 1863, took part in the capture of the fort at Rappahannock Station. On November 26 took command of the regiment on its Mine Run campaign. He was in command of the skirmish line in its first advance, May 5, 1864, on the road to Robinson's Tavern, and was hit by a spent ball; on the 6th was hit by a piece of shell; on the 8th was engaged at Laurel Hill; on the night of the 10th had a fight on the picket line; on the 24th was engaged at Jericho Ford, North Anna River; was engaged at Tolopotomy, May 30, 1864; Magnolia Swamp, June 1; Bethesda Church, June 2.

On June 17 and 1 8 was engaged at Petersburg; on August 18, 19, and 21 was engaged in the battle of the Weldon Railroad.

On the 26th of September, 1864, he left the service, in accordance with an order dated September 21, for muster out.

He resumed his old business of conductor on the Michigan Central Railroad, which he followed for two years; he then was agent at Jackson, Michigan, for five years; assistant superintendent eighteen months, which he gave up to take the position of paymaster for the Michigan Central System, which he has filled nineteen years, and still holds.

Source: Officers of the Volunteer Army and Navy who served in the Civil War, published by L.R. Hamersly & Co., 1893, 419 pgs.

***************

Major George Clinton Hopper. Both the military service and the railroad service demand the highest qualities of discipline, efficiency and steadfast loyalty to duty on the part of all subordinates and officials. It was the possession of these qualities that made the career of Major George Clinton Hopper so distinguished in both these lines of service. When, on November 30, 1909, he retired from active affairs he had completed a thirty-six years' service as paymaster of the Michigan Central Railroad system. He had begun as a clerk with this railroad sixty-three years before, practically at the beginning of the railroad's existence, and on the merit of his performance had been advanced to one of the most responsible posts of the system.

The only interruption to his career as a railroad man was his service during the Civil war. In the army he displayed the virtues which have gained laurels of fame and promotion in all ages. He fought for his country three years, was several times wounded, commanded a company and for a considerable time led his regiment, and came back to civil life one of the most honored of Michigan's brave soldiers. Major Hopper has passed his eightieth birthday, and most of his years have been spent in Detroit, of whose citizenship he is one of the finest representatives.

George Clinton Hopper was born at Jordan, Onondaga county. New York, March 20, 1831. He was educated in the common schools of Seneca county and in Waterloo Academy. When he was fourteen years old he began working for his father, who was a railroad contractor and at the time engaged in building a portion of the New York Central & Hudson River Railroad, consisting of the portion called at that time the Auburn & Rochester Railroad. A year later young Hopper came to Michigan and began as a clerk with the Michigan Central, which at that time was a railroad of only a small fraction of the mileage it now contains and had not yet been extended to Chicago. After five years as clerk he was promoted to the position of conductor, running between Detroit and Chicago on the.recently completed line connecting those cities. He was a conductor on this line for ten years, and as a pioneer railroad man of a pioneer railroad and the chief representative to thousands of people in southern Michigan of the railroad as an institution he became a familar and popular figure in all the territory traversed by that line.

When the preliminary struggles between the north and the south had proved that the war must be a conflict to the end and the country must be put on a permanent war footing, Mr. Hopper left the railroad and on August 19, 1861, was mustered in at Ann Arbor as first lieutenant in the First Regiment of the Michigan Infantry. The regiment arrived in Washington on September 15th, and during ten weeks of the following winter he did guard duty, in command of his company, at Bladensburg and Annapolis Junction. In April. 1862. ordered to Old Point Comfort, he participated in the advance on Norfolk and Portsmouth and the reduction of those cities. On April 28th he was promoted to the rank of captain, and about June 20th he joined the Army of the Potomac at Gaines' Mill. Six days later he was in the battle of Mechanicsville, and in the fight at Gaines Mill on June 27th he was shot in the right side. This was his first wound and he was sent to Washington to recuperate. Rejoining his regiment at Harrison's Landing on August 10th, he commanded his company, supporting General Averell in a reconnaissance to the south side of James River, and had a fight with the Confederate Cavalry. On August 29th he was on the skirmish line in the second battle of Bull Run, and also on the 30th, while charging the enemy, was shot through the right thigh and taken prisoner. Being paroled on the field and sent to Washington, he was later exchanged and was able to rejoin his regiment on December 20, 1862. He was in the "Mud March" on January 20th of the following year, and on March 18th was promoted to the rank of major. At Chancellorsville Major Hopper was three days under fire. He supported the cavalry at Kelly's Ford and in its fight at Brandy Station on June 9th. On June 21st he joined General Vincent's brigade at Aldie Gap and fought the enemy across the valley to Ashby Gap, and in his own, the First, brigade was at Gettysburg on July 2nd and 3d. On August 20th he was detailed as president of the board of examination for the promotion of noncommissioned officers of the First Division, Fifth Corps. On November 7th he took command of his regiment and led it during the Mine Run campaign. He was in command of the skirmish line in its first advance, May 5, 1864, on the road to Robinson's Tavern. On that day he was hit by a spent ball and on the next day was struck by a piece of shell, but continued in action. On the 8th he was engaged at Laurel Hill, and on the night of the 10th was in a fight on the picket line. On the 24th he participated at Jericho Ford, North Anna River, and on the 30th of May was at Tolopotamy. Then succeeded Magnolia Swamp on June 1st, Bethesda Church. June 2nd and June 17th and 18th at Petersburg. His last important engagement was the fighting on Weldon Railroad, August 18th, 19th and 21st, On the 26th of September, 1864, with three full years of arduous service to his credit, he resigned his commission and left the army. As a soldier his lot was cast in the central scenes of the war and in some of the greatest campaigns of history. He was one of the rugged men who never surrendered to any of the physical infirmities or the difficulties and dangers of outside circumstances, but with unflinching fortitude pursued the path of duty wherever it led.

Returning to civil life, the former major of volunteers resumed his place as conductor on the Michigan Central. Two years later he was appointed agent at Jackson, Michigan, where he remained five years. He was then promoted to assistant superintendent of the road, but resigned this to take a place of equal responsibility, as paymaster of the great trunk lines of the country. During his thirty-six years of active service in this position he disbursed among the employes of the Michigan Central system the enormous total of $214,411,949.84.

Major Hopper has been for fifty years a member of the Zion Lodge of Masons in Detroit, and occupies the honored place of life member of the lodge. He is a member of the Michigan Commandery of the Loyal Legion of the United States, in which he has officiated as commander and junior vice commander. In the Detroit Post of the Grand Army he is a member of the council and a past senior vice commander. He is one of the active supporters of the Unitarian society at Edmond Place and Woodward avenue.

Major Hopper's beautiful home is at 657 Cass aveuue, one of the aristocratic thoroughfares, of the city. On April 11, 1866. he was married at Newark, New Jersey, to Miss Martha Van Ness. Three children have been born. Miss Kate A. lives at home. James S. is a clerk in the pay car of the Michigan Central. William C., now deceased, married Miss Frances O'Connell. His widow and one daughter. Frances Hopper, live at the Hopper home. Thus the Major and his wife were comforted in their declining years by the presence of their children in a happy home.

History of Detroit, by Paul Leake, The Lewis Publishing Co., Chicago and NY, Vol III, 1912, pp 934-936


Family Members

Parents
Spouse
Siblings

  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Twist
  • Added: 13 Sep 2012
  • Find a Grave Memorial 96994616
  • Rocky Higginbotham
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Maj George Clinton Hopper (20 Mar 1831–22 Jun 1914), Find a Grave Memorial no. 96994616, citing Elmwood Cemetery, Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, USA ; Maintained by Twist (contributor 46920390) .