Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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GORDON, George Henry, soldier, born in Charlestown, Massachusetts, 19 July, 1825; died in Framingham, Massachusetts, 30 August, 1886. He was graduated at the United States military academy in 1846, and assigned to the mounted rifles. He engaged in the siege of Vera Cruz in 1847, in the battle of Cerro Gordo, where he was wounded and brevetted 1st lieutenant, took part in the battles of Contreras and Chapultepec, and in the assault and capture of the City of Mexico. In a hand-to-hand encounter with two guerillas near the San Juan Bridge on 21 December 1847, he was severely wounded. On 8 January 1848, he was promoted 2d lieutenant and assigned to recruiting service. Ill health necessitated leave of absence in 1848-'9, when he was assigned to duty in the cavalry school for practice at Carlisle, Pennsylvania From 1850 till 1854 he was on frontier duty, and was promoted to a 1st lieutenancy, 30 August, 1853. He resigned, 31 October, 1854, studied law, and entered upon practice in Boston in 1857. At the beginning of the civil war he raised the 2d Massachusetts regiment, became its colonel on 24 May, 1861, and was made military governor of Harper's Ferry. In 1862 he commanded a brigade under General Banks, and for his conduct in the retreat from Strasburg to Williamsport was made brigadier-general of volunteers on 9 June, 1862. He was engaged in a large number of battles and skirmishes, took part in the North Virginia and Maryland campaigns, was in the second battle of Bull Run, and at Antietam fought with his brigade in General A. S. Williams's division of Mansfield's corps, and guarded the upper Potomac at Harper's Ferry from September to December, 1862. He engaged in operations about Charleston harbor, South Carolina, in 1863-'4, was in command of Florida in May, 1864, kept open the communications by White River with Little Rock, Arkansas, in July, and took part in the operations against Mobile in August. In 1864-'5 he was on duty in the Department of Virginia in command of the eastern district, and he was brevetted major general of volunteers on 9 April, 1865. He then returned to the practice of law in Boston, and was for some time collector of internal revenue. He published "The Army of Virginia from Cedar Mountain to Alexandria" (Boston, 1880)" "A War Diary" (1881); and "From Brook Farm to Cedar Mountain" (1883).
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