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 Home    Documentary Heritage of the Civil War    Part 2, 2012: "Gone to be a Soldier"    George B. Sanford manuscript collection, ca. 1893 or 1894

George B. Sanford manuscript collection, ca. 1893 or 1894

Battle of Cold Harbor 1864

Battle of Cold Harbor, 1864

Public domain

Location
Litchfield Historical Society (Litchfield, Conn.) External Link
Background
Col. George Bliss Sanford was born in New Haven, Conn., on June 28, 1842, the son of William Earle Sanford and Margaret Cranney Sanford, of an old New Haven family. After being appointed second lieutenant he was sent to Missouri, where he fought through the Wilson Creek campaign under Gen. Nathaniel Lyon. In 1862, Sanford, with his regiment, was with the Army of the Potomac and engaged in the Peninsular and Antietam campaigns. Later he was attached to the staff of Gen. Wesley Merritt in command of the First Division U.S. Cavalry, and was in that service during 1863 and the early part of 1864. In the spring of 1864 he rejoined his regiment and was engaged in the battles of Cold Harbor, the Wilderness and in the James River campaign. Later he was appointed to the staff of Gen. Alfred Torbert, who cammanded Ulysses Grant's cavalry corps, and he was engaged in the Valley Campaign and remained with Torbert till the close of the war, when he rejoined his regiment, which was acting as escort to Gen. Sheridan at New Orleans. He then went to California and later to Fort McDowell in Arizona. He was in the Sioux campaign in 1876 when Custer was killed. In 1884, Sanford was ordered to the Military School of Applied Science at Fort Leavenworth and later to Washington as a member of a board to devise a new system of tactics for the United States Army. Sanford married Gertrude Minturn, daughter of Jonas Minturn, formerly of Bristol, R.I. After retiring from active service in 1892, Sanford came to Litchfield. Col. Sanford died at the New York Hospital, New York City, on July 13, 1908.
Contents
Consists of an original typescript draft and copy of his memoir, "Experiences in Army Life of Col. George B. Sanford, Retired, U.S.A., lately Col. 6th Cavalry U.S.A.," written about 1893 or 1894, which details his experiences during the American Civil War. A copy of this manuscript was edited and published in 1969 by E. R. Hagemann in book form titled Fighting Rebels and Redskins: Experiences in Army Life of Colonel George B. Sanford, 1861-1892.
"Even the useless massacre of Fredericksburg and the blundering disaster at Chancellorsville failed to destroy it [army morale]; and it was not until the best and bravest of its soldiers had been swept away in the bloody business of Cold Harbor that the Army of the Potomac began to lose heart."

(See the NUCMC catalog record)

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 Home    Documentary Heritage of the Civil War    Part 2, 2012: "Gone to be a Soldier"    George B. Sanford manuscript collection, ca. 1893 or 1894
  The Library of Congress >> Cataloging, Acquisitions
   October 16, 2014
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