When Captain George L. Fisher passed away in December, 1927, an era ended. Fisher was the last Civil War veteran to serve as the Superintendent of Antietam National Cemetery. His was a career that spanned more than 5 decades, and Fisher compiled an astounding military record.
Fisher enlisted in the 2nd United States Infantry in 1866 and served until 1879, rising in rank to First Sergeant. He served in Kentucky before the unit was sent to the deep south as part of the post-war occupation and reconstruction period. In 1878, the regiment was transferred to Idaho where it participated in operations against the Nez Perce tribe.
In 1880, Fisher returned to Hagerstown, and joined the “Hagerstown Light Infantry” of the Maryland National Guard, and served over 30 years in the Guard. He was commissioned a lieutenant in 1888, and by the time the unit was mobilized to serve as Company B, 1st Maryland Volunteers in the Spanish American War, Fisher was the company's captain. As a citizen of Hagerstown, he was employed by the Cumberland Valley Railroad, joined a church, served as a scoutmaster for Washington County's first troop of the Boy Scouts of America and served in the Pioneer Hook and Ladder Company. He was also active in Hagerstown's posts of the Grand Army of the Republic and the United Spanish War Veterans.
In 1917, he was called out of retirement to serve as a drill instructor for the Maryland Home Guard, which was formed to fill the domestic role of the Maryland National Guard while that body was overseas in France as part of General Pershing's forces in World War I. As such, he was one of very few Civil War Veterans to serve in any uniformed role
Fisher was made superintendent of Antietam National Cemetery in early 1927, and served for less than a year before his passing on Christmas, 1927.
Fisher left an astonishing photographic record.
Last updated: January 16, 2018