Private George M. Douse, of Company A of the 10th Vermont Volunteer Regiment, fought in and was wounded at the Battle of Monocacy on July 9, 1864. According to his discharge papers, George Douse was born in Peacham, Vermont. He stood five feet six inches tall, had a "dark complexion, black eyes, dark hair and [was] by occupation, when enrolled, a farmer."
During the Battle of Monocacy, several companies of the 10th Vermont fought on the Thomas Farm at the extreme left flank of the Union line. This would have positioned them south of the Thomas House near present-day Baker Valley Road. A detail from the 10th also fought at the Monocacy Junction, protecting the approach to the bridges across the Monocacy River. Private Douse was with these skirmishers at the Junction. In the heavy fighting that took place in these areas, the 10th Vermont sustained a total of 58 casualties (killed, wounded, captured, and missing). Company A had two casualties, one of which was Private Douse, who was seriously wounded when he was shot in the face.
The bullet apparently passed through Private Douse's cheek and lodged in his back teeth, and according to his family's account, the wound was serious enough that he may have initially been left for dead. Eventually, a fellow soldier carried Douse to the Union blockhouse at Monocacy Junction for medical treatment.
In June 1865, Douse was discharged "by reason of wounds rec'd in battle." He went on to live a peaceful life as a farmer in Peacham, Vermont where he and his wife raised ten children.
In 1913, Sergeant Ervin Dunbar, a member of Company H of the 10th Vermont, visited the battlefield area with his sons. Having made Private Douse's acquaintance at a regimental reunion, Dunbar corresponded with Private Douse about his visit. In a letter to Douse dated August 24, 1913 Dunbar recalled:
In 2007, a descendent of George Douse provided Monocacy National Battlefield with copies of the correspondence between Douse and Dunbar, which provides a fascinating first-person account.
Last updated: August 26, 2021