Photograph of George J Stannard
Photograph of George J Stannard

"General Stannard and Colonel Whiting" - Vermont Historical Society

Quick Facts

Significance:
Union Brevet Major General
Place Of Birth:
Georgia, VT
Date Of Birth:
October 20, 1820
Place Of Death:
Washington, DC
Date Of Death:
June 1, 1886
Place Of Burial:
Burlington, VT
Cemetery Name:
Lakeview Cemetery

From the Peninsula to Maryland: Stannard's role in the summer of 1862

George Jerrison Stannard was one of the first Vermonters to volunteer for service when the Civil War began. He was commissioned as Lieutenant Colonel of the 2nd Vermont Infantry in June 1861 and fought with this regiment during the First Battle of Manassas (Bull Run) and during the Peninsula Campaign. On May 21, 1862 he was promoted to Colonel and given command of the 9th Vermont.

He commanded that regiment during the Battle of Harpers Ferry in September 1862. The garrison at Harpers Ferry surrendered to the Confederates on September 15, 1862 but even after the white flag was raised, Stannard continued to try to rally the Union forces.

When A.P. Hill's men approached him to inform him of surrender, Stannard was reluctant and was said to have tears upon his face. His men tried their best to break their weapons as they marched up the hill to be paroled. Stannard, when asked to sign the parole papers, at first refused to do so for his men, but eventually did when the Confederates threatened to imprison him in Richmond. Stannard and his men were paroled to Camp Douglas in Chicago, Illinois. Upon his exchange in January, 1863, he was commissioned as Brigadier General of Volunteers and by March was placed in command of the 2nd Vermont Brigade.

Stannard fought and was wounded at Gettysburg, Cold Harbor, and at Fort Harrison during the Petersburg Campaign. He lost his right arm due to the latter injury but even during his recuperation worked with the Freedman's Bureau. He was brevetted Major General of Volunteers in October 1864 and resigned his commission on June 28, 1866.