George Parsons Dow MOH

b. 07/08/1840 Atkinson, New Hampshire. d. 28/09/1910 Atkinson, New Hampshire.

DATE OF MOH ACTION: 10/1864 Richmond, Virginia.

George P Dow MOH

George P. Dow, the son of Moses and Sally P (Hanson) Dow, was born in Atkinson, NH on 7 August 1840. George P. Dow of Atkinson, N.H. enlisted as a private on 14 October 1861, in neighboring Plaistow, NH. He was mustered in on 6 Nov. in Manchester, and was soon promoted to corporal. On the 18th of July, ’62, he was again promoted, to 1st Sergeant. He was mustered out of service on 22 December 1864. He had been wounded several times during his three years with the regiment, though not injured bad enough to remove him from active duty.

In October of 1864, while in command of his company, which held the extreme left of the regimental line, the unit became separated from the others while on reconnaissance in the vicinity of Richmond. Upon reaching the enemy breastworks they halted, then realizing the rest of the regiment was not behind them, and called a retreat. Being the first of the Union troops to reach that close to the city, the information gathered was of great importance once they returned to their lines.

He was married, on 7 December 1865, to Julia A. Carlton. He died on 28 September 1910 in Atkinson, aged 70 yrs, and was buried in the town cemetery. They had two children: Mary A Dow, b. 21 September 1866; marr. William C. Farley  and a second unnamed child, b/d 24 May 1880.

George was a farmer in Atkinson, later becoming the proprietor of a country store in town, and was its postmaster for 26 years. His former homestead still stands, across from the town common named for him.



Advancing, we came to a large stream and a bridge over which I led my company. We marched on, but the cannonading was so terrific that we could not hear the bugle from which we were to take orders. Still we advanced till we came to a clearing and presently found ourselves in front of the rebel breastworks mounted with guns and large bodies of infantry lying behind them. For some reason or other the enemy did not open on us. We halted and it was then that I made the startling discovery that my company had been separated from the regiment, which, as I afterward learned, had stopped at the stream. There was but one way out of our dangerous situation; we had to retreat. I gave the order, but in the roar of cannons and the smoke of firing we became confused and we missed the bridge and had to swim the stream. After thus crossing the water we marched for some distance and finally arrived at a farm house, where we found a woman apparently only too willing to help us find our way. ‘Which direction has our line of battle taken?’ I asked her. She pointed toward Richmond. I knew she was not telling the truth and took my company in an opposite direction. A little later we met one of our aides, who warned us that we were in danger of being gobbled up by the enemy’s cavalry, so we started at a double quick and found the regiment drawn up in the woods. My company in this advance had got nearer to Richmond than any Union troops had yet done, and the information we brought back was of great importance to the Army of the James.