b. 09/08/1843 near Frankfurt, Germany. d. 20/07/1907 New York.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 05/05/1862 Williamsburg, Virginia.
Civil War Union Brevet Major General, Medal of Honor Recipient. A German immigrant, he was one of the youngest officers to achieve brevet general status in the Union Army, having risen from a company commander to brigade commander during the course of the war despite being only 20 years old at the time of his enlistment.
In June 1861, two months after the firing on Fort Sumter, South Carolina, he received a commission of 2nd Lieutenant in the 23rd Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. He was advanced to Captain on October 1861, and was transferred to command the 61st Pennsylvania Infantry’s Company I in February 1862. Just prior to the 1862 Peninsula Campaign he was tabbed by Brigadier General David B. Birney to be his brigade adjutant. He was serving in this capacity at the May 5, 1862 Battle of Williamsburg when he led a charge of a portion of the III Corps, 2nd Division’s 2nd Brigade through an open field upon the Confederate lines that silenced rebel artillery in the area, and drove Confederates back in retreat. His actions that day would result in his being awarded the CMOH 31 years later. Soon after he was made part of division commander Brigadier General Philip Kearny’s staff, serving with him as his Assistant Adjutant General until General Kearny was killed at the Battle of Chantilly, Virginia on September 1, 1862.
He was one of the officers who escorted General Kearny’s remains back to his native state of New Jersey. In October 1862, New Jersey Governor Joel Parker appointed him Colonel and commander of the 27th New Jersey Volunteer Infantry, in part due to his stellar service under General Kearny, who had repeatedly commended him. The 27th New Jersey, a nine-month enlistment regiment, served in Virginia during the Fredericksburg Campaign and in Kentucky, performing occupation duty, where the unit lost 33 men in a tragic drowning accident. When the regiment’s enlistment expired in July 1863, George W. Mindil lobbied for another command, which he received in the form of the Colonelship of the 33rd New Jersey Volunteer Infantry. The regiment, a French-styled Zouave unit, was made part of the XI Corps just prior to that organization’s transfer from Virginia to Army of the Cumberland in the Tennessee area. There he led the 33rd New Jersey in the operations around Chattanooga, where he supported Major General Joseph Hooker’s campaign at Tunnel Hill.
In late November he assumed command of his brigade, a position he would periodically hold over the course of the next year and a half of fighting. He participated in the campaign that resulted in the capitulation of Atlanta (where several times he was prostrated by sickness), the March through Georgia and the finally the battles in the Carolinas that marked the end of the war in that Theatre. On March 13, he received the brevet of Brigadier General, US Volunteers for “general good conduct during the campaign from Savannah, Ga., to Goldsboro, N.C.” and the brevet of Major General, US Volunteers for “gallant and meritorious services in the battles of Chattanooga, Mission Ridge and Mill Creek Gap, near Dalton Ga.” His service ended in July 1865, when he was mustered out. After the War he became a successful New York City Jeweler and Customs House official, and was a member of the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Union League. He died in New York City, New York in 1907. The citation for his Medal of Honor (which was awarded to him on October 25, 1893) reads “As aide-de-camp led the charge with a part of a regiment, pierced the enemy’s center, silenced some of his artillery, and, getting in his rear, caused him to abandon his position”. He was one of eight 61st Pennsylvania Infantry soldiers to be awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery during the Civil War (the others being 1st Lieutenant Charles H. Clausen, Corporal Joseph Fisher, Corporal John C. Matthews, Private Milton Matthews, Private Theodore Mitchell, Major Robert L. Orr, and Sergeant Sylvester D. Rhodes).
As aide-de-camp led the charge with a part of a regiment, pierced the enemy’s center, silenced some of his artillery, and, getting in his rear, caused him to abandon his position.
BURIAL LOCATION: ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY, ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA.
SECTION 3, GRAVE 1568.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: BELIEVED TO BE FAMILY.