George Hart: "A Very Worthy Citizen"
Photographed in May 1908
George Hart was born a slave about 1840 in West Virginia. He had travelled north with Captain Edmund Morse of the 7th Vermont Regiment during the early days of the Civil War.
George enlisted on December 5, 1863 to serve in the famous 54th Massachusetts Infantry in Company G. He fought in the battle of Olustee, Florida, February 20, 1864; Honey Hill, South Carolina, November 30, 1864. George was injured during the Florida campaign of 1864 when he fell across a ditch and another soldier landed on his ankle. He was hospitalized for his injury and later he would request a disability pension. He mustered out of the army on August 20, 1865.
After the war, George spent his life laying stone in Woodstock. Local historian and retired surveyor, Bob Holt, has supposed that George had a part in building the stone walls along South Street. George lived on this street and was married to Mary Ann Wentworth, daughter of Charles B. Wentworth and Mary Ann Little. George and Mary had four children.
George Hart’s House at 69 South Street
Civil War Veterans
George was a member of the George C. Randall Post #82 G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic) which was located on Central Street. The photograph shows members of the G.A.R. seated outside a shop on Central Street.
“In this village, he was a character known to everyone. A patriotic soul, it was his delightful privilege to take vocal part in the annual town meetings… He was industrious, honest, courteous, and…a very worthy citizen.” George died on February 26, 1917 (80 years old) and is interred at River Street Cemetery.
Thank you to Bob Holt for contributing research for this article.