LORD, George F – The NH Adjutant General hatched a plan to steal him from the War Department, and keep him at the State Capitol.


George F. Lord — enlisted from Newmarket on 5 Aug 1861 at age 19 as a private in Company B, 3rd Infantry.  Initially assigned as Company Adjutant Clerk, he mustered in 22 Aug 1861.  He was promoted to Full Sergeant Major; however he resigned his warrant commission on 10 Mar 1864 and was re-enlisted into NH State Service.   He was discharged 6 Sep 1864 at Concord, for time expired.  From the scant information in his initial military record, the reader might surmise it odd that a soldier would resign from a Full Sergeant Major position.  However, a more detailed account can be found in Eldridge’s book as he desbribes how a NH State Adjutant General (and future Governor)  devised a ruse for a special order by the War Department which allowed him to keep Lord’s talents at the State Capitol instead of the war front.

Following exerpt taken from “The Third New Hampshire and All about it  1861 to 1865”, By E. Eldridge, Captain Third NH Volunteers.  Published by E.B. Stillings Company, Boston Mass, 1893

Lord excelled as a clerk, writing a clear and concise hand, and was early called upon to serve in that capacity. He was originally a private of Co. B, when Col. Jackson and detail were sent North (July, 1863) for conscripts.  Lord was one of the detail, being at that time the Adjutant’s Clerk.

Lord went with the detail to Concord; and it was not long before his clerical ability became known in the State of New Hampshire.  The Adjutant-General needed just such a person to assist in putting into shape the mass of military data at the State house.  Lord was detailed as might have been expected; but it required a special order from the War Department to do so.  This was readily obtained by NH Adjutant General Natt Head (*), who in one or more of his annual reports, very favorably mentioned Lord and his efficient service.  It follows that Lord did not return to the regiment with that detail looking for recruites in the North country —the last of it, in January, 1864; but he continued at the State House.

In order to get him back to the regiment (and away from General Head), the ruse was used of appointing him Sergeant-Major, vice Hodge, promoted him; but it didn’t work.  He still remained at Concord, and resigned the warrant 10 March 1864. In this case (the only one of its kind), Lord had been dropped from Co. B, on account of promotion to the non-commissioned staff; and now he had to be dropped from the star and taken up again by Co. B, as a private.

He was mustered out 26 Sept. 1864, at Concord; and the inference is that he had been continually in the Adjutant-General’s office, and was there employed at time of muster-out and later.

His whereabouts since the war is not easily traced. He has been at various times an inmate of one or two National soldiers’ homes; so it is
presumable that fortune has not smiled on him.

 (photo: NH Governor Natt Head, 1879-1891)

George Lord was born in Parsonfield, Maine; and resided in Newmarket.  In 1860 he was 17 years old, living with Edwin & Abbey Bennett as an apprentice as a tinplate worker for Bennett’s large and successful firm.  After the war he returned to Newmarket; however, he later moved back and forth, always working as a clerk, between town, Los Angeles, CA and Fairfield, Iowa. He suffered poor health and returned several times between 1887 and 1907 to Togas Soldiers Home, ME.   Because of the subtrefuge of NH Adjutant General Head, it affected Lord’s claim for a military pension.  It took an Act of the US Sixtieth Congress in 1908:

” to increase the allotment under the name of George F Lord late of Company B Third Regiment New Hampshire , Volunteer Infantry and pay him a pension at the rate of twenty four dollars per month in lieu of that he is now  receiving.”

 He died on his last trip to Togas on 24 Jun 1918, leaving a widow Mary Lord of Fairfield, Iowa.  George’s name is included in the G.A.R. War Memorial.

Today, 2012, it would certainly surprise George Lord to discover that one of the volumes of publications he would have worked on, the NH Adjutant Generals’ report, is currently selling  for $200  by Kaatterskill Books, East Jewett, New York.

(photo: copy the NH Adjutant General’s Report,  written during the War years)


New Hampshire Adjutant General. Price: $200.00.  Concord: Amos Hadley, State Printer, 1865. lvi, 747 pp.; v, 856 pp. 8vo. Rebound in maroon buckram, original stiff wrappers bound in. First edition. Complements of the Natt Head, the author, tipped in.


(*) Nathaniel Head (May 20, 1828 – November 12, 1883), also known as Natt Head, was an American construction material supplier and Republican politician from Hooksett, New Hampshire. He served New Hampshire as a member of the state’s House of Representatives, Adjutant General, state Senator (1876 to 1878), and NH Governor (1879 to 1881).