George Francis McGinnis

George Francis McGinnis was born in Boston, Massachusetts, March 19, 1826. His mother died in his infancy and he lived with an aunt in Hampden, Maine, until he was eleven, when his father, a hatter by trade, took him to Chillocothe, Ohio. In 1846 he went to the Mexican War as a lieutenant of the 2nd Ohio Volunteers and was mustered out as a captain on July 25, 1848. McGinnis moved to Indianapolis in 1850 and having learned his father's trade, began the manufacture of hats there. On April 15, 1861, almost as soon as the news of the fall of Fort Sumter was known, he enlisted as a private in Lew Wallace's 11th Indiana, a three-month regiment of which he became lieutenant colonel in a few days and colonel after its remuster for three years in August, 1861. During the campaign in western Virginia in the early summer of 1861, the regiment was not seriously engaged, but in succeeding months McGinnis won commendation by Wallace for his handling of his men at the capture of Fort Donelson, and later at Shiloh where he temporarily commanded the 1st Brigade of the division. The following February he took part in the Yazoo Pass expedition against Vicksburg and during the campaign against the city proper directed a brigade in McClernand's XIII Corps. His association with the latter (to say nothing of Wallace), against whom much hostility existed in Regular Army circles, did little for McGinnis' career. After the Vicksburg campaign he occupied a succession of unimportant posts, occasionally in divisional command, in N. P. Banks's Department of the Gulf, in the later Military Division of West Mississippi, and in the Department of Arkansas. He had been made a brigadier general on April 4, 1863, to rank from November 29, 1862, and at the end of active fighting he was in command of an infantry regiment, two cavalry companies, and a battery at the mouth of White River in Arkansas. Mustered out without a brevet, he settled in Indianapolis, and from 1867 until 1871 was county auditor. He later operated a fiduciary business and served in various county and state offices. In 1900 President Mc-Kinley appointed him postmaster of Indianapolis. He died on May 29, 1910, in Indianapolis, and his ashes were buried in Crown Hill Cemetery there.

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Reference: Generals in Blue. Lives of the Union Commanders by Ezra J. Warner. Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge.