George Lafayette Beal

George Lafayette Beal was born in Norway, Maine, on May 21, 1825. When George was a small boy, his family moved to Portland where he attended the city schools and later Westbrook Seminary. In 1840 he was apprenticed to a Boston bookbinder, returning to Norway ten years later to practice his trade. He became an agent of the Canadian Express Company in 1853, enlisted as a private in the Norway Light Infantry (a militia company) in 1855, and rose to captain by the outbreak of war. Beal was probably the first man, and the Norway Light Infantry the first unit, to enlist for active duty in the state of Maine. Mustered in as Company G of the 1st Maine, a three-month regiment, the unit did guard duty in Washington until it was mustered out in August, and then reorganized as the 10th Maine with Beal appointed its colonel. The 10th Maine fought at Cedar Mountain, where it suffered 173 casualties in thirty minutes, and at Sharpsburg, where Beal was wounded and his horse killed. When the regiment was mustered out in May, 1863, Beal recruited the 29th Maine, which took part in Banks's Red River campaign in the XIX Corps. Beal was in brigade command part of the time, and led the rear guard of the army during the retreat. Subsequently, the XIX Corps was transferred to the Shenandoah Valley and placed under Philip Sheridan. Beal fought at Winchester and Fisher's Hill in command of a brigade, but does not appear to have been present at Cedar Creek. He was appointed a brigadier general of volunteers on November 30, 1864, and brevet major general on March 13, 1865, for gallant service. Serving briefly thereafter in western North Carolina, he was mustered out in January, 1866. After the war General Beal was adjutant general of Maine from 1880 to 1885, and state treasurer from 1888 to 1894. He died in Norway on December 11, 1896, and was buried in South Paris, Maine.

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