Gershom Mott

Gershom Mott was born in Lamberton, New Jersey (now a part of Trenton), on April 7, 1822. After attending a local academy, he became a dry goods clerk in New York City at the age of fourteen. In the second year of the Mexican War he was appointed to a lieutenancy in the 10th U. S. Infantry—a regiment which saw no foreign service. Following his muster-out in 1848, he served for a time as collector of the port at Lamberton and then engaged in business in Bordentown. In 1861 he was a natural choice for lieutenant colonel of the 5th New Jersey, a regiment organized on August 17 at Trenton. His entire service was with the Army of the Potomac. Early in George B. McClel-lan's campaign up the Virginia Peninsula, Mott became colonel of the 6th New Jersey, which he led at Seven Pines and during the battle of the Seven Days. He was wounded at Second Manassas; was appointed brigadier general of volunteers on September 7, 1862; and at the bloody battle of Chancellorsville, where he was again wounded, he commanded a brigade of Berry's division of Sickles' III Corps. He was back on duty to exercise direction of his brigade in the fall of 1863 during the campaign of Mine Run, and the following spring was elevated to command of the 4th Division of Hancock's II Corps. At Spotsylvania it was charged that Mott's men had failed to support Upton's division of the VI Corps during the attack of May 10 against the Confederate works. As a result, when George G. Meade proposed to Mott that his decimated division become a brigade of D. B. Birney's division, Mott bridled, but being assured that he would be mustered out of service otherwise, he accepted the demotion and went on to win new laurels. After Birney was sent to Butler's Army of the James to assume command of the X Corps, Mott took command of the 3rd Division, which included his own old troops, and led them in gallant style through the campaigns of Richmond and Appomattox. He was made a brevet major general of volunteers as of August 1, 1864, for services at the battle of the Petersburg Crater and on December 1, 1865, was appointed to the full rank, to date from May 26. General Mott declined a colonelcy in the regular service in 1868; meanwhile he secured a position as paymaster of the Camden & Amboy Railroad (now part of the Pennsylvania). He subsequently occupied a number of state offices, including that of commander of the New Jersey National Guard, until his death in New York City on November 29, 1884. He was buried in Riverview Cemetery, Trenton.

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