GEORGE W. REED (1831-1906)

by James E. Fargo, FSA Scot

George W. Reed was born in Cambria County, Pennsylvania in 1831. He was living in Johnstown PA when he enlisted in the Union Army in 1862. In August 1864, Company E, 11th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment was part of the Union Army participating in the Petersburg Campaign in Virginia. During the Battle of Globe Tavern, also known as the Second Battle of Weldon Railroad, Private Reed captured the flag of the 24th North Carolina Volunteers.

Reed’s Medal of Honor citation read: "The President of the United States of America, in the Name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Private George W. Reed, U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism on 21 August 1864, while serving with Company E, 11th Pennsylvania Infantry, in action at Weldon Railroad, Virginia, for capture of the flag of 24th North Carolina Volunteers (Confederate States of America)."

The capture occurred when Reed himself had been captured by a group of five Confederate soldiers, including their color bearer. He convinced the Confederate soldiers that they were in danger of stumbling into Union forces and being killed unless they agreed to surrender to him. The Confederates agreed and Reed led them back to the Union lines as his prisoners.

Reed was awarded the Medal of Honor on September 6, 1864 and later promoted to corporal before being discharged in 1865.

George Reed died on December 21, 1906 and is buried in Grandview Cemetery, Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

Congressional Medal of Honor Society
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