#Onthisday in 1865, Civil War Soldier George Potter participated in the Grand Review on the Army.
George W. Potter was the last surviving Civil War veteran in the Town of Saratoga. At the age of 19, he enlisted for a year in the Company A, 123rd New York Volunteers, from Washington County. He was involved in Union General Sherman’s March to the Sea and the Campaign of Carolina in 1865. After many retreats and withdrawals, Confederate General Johnston finally surrendered the Army of Tennessee and all remaining forces still active in his department to General Sherman in April of 1865. It was the largest single surrender of war at 89,270 soldiers.
Potter marched to Washington with the army, participated in the grand review. The Grand Review of the Armies was a military procession and celebration in Washington, D.C., on May 23 and May 24, 1865, following the close of the American Civil War. Elements of the Union Army paraded through the streets of the capital to receive accolades from the crowds and reviewing politicians, officials, and prominent citizens, including the President of the United States, Andrew Johnson.
Potter left the army shortly afterwards. He was married on 9 December 1869 to to Miss Hattie Pennock of Schuylerrville. His profession was as a mason and built many buildings in Schuylerville. In 1919, he was the custodian of the Saratoga battle monument for New York State and was paid $600.
Saratoga has been defined by the people who by choice or by chance make up this community. There are many individuals like George Potter that help define this country and our community. It is the determination of our forefathers, in surmounting overwhelming odds that help define the American spirit – the will and ability to shape a better future. It is the people it is that define this community by choice or by chance have changed this country and even the world political development. That is why studying the people of Saratoga is integral to a good understanding of the condition of being human.