George C. Gordon was born in Canada in 1832 to Samuel and Clarinda Lucas Gordon. He first appears in Redford in the 1860 census with his second wife Caroline (Carrie) Spencer. His first wife, whom he married in 1853, was Charlotte Ross. She died in 1855. Charlotte and George had one daughter named Lottie. Lottie lived with her grandparents and later married H.P. Smith of Howell. George and Caroline had six children – Ada, Grant, Clifton, George, Donald, and Spencer.
The Iron Brigade arrived at Gettysburg on July 1, 1863, the beginning of the famous battle, and suffered significant casualties. According to Silas Farmer, Gordon fought valiantly. Farmer quotes Sergeant Nardin:
“The last time I saw Captain Gordon was on the field. I was partly stunned by a musket ball; at the same time our lines fell back a few yards. I soon came to myself again and stepped over several men lying on the ground, back to our company. There, Captain Gordon was using great energy in keeping his men in line. I never saw a man stand with such determined energy as he did. I was told afterwards by the commanding officer of the next company that our captain kept one of the best lines in the regiment. All who saw his conduct speak in the highest praise of his gallantry.”
“Sick, shoeless, and half-naked, he traveled by night and was secreted and fed by slaves during the day. He was again captured by Wheeler’s cavalry, but escaped from them also by crawling a long distance on his hands and knees while the guard was too sleepy to notice him. After three weeks of suffering and hardship he finally reached the Union lines, where he was warmly welcomed.”
“He was a frank, open-hearted man. Physically large of frame he was equally large of heart, and endeared himself to his friends and fellow-citizens by his many deeds of kindness. His record as a soldier, as a citizen and as a friend is an enviable one and worthy of emulation.”
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