George was born in northern Pennsylvania where his grandfather's family had settled in the early 1800's. He followed in his father's footsteps and became a blacksmith. George was married to Sarah Tombs in 1860 and their first child was born that same year - a son. In 1862, a daughter came along. Records also list that another son was born to them, but the 1892 book* and later records show no further trace of him. Also in 1862, George enlisted in the 131st Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers, along with at least two of his cousins.
George entered military service in August of 1862. His regiment started out serving picket duty. Later, they endured a forced march of 23 miles to Antietam. They do not appear to have been heavily engaged there, but they were in the Battle of Fredericksburg that December. Many of the men of the 131st lost their lives or suffered injuries in the deadly charge across the field. George was discharged "on Surgeon's Certificate" about two weeks after the battle. The 1892 book says that he "was discharged on account of disability". I don't know whether he was injured or whether he suffered serious health complications due to the freezing temperatures and pouring rain which they marched through in the retreat from Fredericksburg.
Upon returning to Pennsylvania, George seems to have settled down and lived an uneventful life. He had one more daughter about 6 years after his return from the war. He and Sarah raised their three children, as well as a granddaughter. Five generations lived in those northern Pennsylvania woods - the same place where we meet for our annual family reunion.
*History of Lycoming County Pennsylvania Edited by John F. Meginness 1892
(Which draws info from: Orwig, Joseph R. History of the 131st. Penna. Volunteers, War of 1861-5, Williamsport, Pa.: Sun Book and Job Printing House, 1902.)