Civil War veteran's medal to noted Union Officer
A fine 6th Corps Battle of Winchester medal struck by J.K. Davison and period attractivelly engraved to
Geo. W. Getty
A West Point graduate and veteran of the Mexican and Seminole War's, Getty served in several command position's in the Army of the Potomac during the Civil War.
He commanded in combat at South Mountain, Fredricksburg, Petersburg, and notably at Cedar Creek & Winchester in 1864 where he was wounded.
More of his history follows the images. Gen. Getty is buried at Arlington National Cemetary.
Major General George W. Getty
George Washington Getty (October 2, 1819 – October 1, 1901) was a career US Army officer most noted for his role as a division commander in the Army of the Potomac during the Civil War.
Born in Georgetown, Washington, D.C. he was appointed to the Military Academy at West Point and graduated in the Class of 1840 with classmates William T. Sherman and Richard S. Ewell. Assigned to the artillery as a 2nd Lt. during the Mexican War, he campaigned with Winfield Scott and received a brevet appointment to Captain for gallantry. He fought against the Seminole Indians in Florida, seeing action in 1849–50 and again in 1856–57.
At the beginning of the Civil War, Getty was a Captain in the 4th U.S. Artillery. He was appointed Lt. Colonel commanding four batteries in Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan's 1862 Peninsula Campaign. Named Chief of Artillery of Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside's IX Corps, he served at the battles of South Mountain and Antietam. On September 25, 1862, Getty was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General of volunteers and assigned to the infantry. During the Battle of Fredericksburg in December, he commanded the 3rd Division of IX Corps. In March 1863, Getty's division was sent to Suffolk, Virginia where the Federals under Maj. Gen. John A. Dix successfully resisted Lt. Gen. James Longstreet's advance.
Getty served as acting Inspector General of the Army of the Potomac in early 1864. He then received command of the Second Division, VI Army Corps, Army of the Potomac. He held this post in the 3rd Battle of Winchester. Getty exhibited his leadership ability on May 5, 1864 at the battle of the Wilderness. When ordered to a vital crossroads at Parker’s Store, Getty raced ahead of his division with his staff and arrived at the intersection just ahead of A. P. Hill’s Corps. With only his staff and orderlies, Getty held the position until his combat troops arrived. Getty would lead his troops and others assigned to him in the Wilderness fighting until he went down wounded. He recovered to lead his troops during the lengthy Siege of Petersburg, and in the Shenandoah Valley Campaign. It was at the battle of Cedar Creek on October 19, that Getty rose to the apex of his duties in the Valley. With Jubal Early’s legions sweeping Sheridan’s army back in confusion, Getty, who had rose to Corps command due to Sheridan’s absence and casualties, posted his division on Middletown’s Cemetery Hill, becoming the sole bulwark of Union resistance. Elements of three Confederate divisions attacked, but Getty’s men held the position. Confederate artillery attempted to hammer them off the hill but Getty did not pull back until the Southern infantry had bypassed his right flank in their pursuit of the balance of the Sixth Corps. When Sheridan arrived on the battlefield that morning, Getty’s was the only organized infantry division from the entire army that was on the front line confronting the Confederates with the Union cavalry. He had been appointed brevet Major General, U.S. Volunteers, in August 1864, and assumed the rank in the regular army in March 1865. Getty's division made the initial breakthrough at Petersburg on April 2, 1865, and took part in the final campaign of the Army of the Potomac, which concluded in the surrender of Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Court House.
After the war, Getty was appointed Colonel of the 38th U.S. Infantry in the regular army in 1866. He transferred to the 3rd U.S. Artillery in 1871 and commanded the Artillery School at Fortress Monroe, VA. After he retired from the Army in 1883, Getty lived on a farm near Forest Glen, Maryland. He died in 1901 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.