Civil War, KIDDER, George Thomas
Sunday, March 7, 2010 at 8:03AM
Jo Giessner

Relation to author: Maternal side of family, older brother to 2nd great grandfather William Samuel Kidder.

George T.  Kidder joined the Union Army in New York. He died in the battle of the Wilderness in Virginia 6 May 1864 leaving a wife and two children.

A farmer, in Otsego County, New York, he joined the War of the Rebellion, Union, 152nd NY, in 1863 and became a 2nd Lieutenant at age 33 years. His body did not come back from the Wilderness battlefield.

Born in Charing, Kent, England 28 June 1831, he came to New York with his family in 1841. He married Ann Elizabeth Starr on 6 Feb 1855, in Morris, Otsego, New York. His son, Starr Kidder was born in 1859 and daughter, Mary Ann Kidder in 1862 in Morris, Otsego, New York.

Letter to William Samuel Kidder in French Gulch, Shasta, California from his brother, George Thomas Kidder, of Company C, 152nd Regiment, New York  written 6 October 1863 from New York City -

Dear Brother:

You ask whether  the Army of the Potomac is demoralized or not. I answer emphatically, No. The army is loyal to a man. We are anxious for the time to come when we can measure steel with Lee and his rebel hosts. I will admit that about this time last year the army was somewhat discouraged, mostly so made by the pernicious copperhead influences scattered amongst them by the rebel's northern allies - Seymour, Wood, Vallandigham & Co *- the two former of our state, who were then endeavoring to gain the control of the Empire State by false and alluring dogmas they christened loyalty to the Union and the glorious Constitution, as they construed that instrument. But I am happy to say that their teachings have at last been revealed; yet not till their legitimate results were seen and felt in this city during the riots of July last, when peace Democrats butchered innocent men, women and children in cold blood, burned and destroyed Orphan Asylums, and committed thefts, murder and arson in their hideous forms. had it not been for the teachings of persons calling themselves Democrats these things would not have been so. But this is not all. These good, loyal, law-abiding Democrats were then collected together and received the benediction of their chiefs, Seymour & Co., in the shape of "Bravo, my good citizens and friends, you are avenging your wrongs and defending your sacred rights, etc. Go ahead, but be careful and not get caught. Democracy must rule, saith the lord of hosts for without which we have no more loaves and fishes."

I have had an opportunity of seeing various regiments from different parts of the country and must say that their condemnation of the copperhead leaders of the North is universal and thousands here in the State who caught at Seymour's stop-draft doctrine, denounce him in round numbers now. The truth of this will be seen at the next election in November.

We in the army are not fools. We see and appreciate who are our friends, and who back us up with a support we mostly need, viz: recruits and encouraging words, instead of finding fault with everything we do.

Brother, dispel all doubts about the army - They are loyal to the core. There was no need of depleting Meade's army some thirty or forty thousand, to put down rebellion in the North, if Gov. Seymour had taken the responsibility and used the authority at his command. The then armed force of the State would have been ample to have put down any disturbance whatever, and sufficient to be now enforcing the draft, which we are here for; but no, he refused to do anything of the kind and the State militia are now idle, we doing their duty.

This is our motto - Fight till every inch of territory is brought in subjection to the Constitution and the laws of the Federal Government. This is the onlly honorable way it can be settled, and this is the way it will be. The sky is growing brighter, and may God hasten that glorious day is the prayer of

Your brother, Geo. T. Kidder

Co C, 152nd Reg't. N.Y. S.Y. 

* Reference to Seymour: Horatio Seymour, twice governor of New York, the 2nd term from 1 Jan 1863 to 31 Dec 1864. He opposed the Lincoln Administration institution of the military draft and he opposed a bill giving votes to the soldiers leading to opposition by many.

*Reference to Wood: Fernando Wood served a 2nd mayoral term in 1860-1862, and was one of many New York Democrats sympathetic to the Confederacy, called Copperheads by the staunch Unionists. He suggested that New York City declare itself a "free" city to continue the revenue which depended on Southern cotton.

*Reference to to Vallandigham: Clement Vallandigham of Ohio, was the acknowledged leader of the Copperheads and in May 1862 coined their slogan: "To maintain the Constitution as it is, and to restore the Union as it was." He was a vigorous supporter of constitutional States Rights and opposed Lincoln and the war.


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