This Place in History: General George J. Stannard

Vermont Historical Society

MILTON, Vt.

At ‘This Place in History‘ we’re in Milton with Executive Director of the Vermont Historical Society Steve Perkins.

“We’re going to learn all about Vermont Civil War hero General George Stannard, who lived right on this site. The Milton Historical Society has preserved the house. They took it down. So, we’re going to talk to Kate Cadreact, Chair of the House Committee, to tell us a little about Stannard and also about the house,” said Perkins.

“General George Stannard was born in Georgia, Vermont in 1820. He enlisted in the Civil War. And his most famous performance was at Gettysburg. He was responsible for Gettysburg being won in favor of the Union,” began Cadreact.

“He had many businesses in the area. He had a foundry in Saint Albans where he made bricks. He also had this farming operation on this site. And he had a very large barn. He lost his arm in one of the battles. The barn was designed so he could operate it as a one-armed man. He had several horses and that was his specialty, ” added Cadreact.

“I think he was recognized [for his service] but he did not received a Medal of Honor. We are in the midst of trying to get a Medal of Honor for him. Senator [Patrick] Leahy is helping with that and we’ve met up with a couple of roadblocks but we’re hoping to get past it,” said Cadreact.

“We are standing at the original site of General Stannard’s house in Milton. There were several attempts to save and restore the house that failed. So, we got this committee together. We have disassembled the house, done by Heritage Builders and it is being stored up at the [Milton] Recreation Fields. We are going to reassemble the house at Bombardier Fields near the barn which is of the same period as the barn he had here,” concluded Cadreact.

“We are joined by the President of the Milton Historical Society Bill Kaigle about Stannard’s early years and Civil War service,” explained Perkins.

“In his early years, in his younger 20s, he was a teacher. He taught in the winter and farmed in the summer. George Stannard was Vermont’s first volunteer for service in the Civil War and also its longest serving,” said Kaigle.

“And he was so famous in Vermont. I think a lot of it around Pickett’s Charge and around Gettysburg. To put people in place, [General] Lee takes his army and he lines it up in this grand Napoleonic charge up a hill. But the Vermonters were on the side and they were commanded by Stannard and what did he do?” asked Perkins.

“They did a flanking maneuver to the side of this large number of men and they broke the Charge and it eventually led to Union victory at Gettysburg,” answered Kaigle.

“You can say that Stannard and his actions at Gettysburg, as Vermonters we’d say won the battle, but any historian would say was key to winning that battle,” added Perkins.

At ‘This Place in History’!

For more from our ‘This Place in History’ series, click here.

To find out more about the efforts to restore General Stannard’s house, click here.

To view a map of Vermont’s roadside historic site markers, click here.

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