SEDGWICK.ORG presents:
My Most Interesting Ancestor
page 11

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as a gunsmith on the tax lists of nearby Rimersburg, Clarion Co., PA in 1859 and 1861.28 The change in career from painter in 1850 to gunsmith in 1859 may indicate that he spent some of the intervening years as an apprentice gunsmith. In any case, he was undoubtedly smithing Kentucky Rifles or "the ones with fancy handles," as my grandmother's article refers to them. Presumably he lived in or near Rimersburg at the time but he is not found in the index to the 1860 census for either Clarion or Butler Counties.

Confederate troops attacked Fort Sumter on 12 April 1861 and three months later, on 16 July 1861, George Fletcher Sedwick enlisted in Company K of the Sixth U. S. Cavalry. His enlistment took place in Franklin, Venango Co., PA and was for a period of five years. He was described as a twenty-eight-year-old gunsmith with hazel eyes, brown hair and a ruddy complexion, standing six feet and three-quarters of an inch tall. Entering rank is not indicated, but by the time of his death he was a sergeant.29

During the early part of the war, the Sixth U. S. Cavalry fought in the Peninsular Campaign - an unsuccessful attempt to capture the Confederate capitol of Richmond, VA from the peninsula below. In late April, Company K was stationed at Camp Scott, near Yorktown, VA. On or about 27 April 1862, George F. Sedwick became ill.30 While the pension records do not reveal the exact details of the incident, soldiers' affidavits report that Sgt. Sedwick contracted "billious fever caused by exposure incident to the service"31 and due to "the malarious climate of the swamps on the peninsula."32 Grandmother's essay states that he was pinned under his horse overnight. There is no reason to think this detail was manufactured. In any case, George was hospitalized (confirming Grandmother's article) but died 12 May 1862 near Yorktown. The cause of death noted on his enlistment is typhoid fever.

It is interesting to note the emphasis that my grandmother places upon money in her article (although perhaps not too surprising considering it was written during the height of the Great Depression.). The pension records show a flurry of correspondence between W. T.


28 As quoted in Henry J. Kauffman, The Pennsylvania-Kentucky Rifle (Harrisburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 1960), 337.

29 George Fletcher Sedwick Enlistment record, N.A.

30 Pension records, Affidavit of William Haslett, 24 Dec. 1867.

31 Ibid.

32 Pension records, Affidavit of Reed G. Bracken, 20 Dec. 1867.




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