COLONEL JAMES G. C. DODGE
The death of Colonel J. G. C. Dodge at Preston, Iowa, on the 14th of this month, was wholly unexpected by his family and friends. His personal appearances and ruddy coloring were so strongly suggestive of good health that although some of his friends were aware of the fact that for the last six months he had been suffering from intense pain in his heart, his deceptive appearance of health prevented them from feeling any anxiety about him.
Colonel Dodge, though a young man, had shown himself to be possessed of unusual energy and rare decision of character. Born in Boston, in the year 1840, he lost his father while he was a boy. He was taken to Europe by his mother and educated in France, and for several years was a resident of Brussels. From his experience in French schools he acquired an ineradicable dislike to the French people and their character, which seemed in increase as he grew older and became more acquainted with and fond of his native country. An ardent love for his native land was perhaps the most striking characteristic of the man, which was doubtless intensified by his abhorrence of all that was foreign.
He returned to the United States a few years before the war and lived in Boston, completing his education at the Lawrence Scientific School and by travel through the northern States. When war broke out he at once joined the army as a second lieutenant in the nineteenth Massachusetts regiment, and he remained in the army throughout the war, devoting himself heart and soul to the duties of his profession. He was promoted to be captain in the nineteenth regiment, and was then transferred with the rank of Major to the sixty-first Massachusetts regiment, in which he remained until mustered out at the close of the war. He received the brevet of lieutenant-colonel for gallant service during the war, and in few instances were these honors better deserved. He was brave to the marked degree, and on occasions his actions approached temerity. At the final attack on Petersburg he led his regiment against one of the outlying forts of that city, and although he was obliged to walk on crutches and was distinguished by the broad sash across his breast worn as officer of the day, thus presenting an unusual mark for the bullets of the enemy, he led his men so eagerly that he was twice forced to halt on the open field and wait for his regiment to catch up with him.
He was twice wounded and on both occasions seriously. He marched ahead of the company into Fredericksburg at Burnsides unfortunate attack upon that place, and was one of the first in the army to cross the river, and was shot just under the heart soon after he had crossed. At Gettysburg he was shot through both legs, and was disabled from the effects of the wounds for many years after the war. The exploits of the nineteenth Massachusetts regiment are well known, and especially its activity and efficiency throughout McClellan’s Richmond and Peninsular campaigns. Colonel Dodge served with his regiment in all the battles of that and the following campaigns, and preformed his duties to the entire satisfaction of his superior officers, and was an energetic, enterprising, brave and intelligent officer.
Since the war Colonel Dodge has resided in Boston, and has been occupied with the care of a large amount of property as trustee, and has been an active Freemason and an enthusiastic member of the Grand Army of the Republic.
He was essentially an energetic man, and was untiring in his favorite pursuits. His frame, thought slight in appearance, was really indefatigable. He was a faithful friend, a man of high sense of honor, of untarnished morality, of marked decision of character and of strong prejudices. His firmness of character sometimes seemed to prevent him seeing but one side to a question, and at times he clung to an honest conviction with a pertinacity bordering upon obstinacy. He was rigid in his ideas of his own duties, and as unyielding in his belief of the virtue of the Republican Party. By his death his family and friends have suffered a severe loss.
Transcribed by LDodge, April 2013
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Source: Date: Tuesday, January 23, 1877 Paper: Boston Daily Advertiser (Boston, MA) Volume: 129 Issue: 20