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Biography of Framingham civil war general released this month

Posted by Jaclyn Reiss  August 22, 2011 09:00 AM

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A Framingham town historian, Frederic Wallace, released a biography this month recounting the life of a civil war general who called Framingham home.

In Framingham’s Civil War Hero: The Life of General George H. Gordon, Wallace uses personal diary entries and letters to tell the story of Gordon, who moved to Framingham at five years old, according to a prepared statement.

Gordon attended the Old Academy at a young age in Framingham, and went on to attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he learned alongside classmates George McClellan, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson and Ulysses S. Grant, according to the statement.

Gordon held political and military offices in the North. As a general in the Union Army, he led troops against Jackson in the Valley Campaign, at Antietam and at the Siege of Charleston.

Author Wallace, who has been a volunteer researcher at the Framingham History Center for more than 15 years and serves on the Framingham Historical Commission, said he originally intended to write an article for the Center's newsletter using local archives, but developed the idea for a book after unearthing a wealth of information at the Massachusetts Historical Society.

"As I dug into the topic, I got more and more interested in his life," Wallace said. "Much to my surprise and delight, I discovered someone in Gordon's family had donated over 6,000 documents of his to the Massachusetts Historical Society, such as personal letters, diaries, journals, and military records. That was the jackpot."

Wallace said descendants of Gordon still live in Framingham.

"There are people in the community who are related to him," Wallace said. "He had no children of his own, but he had a cousin who was in the war with him, and his cousin had children and many [of those relatives] live in Framingham."

The pre-released statement said Wallace reveals Gordon as "Framingham’s favorite son" and shows "a man of integrity and honor whose actions displayed an outright love for his country."

The Framingham History Society will host an open house and book signing at Edgell Memorial Library Sept. 17, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., including an exhibition of Gordon's belongings.

The book is 144 pages and costs $19.99.


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To contact Jaclyn Reiss, email her at jaclyn.reiss@gmail.com

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