Sergeant 8th Mass. Vols. (Infantry), April 18—August 1, 1861; first Lieutenant 19th Mass. Vols. (Infantry), August 22, 1861; Captain, March 21, 1862; killed at Antietam, Md., September 17, 1862.
George Wellington Batchelder was born in Lynn, Massachusetts, on the 20th of December, 1838, and was the youngest son of Jacob and Mary Wellington Batchelder. He was a child of very delicate organization, and at several periods during his infancy and boyhood was reduced so low by severe illness that his recovery was regarded as almost miraculous. He possessed a sweet and happy disposition and a buoyant and joyous temperament, which caused him to be greatly beloved by all who knew him. Nearly all of his school days were passed under the instruction of his father, who, at the time that George entered college, was principal of Lynn High School, where his preparatory studies had been completed. During all this time he was a studious and thoughtful boy, and the commonplace-books in which he daily wrote, and which contain a sort of school diary, in connection with poetical and prose extracts, notices of passing events, etc., show the character of his mind and the interest which he took in men and events. In 1855 he entered Harvard College, and here he was blessed, during the whole course, with the constant intimacy of a classmate and room-mate whose presence was a benediction,  and whose public services and pathetic death are recorded in these volumes,—Ezra Martin Tebbets. In such society his college course became a period of great enjoyment, and he always looked back upon his classmates with pleasure and with regard. He preserved with interest a large collectionof papers relating to college matters, and placed them in the charge of his mother, as objects of special care. He was faithful in the discharge of all his college duties and bore an honorable part in the Junior and Senior Exhibitions, and in the services on Commencement Day. After leaving Cambridge he returned to his home, which was at that time in Salem, Massachusetts. Having enjoyed the benefit of a State scholarship, he considered himself bound to engage for a time in the occupation of teaching, and had indeed previously written to his friends: ‘I hope to show by my life as a teacher, and in any other profession in which I may engage, that I can appreciate the kindness and indulgence of my father at its true value.’ As, however, no opening immediately offered itself, he began the study of law in November, 1859, in the office of Messrs. Perry and Endicott in Salem. It is pleasant to his friends to look back on the enjoyment which this last period of peaceful life afforded him, and the generous kindness which he received from the legal gentlemen above named. At the same time he enjoyed his home and home comforts most thoroughly, and the sound of his cheerful voice and of his springing, joyous step was like sweetest music there. He seemed to be overflowing with joy, and the desire to impart this feeling to others was not wanting. He was eager to relieve distress when it was in his power to do so. He would seize a plate of food while the family were still at the table, and, before they were aware of his intention, would pour the contents into the basket of a poor child at the door, and returning, say with a smile, ‘There, mother, we shall never need that’; or, taking a shivering little one into the kitchen, would place her upon a chair with her feet upon the stove, and with an injunction to ‘sit still until thoroughly warmed,’ at the same time not forgetting the necessity of relieving hunger.  In 1860 he was elected a member of the Salem Light Infantry, and entered with his characteristic earnestness and zeal upon his duties, engaging with ardor in the drill, determined to be satisfied with nothing short of perfection. During this year, he began in earnest to fit himself for the life of a soldier, long before the pressing need for his services in his country's defence was even anticipated; lying at night upon a carpet with but a slight covering, and with a pillow of wood for his head, and engaging in manual exercises calculated to increase his strength and augment his powers of endurance. He prophesied that the disaffection and disturbances in different portions of the country would result in civil war, which his friends, however, were slow even to fear. When the crisis at last came, the commander of the Salem Light Infantry tendered promptly to the government the services of his well-trained little band. They were at once accepted, and the company was joined to the Eighth Massachusetts Regiment of Volunteer Militia, and left Salem for Washington, bearing with it the blessings and prayers of all true and patriotic hearts. George was at this time Second Sergeant of the company, and, with his elder and only brother, hesitated not to share its fortunes, though he deeply mourned the stern necessity of civil strife. ‘Were I going out to contend with a foreign power,’ he said, ‘with what different feelings should I meet the emergency.’ But the necessity that was laid upon him was no less binding, and he accepted it with a soldierly bearing and a patriot's spirit. During his three months campaign, which he afterwards describes as being, ‘in comparison with the three years service, but a mere militia training,’ his letters to his friends were frequent, bright, and cheering, giving constant evidence of his deep love for home, friends, and country. He writes from New York: ‘Every day I am swelling with pride for Massachusetts, and the position which she has taken in this struggle; and she will not be behind other States in what comes afterwards, no matter how hard fighting there may be.’ June 24, the anniversary of the Class Day of 1859, he writes from the Relay House:— 
This morning I received a package from Boston, which I found contained a handsome sword and sword-belt from my classmates. The note which accompanied it informed me that four of my Class are already in active service. They will all receive the like present to mine.Just before the return of the regiment, at the close of the three months campaign, he says: ‘All our talk at present is about going home. . . . . There is not a man in our whole regiment whose heart will not leap for joy when he sets foot in Massachusetts.’ Yet when this great joy had come to him, he lingered not long amidst home delights. Arriving in Salem on the 1st of August, he enlisted on the 3d of the same month in the Nineteenth Massachusetts Regiment, under Colonel Hinks, with whom he had already served, and Lieutenant-Colonel Devereux, his former Captain, for whom he had the warmest esteem. On joining his regiment at Lynnfield, he enjoyed the pleasant surprise of finding a friend in another superior officer,—Major How of the Class of 1859. He spent but three weeks with his friends before leaving Massachusetts, and devoted much of that time to the enlistment of recruits for Company C, of the Nineteenth Regiment, in which he was commissioned First Lieutenant. Upon receiving his commission, he spoke of his connection with the privates of his company, expressing his determination to attend to their comfort and welfare. ‘I know that I shall be kind to them,’ said he. ‘I used to pity the poor fellows sadly who received punishment when we were out before. It seemed hard enough that they should be obliged to leave their comfortable homes for the hard service, without the addition of this discipline, and yet I knew that it was a necessary one.’ His regiment left Lynnfield for the seat of war on the 28th of August, and we must now gather from his letters, and from the testimony of officers and soldiers, the history of his short military career. In a letter dated October 30, not long after arriving in Maryland, he writes:—
During the summer months the friends of George were made aware, from pauses in his correspondence, and from an occasional allusion to a slight illness, that his health was impaired from the duties and exposures of the campaign; and they keenly felt the impossibility of doing anything to obtain relief or respite, in order that his strength might be recruited. July 15, he wrote from Malverton, Virginia:—
His last letter was written on the day before the fatal battle of Antietam, his last on earth, and proves him a true soldier, kind, faithful, appreciating, and enduring to the last. His friend, Lieutenant Newcomb of his company, writes:—
After supper, in the twilight of September 16th, George took my Bible, and, as well as I can recollect, read aloud portions of the [