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George Robert Scott was born on February 7, 1846 in Punchbowl, Australia [present day Sydney, New South Wales]. His parents were George Scott a cabinet maker and Grace Campbell McDougall. George Scott, Sr. was a cabinet maker but moved with his family to California to work in the gold fields, when George Robert was only four years old.

George Robert Scott enlisted as a Private in Company D, 3rd California Infantry Volunteers briefly, on July 5, 1862 at Fort Gaston, California; serving only eight months.

The regiment was organized at Stockton and at Benicia Barracks, from October 31 through December 31, 1861 to serve an enlistment of three years.  It was attached to the Districts of California and Utah, Dept. of the Pacific and did duty at Benicia Barracks until July, 1862. Company "D" –though was sent to Fort Gaston in the Humboldt District of California where it operated against hostile Indians under Captains William M. Johns of Stockton, California and Willard Kittredge from Ft. Bridger, Wyoming Territory; from October 1861 through August 1862. It was involved in a skirmish at Light Prairie, near Arcata on  August 21, 1862, then ordered to San Francisco on August 23rd, to Stockton, California, then to Camp Union at Sacramento, California on November 17th. Scott quickly became disinterested  with military life  and as a result he deserted the Infantry at Camp Union, California on February 21, 1863; having served only seven months.

The Company, however, did duty there until June, 1863; after which it was ordered to Camp Douglass, Utah and rejoined the Regiment who had marched and fought their way there, arriving in early June 1863.

At the expiration of the Regiment’s term of service, the original members, except for veterans, were mustered out and the veterans and recruits, pursuant to S.O. No. 87, District of Utah, were consolidated into a battalion of four companies; on October 29, 1864.  Afterwards it was known as the Third Battalion of Infantry; comprising four companies, A, B, C, and D.  On December 9, 1865, however, Companies C and D were again consolidated, leaving only three companies in the battalion. The entire battalion was finally mustered out July 27, 1866.

Upon deserting at Camp Union, Scott returned to Australia in 1863 and after two years married Susanah Bertha Lawson at Kempsey, New South Wales in 1874. They had a daughter, Grace M. born in 1876. In 1878 though, Susanah died and Scott married once again in Sydney, New South Wales in 1881, to Miss. Louisa C. Crispin and they had three children; George C. born in 1883, Cephas Norman born in 1884, Sylvia born in 1886 and Norman born in 1889.

Scott became a successful journalist and newspaper owner but developed “pancreatic cancer” and died at age 84 at the Prince Alfred Hospital in Camperdown, New South Wales [Sydney] just nine years after marrying Louisa; on October 13, 1890. He was survived by his wife and five children, leaving an estate valued at $6, 208 (Australian). George Robert Scott was buried in the Presbyterian Section of the West Kempsey Cemetery, in New South Wales, on October 16, 1890.   Even though his service record, as recorded in the “Register of California Men in the War of the Rebellion 1861-1867” shows Scott “Deserted on Feb. 21, 1863 at Camp Union, Ca.”, in 1994 a bronze plaque was obtained from the American Veterans Administration in Washington DC by Mr. Roy Parker and his associates; for placement on his gravesite.

In his will George named his wife Louisa as his sole heir. A codicil to his will named the Rev. John Taylor of Kempsey, who presided over his funeral, and Frederick Appleyard, an accountant, as co-executors of his estate.

George Robert Scott is one of the confirmed veterans of the American Civil War that was actually born in Australia.

 

Birth, Marriage and Death Records, New South Wales

Bruce Cain, Macleay River Historical Society, Kempsey, New South Wales

 California State Archives

“Compendium of the War of the Rebellion”, Frederick H. Dyer

 Kempsey South Cemetery Records

 "The Records of California Men in the War of the Rebellion," Brigadier General

          Richard H. Orton, Adjutant-General, California, 1890.

 Regimental Histories, 3rd California Infantry

 

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