George Atkinson (68th USCT)

Standing 5 feet, 8 inches tall, a blue-eyed George Atkinson enlisted in Company I of the 68th USCT Infantry Regiment on February 17, 1864. He was a 25-year-old farmer living in Benton County, Missouri, at the time of his enlistment there, but his birthplace was Albemarle County, Virginia. His owner was a man named John Atkisson who had moved his slaves, including fellow member of the 68th, Patrick Henry Atkinson, from central Virginia to Missouri before the start of the war.

Though George entered service as a private, by the fall of 1864 he was promoted to corporal, increasing his role in the company. His regiment’s first major duty was to defend the captured city of Memphis, Tennessee, a task they held until February of 1865. By March, George and his comrades had marched through Louisiana and Florida, stopping in the city of Mobile, Alabama. There, the 68th USCT participated in a massive Union assault, culminating in their capture of Fort Blakely on April 9, 1865. In combat—the same day General Robert E. Lee surrendered his Confederate forces at Appomattox, Virginia—George received life-threatening wounds. He died the following day, April 10, 1865.

Name:Atkinson, George
Alternative names:
  • Soldier
68th Regiment Infantry U.S. Colored Troops I
Branch of service:Army
Enlistment1864-02-17Sedalia, MOaccepted25Slave
Muster In1864-04-12Benton Barracks St. Louis, MO
Muster Out1865-04-10Blakeley, ALDeath
Residence at enlistment:Benton County, MO
Rank In:Private
Rank Out:Corporal
Highest rank achieved:Corporal
Person 1Person 2NumberRelation Type
Atkinson, Georgenoneapplication-invalid
Atkinson, Georgenoneapplication-minor
Atkinson, Georgenoneapplication-parent
Atkinson, Georgenoneapplication-widow
Birth date:1839
Birth date certainty:About
Birth place:Albemarle County, VA
Death date:1865-04-10
Death place:Blakeley, AL
Causes of death:battle wounds
Person 1Relation TypePerson 2
Atkisson, Johnowner ofAtkinson, George

Compiled Service Record for George Atkinson, RG 94, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.; Frederick A. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion, vol. 3 (Des Moines, IA: Dyer Publishing Company, 1908); “Battle of Fort Blakeley,” Encyclopedia of Alabama,