Biography - George Foster

GEORGE FOSTER is a well-known and successful farmer of Audubon Township, Montgomery County, and is a veteran of the Civil War. He was born in County Tyrone in the North of Ireland in 1838, being the youngest of four sons and next to the youngest in a family of seven children born to James and Margaret Foster. His parents brought him to America when he was a child, consequently he knows no other land and is as loyal to the Stars and Stripes as if he had been born in Uncle Sam's Dominion. After emigrating to this country, his parents at once located in Scioto County, Ohio, where his father secured employment in an iron foundry and at the same time cultivated a small farm, on which the family was reared.

George and his brothers and sisters obtained such education as the common schools afforded. After the death of the husband and father in 1857, the widow with her children moved to Adams County, Ohio, where our subject tilled the soil on a rented farm until the opening of the Civil War. On the 29th of July, 1862, his name might be found on the muster rolls of Company E, Ninety-first Ohio Infantry as a private. He was at once sent to Virginia and from there to Fayetteville, W. Va., where for nearly a year and a half they were holding the forts, doing garrison and scouting duty. They then started on a raid on the line of the Virginia & Tennessee Railroad, their objective point being Dublin Depot, which they reached after a forced march of forty miles in one day. They burned the depot and railroad bridge and returned by way of White Sulphur Springs, intending to connect with Hunter at Staunton, but their supplies being cut off they had to again return to West Virginia to meet the supply train. They then proceeded on their way and joined Hunter at the above-named place. During the journey a small battle was fought at Lexington, and the enemy was driven in front of them to Lynchburg.

In the battle of Staunton Mr. Foster's regiment was in the advance and many of its members were slain. They were then compelled to retreat, during which time they suffered many hardships, being greatly in need of food. After reaching Parkersburg they took the train to Harper's Ferry, at which time they were under command of Gen. Sheridan, and with him took part in the battle of Stephen's Station, not far from Winchester. The battle of Winchester next occupied their attention, after which they crossed into Maryland and for some time thereafter were in camp at Harper's Ferry. After participating in a number of fierce engagements, the second battle of Winchester was fought, and here our subject received an injury from the concussion of a shell and was sent to the hospital at Philadelphia. Later he rejoined his regiment, and during the following winter was on duty along the line of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, in the vicinity of Cumberland, Md. In the spring of 1865 he was sent to Winchester, at which place the news of Lee's surrender reached him. He was soon mustered out at Columbia and ordered to Camp Denison, where he was discharged in 1865.

With the consciousness of having served his country faithfully for three years, Mr. Foster returned to his home and there remained about one year, at the end of which time he located in Montgomery County, Ill., where he worked as a farm hand until 1867. During that year he was united in marriage with Miss Lucitta Pettingale, the daughter of a prominent and well-to-do farmer, who was also a native of Ohio. At the death of her father she inherited the fine farm on which they are now residing in Audubon Township. They are the parents of five children: Maggie E., a prominent school teacher of the county; Joseph O., who assists his father on the farm; Hattie J., Daisy and James Ross.

Politically Mr. Foster has ever been a Republican, his first vote having been cast for the martyred President, Abraham Lincoln. He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, belonging to Nokomis Post, in which he has held the offices of Senior Vice, Junior Vice and minor positions. As a soldier he was brave, true and faithful; as a citizen he is public-spirited, industrious and honorable; as a tiller of the soil he is progressive, thrifty and energetic; and as a husband and father he is kind, considerate and generous. His friends are many, his enemies few, and he is generous in aiding those who are not so fortunate as himself.

Extracted 29 Nov 2016 by Norma Hass from 1892 Portrait and Biographical Record of Montgomery and Bond Counties, Illinois, pages 122-123.

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