February 12, 2010

George Frank Robie

   A native of Candia, New Hampshire, George Frank Robie was a sergeant in Company D, 7th New Hampshire Infantry, during the Civil War. As part of the Union army, he was commended for his performance during a reconnaissance mission (September, 1864) near Richmond, Virginia, the Confederate capital, for which he was later awarded the Medal of Honor (June 12, 1883). Unfortunately, during his time in Virginia, he contracted “rheumatism” -  probably polymyalgia rheumatica, a particularly virulent form of arthritis, which could have resulted from sleeping on cold, wet ground, and he was mustered out of the army with the rank of first lieutenant. In 1869, Robie went to Galveston where he worked as a bookkeeper in a railroad office, but eventually his condition forced him to stop working entirely. He managed to visit friends and relatives in Massachusetts and New Hampshire in 1883, but his return trip to Galveston exhausted him completely and he never left the city again. He died June 5, 1891 (some records say June 10) as a result of his illness and was buried in the New City Cemetery.

Gallantry on the skirmish line.

Note: His original stone lies only inches behind a prominent headstone and is easily overlooked; in fact, it was considered lost after the hurricane of 1900. A Civil War scholar rediscovered it while researching Union soldiers in the Houston-Galveston area and a new, more prominent military marker for Robie (shown below) was dedicated on November 11, 1997.

29° 17.588, -094° 48.822

New City Cemetery

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