George Washingtons' Ghost

Union Troops Ghost of George Washington

Ghost Of George Washington Saved the Union



Any History Major should know full well that George Washington won the Civil War ... oh wait ... wasn't that the Revolutionary War ? Let me check my calendar .... Washington died in 1799, he never saw the 19th Century durring which the Civil War erupted a tad more than halfway through. So what was he doing in the Civil War 60 plus years after his demise ?


Thats's right George was there, the 1863 Draft Riots. If you ever watched or read the 'Gangs of New York' its set durring this historic Civil uprising. From July 13 through the 16th there was anarchy, bloody violent rioting and gang warfare in Lower Manhattan. Historians regard it as the boiling over of working class resentment with draft laws passed by Congress forcing men to fight in the ongoing vicous Civil War between the North and South. These riots were the largest racially charged insurrection in US history. The exact death toll is unknown, but officially 120 people, probably more unreported, were killed God knows how many more were injured. Property Damage - fahgettaboutit !

Getting back to George, the guy on our dollar bills, the story states that he was there. A group of Union Soldiers was engaged in a battle royal and vastly outnumbered by a hoard of rioters at Broadway and Duane Streets when the ghost of George Washington rode up, dressed in full battle regalia of the Revolutionary period. Washington barked out the orders 'Fix bayonets! Charge!' The Union soldiers obeyed, charged down the hill, forced the rioters into a full retreat…

Years later, Joshua Chamberlain, a Union Officer who eventualy attained the rank of General gave made the following statement about the Ghost Of Washington. 'Who among us can say that such a thing was impossible? We have not yet sounded or explained the immortal life that lies out beyond the bar. We do not know what mystic power may be possessed by those who are now bivouacking with the dead. I only know the effect, but I dare not explain or deny the cause. I do believe that we were enveloped by the powers of the other world that day and who shall say Washington was not among the number of those who aided the country he founded?' Civil War Ghosts Daniel Cohen Pg. 9

The incident Chamberlain is speaking of is not the appearance of Washingtons Ghost at the Draft Riots however, not far from where Washington himself had 'bivouacked' half a century earlier during the battle of Long Island. But of a different battle of the same war. The Battle of Little Round Top, actually an engagement of a larger battle - Gettysburg.


Little Round Top was a rocky boulder strewn Pennsylvania hillside Union Colonel Joshua Chamberlain and his 20th Maine Regiment were ordered to defend at all costs. The Maine regiment's sudden, desperate and wholely unexpected bayonet charge thwarted the Confederate assault and saved Meade's Army of the Potomac, which resulted in the Union winning the Battle of Gettysburg and setting the Confederacy into an irreversible death spiral and eventual defeat.

As the 20th Maine Division, which is largely responsible for the Union victory at Gettsyburgh approached a fork in the road, they did not know which fork to take. If they took the wrong fork, they would never have gotten to little round top in time to save the day, they were forked. Suddenly an imposingly tall figure wearing a tri corner hat and revolutionary period uniform approached on horseback, waved them in the right direction and commanded them to follow him. Reports are it was the Ghost of George Washington.

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In life, Washington was reported to have a prophetic vision in which he forsaw the Civil War and other events in American History, so perhaps it is only fitting that he should show up at some of them in his after life. See: George Washington Prophecy




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