George Johnson was born in 1841 in New York.
George left New York and moved westward, eventually settling in Michigan where by 1860 he was a teamster working for and/or living with Samuel Ronkin, a grocer in Lansing’s First Ward.
By the time the war broke out he had joined the “Williams’ Rifles,” the Lansing militia company whose members would serve as the nucleus of Company G. He was 20 years old and residing in Ingham County, probably Lansing, when he enlisted on July 4 or 8, 1861, in Company G, and was mustered the same day. (He was possibly related to Amasy Johnson and/or Norman Johnson, both of whom enlisted in Company G.) By the end of the month, however, George was reported to be a patient in the City Hospital in Washington with a fever, and in fact was in Columbian College hospital in Washington suffering from “intermittent fever.”
In early September he was reported convalescing in Columbian College Hospital, along with another member of Company G, although, on September 11, the Republican reported that he was in the general hospital in Annapolis, Maryland, suffering from fever.
George was alleged to have deserted on October 4, 1862, at Upton’s Hill, Virginia. In fact, he may have deserted as early as Sunday, September 28. “There was a man,” wrote Edgar Clark of Company G on October 5, who “deserted this company a week ago today. His name was George Johnson, brother of Sam Parker’s wife of the lower town. I do not know what they will do with him if they ever catch him. I think he is too smart to ever be caught.”
There is no further record, and no pension seems to be available.