George W. Mills was born in 1845 in Ionia, Ionia County, Michigan, the son of Major D. (1806-1886) and Julia (d. 1849).
His parents moved to Michigan, probably from Massachusetts, sometime before 1832, and by 1850 his fahter had remarried to a woman named Lucina and George was living with his family in North Plains, Ionia County, where his father was a farmer. In 1860 George was attending school and living with his family in North Plains.
George stood 5’11” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was 16 years old and probably still living with his family in North Plains when he enlisted (presumably with his parents’ consent) in Company E on May 13, 1861. He was left sick in Grand Rapids on June 13, 1861, when the Regiment left for Washington, DC, and, although he was reported to have died soon afterwards, in fact, he soon rejoined the Regiment. (According to David Crawford, former officer of Company E, George was sick with measles in 1861 but even after he rejoined the regiment was never very well.)
He was absent sick from August of 1862 through November, rejoined the Regiment in December and was present for duty through April of 1862. George was reported sick in a hospital near Yorktown, Virginia, as of June 30, 1862, and listed as absent sick from August 14 quite probably through October. He returned to duty, possibly in December, and remained with the regiment through April. He was wounded severely in the left arm on May 3, 1863. at Chancellorsville, Virginia, after which he was hospitalized through August. On June 9 George left for home on sick furlough.
George returned to the regiment by the end of October, and reenlisted on December 23, 1863, crediting Wyoming, Kent County. He was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough, probably at his family home in Ionia County, in January of 1864 and probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February. He was shot in the left arm on May 6, 1864, at the Wilderness, Virginia, or perhaps on August 18, 1864, at Deep Bottom, Virginia, after which he was hospitalized, probably in Washington, DC, eventually suffering the loss of his arm. He was still absent wounded in the hospital when he was transferred to Company E, Fifth Michigan infantry in June, and he remained absent wounded until he was discharged on December 4, 1864, at Emory hospital, Washington, DC for “loss of left arm caused by a gunshot wound.
George listed North Plains as his mailing address on his discharge paper and indeed he was residing in North Plains in January of 1865 when he applied for a pension. By 1870 he was listed as a “pensioner” and living with his family in North Plains. He was listed as single, working as a farmer and still living with his parents in North Plains in 1880. He worked as a farmer for many years.
By December of 1883 he was living in Muir, Ionia County when he became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association. he was also a member of GAR Dresser Post No. 100 in Lyons, Ionia County. By 1883 George was drawing $18.00 per month for loss of his left arm (pension no. 43,517, dated September of 1866). On December 25, 1884 he married one Lucy Nickusen, in Clinton County.
In October of 1885 Dr. David Kelley examined George and found him to be suffering from the effects of his wounds. Dr. Kelley noted that “the ball enter[ed] between the second and third ribs [moving] from below up on the left side of the front chest passing down[wards] and lodging at or near the lower [end] of the stomach and from irritating effects on that organ a tumor which closed the passage almost or entirely of the contents of the stomach to the intestines which together with chronic diarrhea producing general debility and emaciation to a very great [extent] and death from the effects of the above-named causes which took place on or about Jan. 11, 1866.”
George was probably still living in Ionia County when he died on January 16, 1886. He was buried in Ionia County, North Plains cemetery: section 7 grave no. 135.
Lucy applied for a pension (no. 336417). In 1887 she reportedly remarried to one William Leclear in Clinton County.