Utah Historical Quarterly Volume 15, Number 1-4, 1947

Page 49

G E O R G E Y O U N G BRADLEY 1836-1885 George Young Bradley was born at Newbury, Massachusetts in October (?), 1836, of English parents who had come to America in 1827 or 1828. The exact date of birth is uncertain because no official record has been found. Very little is known of his boyhood and youth but at the outbreak of the Civil W a r he was employed as a journeyman shoemaker in the town of Newburyport, and sometime prior to 1861 he had been to sea, perhaps only for sport. On August 12, 1862, Bradley enlisted into the Volunteer Infantry, giving his age as twenty-five. H e was assigned to Company A, 19th Regiment, Second Massachusetts Infantry and dispatched, after a few weeks, to Virginia. In the bloody skirmishing at the river crossing at Fredericksburg, he sustained an injury to his right thigh which though not serious healed slowly and, being complicated by fever, incapacitated him for further active duty. After convalescence in July, 1863, Private Bradley was transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps July 28, 1863, in which he remained on duty, chiefly in the enlistment service until July 28, 1864. Bradley returned to civilian life, traveled in Florida and the Gulf states, and after some wandering gained employment for a short time as a druggist, supposedly in Boston although city directories of the period do not list his name. Apparently he found circumstances unexciting at Boston for on January 16,1867, Bradley re-enlisted in the United States Army, giving his age as twentyfive. At the time of re-enlistment he was five feet nine inches tall, weighed 150 pounds, was of dark complexion and had brown hair. On January 30, Private Bradley was assigned to the 36th Regiment of Infantry and ordered to Fort Kearney, Nebraska Territory. The Regiment was frequently on the move, marching across the plains and deserts, first to Fort Sedgwick, then to Lodge Pole Creek, then to Fort Sanders, finally to Fort Bridger, where Bradley arrived with his Company on November 8, 1867. At intervals thereafter the Company made many short marches from its post at Fort Bridger. Bradley was promoted to the rank of Corporal on April 30, 1867, and of First Sergeant on November 1, 1867, probably because of his previous military experience. Life on the plains, guarding the route of the Overland Stage Company and the construction of the Union Pacific Railroad and "chasing Indians," turned out to be far less adventuresome than Sergeant Bradley had expected, and before many months had passed he was champing at the bit to get out of harness. During the fall of 1868, when the Major was making preparations for a


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