George Merrill, Scarborough, ca. 1863
Contributed by Scarborough Historical Society & Museum
George Merrill was born in Saco in 1844. In 1862, when he enlisted to fight in the Civil War, he was five-foot-ten-inches tall, with hazel eyes and light hair, was single, and worked as a farmer.
Merrill enlisted in Augusta, in the 16th Maine Infantry, Company F, for three years. This regiment saw action for the first time at Fredericksburg, Virginia, when General Ambrose Burnside and the Army of the Potomac attacked General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia.
The 16th Maine was part of General John Gibbon’s Division, which was on the Union left facing General Stonewall Jackson’s Corps. They crossed the Rappahannock River on Saturday, December 13, 1862. The 16th Maine acquitted itself well in their first battle, breaking through the outer defense line of the Confederate Army. However, they had to retire when no support was given them.
The regiment suffered high casualties during that charge. One of those killed was George Merrill.