1922: One Publication and Two Men from Georgetown, Delaware

In 1922 the Historical Society of Delaware put forth one publication in its Papers of the Historical Society of Delaware Series. The only publication was the “General Alfred T. A. Torbert Memorial” by George Alfred Townsend. Both the subject, General Alfred T. A. Torbert, and the author, George Alfred Townsend, were born in Georgetown, Delaware.

The subject of the work, General Alfred T.A. Torbert , was born in Georgetown, Delaware in 1833. He attended the United States Military Academy. During the Civil War Torbert was appointed colonel of the 1st New Jersey Infantry and later promoted to Brigadier General. He commanded a brigade at the Battle of Antietam, and fought during the battles of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg.  In 1864, Torbert was given command of a cavalry division, and he commanded in the Overland Campaign as well as during Sheridan’s Valley Campaign of 1864.

1922 - George Alfred Townsend131
George Alfred Townsend

The author of the work, George Alfred Townsend , was  also born in Georgetown, Delaware in 1841. His family moved to Philadelphia in 1855. Townsend’s first full-time employment began in 1860 as a news editor for the Philadelphia Inquirer. In 1861, he moved to the city editorship of the Philadelphia Press. Townsend was a noted news journalist, as a war correspondent covering the Civil War for the New York Herald, the New York World, and later, as a ghost writer, for The New York Times. He reported on Lincoln’s assassination, the Battle of Five Forks, and many other topics including fiction set in Delaware and Maryland.

The subject and the author were both born in Georgetown, but chose different paths in life.


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