GEORGE BAIRD CALDWELL, 1st Lieut., Adj.
George B. Caldwell, elder brother of Alfred, Jr., and partner with him in the firm of Caldwell & Caldwell, attorneys, and is one of the able lawyers of Wheeling. He was born August 1, 1840. In 1859 he was graduated from Washington college, Penn., and two years later enlisted as a private in the United States army, and served in that capacity fourteen months. He served first in the Twelfth regiment Pennsylvania infantry, three months, and then enlisted in Company A, One Hundredth Pennsylvania, or "Roundhead" regiment, and was on an expedition to South Carolina. Subsequently he became second lieutenant in the Twelfth West Virginia infantry, and was promoted first lieutenant and adjutant. He served under Milroy, Crooks, Hunter, Sheridan, Butler and Grant to the close of the war. Then, returning to Wheeling he began the practice of law, in which he has since been engaged. He was brevetted by President Johnson as captain, major and lieutenant colonel, for gallant and meritorious conduct. In 1880 he was nominated by the republican party for attorney general, but suffered defeat with the rest of the ticket. He is a member of Holiday post, G.A.R. On June 28, 1866, he was married to Sue M. Smith, of Accomac county, Va., and five children have been born to them, of whom four are living, viz.: Perry M., who was among the first six in the graduating class of Yale in 1889; Martha Sue M. and Virginia. During the war Mrs. Caldwell (then Miss Smith) was concerned in an adventure which for a time threatened serious results. A half-brother of hers, now an Episcopalian divine, was then an officer on the rebel iron-clad ram Virginia, located for a long time on the James river near Richmond. Taking a crew of five or six sailors from the ram he would frequently cross overland to the Chesepeake bay and at night, with muffled oars, in a small row boat laden with tobacco, run the national blockade to the eastern shore. The trip was one of thirty miles and part of the time out of sight of land, and its execution was one of peril. Miss Smith would receive the tobacco at the mouth of some little inlet, and would secretly exchange it for gray cloth, for confederate uniforms, or other useful supplies for her brother and his friends. The negroes betrayed the arrangement, and one night the boat was surprised by federal troops and the officer and one sailor alone escaped death or capture. Though not present at the encounter, Miss Smith was arrested by order of Gen. B. F. Butler, and taken to the Hygeia hotel, then used as a military prison. There for six weeks, she was in close imprisonment with the terrors of a court martial and banishment to the confederate lines hanging over her. Happily, however, Hon. Joseph Segar, since United States senator from Virginia, who was retained to defend her, discovered that the soldiers who had taken possession of the contraband tobacco, at the time of the arrest of Miss Smith, had appropriated it as booty and he managed by a judicious intimation of the results of this failure to turn the property over to the quartermaster's department, to prevent the appearance of witnesses against Miss Smith. She was released, but given a parole forbidding her to leave the county of Accomac until further orders. The war ended and she left her native county, but those orders have never come.
Submitted by Linda Fluharty.
George B. Caldwell was the son of Alfred Caldwell and Martha Baird (married 7 Aug 1839). Alfred Caldwell was the son of James Caldwell and Nancy Anne Booker. James is a brother of the John Caldwell who helped build Fort Henry during the Indian fighting days. James Caldwell was the son of James Caldwell and Elizabeh Alexander, who were married in Ireland.