Blodgett, Gardner Spring
Age: 0, credited to Burlington, VT
Unit(s): USV, USA
Service: CPT and AQM, USV, 8/3/61, CPT and AQM, USA, 7/2/64, Bvt MAJ and Bvt LTC USA for faithful and meritorious services during the war, 3/13/65; First service, equipping 1st VT CAV, fall of 61, at Burlington; while at Annapolis MD, built the camp for prld US prisoners which handle 30,000 men; work was done by prld prisoners, at an extra duty pay of 25 cents per day each and a superintendent at a salary of $5 per day; Acting Chief QM, 8th AC, at Baltimore, MD 64, Chief of 4th Div. QM-Gen office, War Department, Washington, DC, 64 and 65, in charge of transportation by river and rail, resgd 10/13/65
See Legend for expansion of abbreviationsVITALS
Birth: 11/10/1819, Rochester, VT
Burial: Greenmount Cemetery, Burlington, VT
Marker/Plot: Not recorded
Gravestone researcher/photographer: Kathy Valloch
Findagrave Memorial #: 71221904
Alias?: None noted
Pension?: Yes, 12/11/1891, VT; widow Sarah E., 6/15/1909, VT
College?: Not Found
Veterans Home?: Not Found
(If there are state digraphs above, this soldier spent some time in a state or national soldiers' home in that state after the war)
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Greenmount Cemetery, Burlington, VT
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Major G. S. Blodgett
For forty-seven years Gardner S. Blodgett was prominently connected with the business interests of Burlington, Vermont, and is a most honored and respected citizen of the Green Mountain state. Throughout the Civil war he performed most important service for the government, and at all times he has been loyal to his country, zealously devoting his energies to the promotion of its welfare.
Major Blodgett was born in Rochester, Vermont, November 10, 1819. His father, the Rev. Luther P. Blodgett, was born at Cornwall, Vermont, May 15, 1783, was graduated at Middlebury College, in August, 1804, devoted his life to the work of the ministry and died in Cooperstown, New York, January 26, 1862. The ancestry of the family is traced back to Samuel Blodgett, of Salisbury, Connecticut, who was a French Huguenot. The family had its origin in Britanny, where the name was spelled Blojed.
Major Blodgett was educated in the common schools and in Jericho Academy, and entered upon his business career as a clerk in a country store. He was afterward employed as a salesman in a wholesale dry-goods house in New York City for three years, on the expiration of which period (1852) he returned to Vermont and was appointed mail agent on the Burlington and Boston route. In 1854 he invented and patented a galvanized iron portable oven, which is now in use throughout almost the entire civilized world. The government of the United States was also a large purchaser, securing the ovens for army use in camp and field.
At the outbreak of the Civil War Major Blodgett entered the Union service and performed duties of the greatest importance and responsibility. He was commissioned by President Lincoln as captain and assistant quartermaster, United States Volunteers, August 3, 1861; captain and assistant quartermaster, United States Army (regular service), July 2, 1864; and was brevetted major March 13, 1865, for faithful and meritorious service during the war. His services began with the First Vermont Cavalry Regiment, at Burlington. He filled the twofold position of assistant quartermaster and assistant commissary of subsistence, and upon him devolved the arduous duty of feeding and equipping the command, this, too, in face of what appeared to be insuperable obstacles. Captain Blodgett received from the quartermaster general of the United States Army a requisition upon the treasury department for one hundred and ten thousand dollars, as payment for the horses purchased for the regiment, and a further requisition from the commissary general, United States Army, for fifteen thousand dollars to pay for the subsistence of the men, at a rate of thirty cents a day. The requisitions were disregarded, and Major Blodgett visited the treasury department at the national capital, only to be informed that the matter must await the usual red-tape circumlocutory process. Major Blodgett was strenuously urgent, however, and his pertinacity was rewarded, and within three days he was on his return to Burlington. In little more than a month the regiment was fully clothes and equipped, and on its way to the front.
With the prestige of thus promptly conducting affairs, Major Blodgett was ordered, in May, 1862, to Annapolis, Maryland, under assignment to duty as chief depot quartermaster. This was one of the most important bases of supplies for the great Army of the Potomac, as well as for the troops operating in North Carolina, and he had it in charge during the remainder of the year. It was under him that was built the great parole camp accommodating about fifteen thousand men, and where were received the thousands of prisoners of war paroled at Richmond, Belle Isle and elsewhere. In 1864 Major Blodgett was ordered to Baltimore to relieve Colonel Alexander Bliss of his duties as chief quartermaster of the Eighth Army Corps, which was under command of General Lew Wallace, with the understanding that it could not relieve him of his duties at Annapolis. This additional position of acting chief quartermaster at Baltimore necessitated his keeping two sets of books and office clerks, on in each city. He remained in the latter position until the concentration and reorganization of the Ninth Army Corps, when he resigned his position at Baltimore.
The duties devolving upon Major Blodgett were most arduous during the reorganization of the Ninth Corp (Major General Ambrose E. Burnside) at Annapolis. This command numbered six thousand men, and all were to be reclothed and equipped. During his service at the Annapolis depot Major Blodgett disbursed nearly two million dollars in cash, issued one hundred and fifth thousand uniforms, fifty thousand tents, three hundred thousand blankets and immense quantities of camp and garrison equipments, together with nine million pounds of grain and forage, two hundred thousand tons of coal for government steamers, and the enormous amount of lumber required for the barracks for the parole camp, army hospitals and other camps. He provided transportation for many thousand paroled prisoners forwarded from Annapolis, ad in his accounting with the government five years elapsed before they were finally balanced to a cent.
While stationed at Annapolis, in addition to the service already mentioned, Major Blodgett laid out the national cemetery, selecting the site, purchasing the ground, and later interred therein three thousand of the brave boys in blue who had laid down their lives on the altar of their country. Major Blodgett has the name of all these soldiers aside from those who were unknown. He also attended to the manufacture of the coffins, and was ordered by the secretary of war to paint all the government houses in Annapolis, which he did. He had authority to go into open market and buy any supplies he needed, which was an unusual privilege for a subordinate officer, but it indicated his standing with the government officials and the confidence reposed in him. To those who know Major Blodgett it is unnecessary to say that this confidence was never betrayed in the slightest degree. Major Blodgett also superintended the erection of a small pox hospital at Annapolis, and made his own plans, which received the approval of the quartermaster general, and which superceded the plans already made by a government architect, the change resulting in a saving of between twelve and fourteen thousand dollars.
The close of the war rendered the Annapolis depot unnecessary, and it was abandoned. Major Blodgett was then ordered to Washington city to succeed Colonel Bliss, who had charge, under Quartermaster General M. C. Meigs, of all railroad and river transportation. This was as arduous a task, perhaps, as could fall to his lot, for he was chargeable with the transportation to their homes of the vast number of troops now released from service, as well as with the carriage to arsenals and deports of the great quantities of military stores for which there was now no use in the field. During his four years' service Major Blodgett had been absent from his post of duty but ten days, and he asked of General Meigs a leave of absence for a like period. He passed but one night at home, returning to Washington city the next day. But he held on his knee his little son, and the conviction came to him that his family now needed him rather than did the government, and he accordingly resigned, in October, 1865, six months after the war had ended.
It is not too much to affirm that no man in all the vast army of the Union performed more useful service than did Major Blodgett. His duties were always performed with promptness and accuracy, and he aided very materially in promoting the efficiency of the army by providing it, without delay, with all that was necessary to its existence. He had a certain reward in the consciousness of duty well done. Again, he had been brought into official relations with some of the greatest men of the day, -- the lamented Lincoln, Secretary of War Stanton and his assistant, Charles A. Dana, General Grant, General Wood, General John A. Dix, General Burnside, General Meade and others, and he enjoyed the personal friendship and esteem of these distinguished statesmen and soldiers. In 1873 Major Blodgett was again called into the service of the government for a brief time in the capacity of assistant United States commissioner to the Vienna exposition.
On retiring from the army Major Blodgett resumed his place in the commercial circles of Burlington, where he had entered upon business in 1854, as a member of the firm of G. G. Blodgett & Company, jobbers of sheet and galvanized iron and dealers in steam, hot water and hot air furnaces, plumbers' material, stoves and ranges. For forty-seven years he occupied the same store building, and enjoyed a very large and profitable trade, his honorable business methods, enterprise and energy commending him to the public confidence and patronage. At length, having acquired a handsome competence, he disposed of his commercial interest and returned to private life, where he is now enjoying the rest which he has so truly earned and richly deserves. In all the relations of live he has been found true and faithful to duty, as a citizen, business man and in social life he has commanded the respect and regard of all with whom he has been brought in contact.
Major Blodgett is a valued member of the Congregational Society, and is connected with various military societies. He is a carter member of the Vermont Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion, which was organized October 15, 1891, at which time he was chose its treasurer, a position which he has occupied to the present time. He also holds membership with the Sons of the American Revolution, the Society of the Army of the Potomac, and Stannard Post, G.A.R.
On May 5, 1849, Major Blodgett was married, in New York, to Miss Sarah E. Ellis, a native of New Bedford, Massachusetts. One son was born of this union, Frank J., now an eminent physician, who makes a specialty of the treatment of diseases of the eye, ear, nose and throat, and is assistant surgeon of the Manhattan Eye and Ear Infirmary and of the New York Hospital.
Source: Hiram Carleton, "Genealogical and Family History of the State of Vermontů", The Lewis Publishing Company, New York, 1903, vol. i, pp. 316-318.
Blodgett, Gardner Spring. Vt. Vt. Capt assistant quartermaster volunteers 3 Aug 1861; captain assistant quartermaster United States Army 2 July 1864; brevet major 13 Mar 1865 for faithful and meritorious services during the war; resigned 14 Oct 1865. (Francis B. Heitman, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army, 1789-1903, Volume 1, Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1903, p. 225)
Blodgett G. S. & Co., (Gardner S. Blodgett and Edward P. Manor) manufacturers of Blodgett & Sweet's patent galvanized iron portable ovens, practical plumbers, and dealers in stoves, steam and furnace heating apparatus, jobbers in galvanized and black sheet-iron, 191 College. (Gazetteer and business directory of Chittenden County, Vermont for 1882-83)
The company he started in 1848 remains in business today.