Back to top

Ellender, George

African American Soldier - No photograph currently available
George Ellender served as a private in Company G of the 54th Massachusetts. Born in 1830 in Sussex County, New Jersey, Ellender worked as a forgeman or blacksmith before enlisting in the army on April 12, 1863. On his enlistment report, Ellender described himself as having light skin, black eyes and hair, and standing at 5 feet 8 inches tall. Ellender was present at the 54th’s first major engagement on James Island on July 16, 1863, two days before the regiment’s famous participation in the assault on Fort Wagner, where the regiment’s colonel, Robert Gould Shaw, was fatally wounded. Private Ellender made it through the high-casualty attack on Fort Wagner, but was wounded on February 20, 1864 during the Battle of Olustee, part of Maj. General Quincy A. Gilmore’s attempt to recruit black soldiers in Florida. The Union force faced defeat, but were able to retreat to Jacksonville. The 54th Massachusetts mustered out August 20, 1865 in South Carolina. Ellender was buried in York, Pennsylvania. (By Rebecca Solnit)


How to Cite This Page: "Ellender, George," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College,