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George T. Quick Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: EFB
Date: May 1971

Biographical History

George T. Quick (circa 1833-1911) was a British emigré to the United States. A carpenter by trade, he served in the Union Army (1861-1864) as a recruitment officer for the Independent Battalion, New York Volunteers, and was subsequently stationed at Point Lookout, MD; Yorktown and Eastville, VA; and Morris Island, SC.

Quick was born in London, England, in 1833 or 1834. It is not known when he emigrated to the United States, but he was living in New York City at the outbreak of the Civil War. He enlisted for three months' service in May 1861 and was mustered out as a sergeant in August 1861. He subsequently re-enlisted in February 1862 and in June and July 1862 recruited men in New York City for the Independent Battalion of the New York Volunteers. In October 1862 he was commissioned a second lieutenant and was named regimental and post adjutant while his unit was stationed at Point Lookout, Maryland, and Yorktown and Eastville, Virginia. His unit was transferred subsequently to Morris Island, South Carolina, and also spent time in Beaufort, South Carolina, serving as part of the Union forces besieging Charleston. During this time Quick was in charge of a company in the regiment. He was commissioned a first lieutenant in October 1863. In February 1864 he was discharged from the service, though it appears he may have continued to recruit for the army.

Quick was a carpenter by trade and sometimes held positions of responsibility in the Carpenters and Joiners Union. He was also a minor official in the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), a veterans' organization. The evidence of the papers suggests that Quick was married twice. His first wife was named Margaret; it is not clear when she died. His second wife, Eliza Ann, died in 1890. These papers suggest that after his second marriage Quick moved from New York City to the vicinity of Nyack and Piermont, New York. He died around 1911.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The George T. Quick Papers, 1835-1911, contain correspondence, military records, legal and financial records, and memorabilia.

Correspondence contains incoming and outgoing letters from 1862 to 1911. Although the larger part is official military correspondence, there are some personal letters from his wife Margaret and his brother William that report on conditions at home. A letter from 1866 concerns payment for a trade union representative at the New York funeral of Abraham Lincoln, and other letters relate to Quick's activities with the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR).

Military correspondence deals with a variety of official business matters. Many of the letters are copies of originals. Among the matters treated are contraband (Negro slaves that had escaped to the Union lines), the security of the camp and hospital at Point Lookout, Maryland, the refusal of a commission to a deserter, the management of the savings of the company commanded by Quick, the delivery of supplies, and disciplinary matters. Noteworthy is a letter from a Sergeant Claiborne to Quick's commanding officer complaining about the default by Quick on a personal debt. Letters from a lieutenant in Quick's battalion deal with recruiting duties, the possibility of the writer's promotion, and the court-martial of the battalion commander.

Military records, 1861-1911, are divided into personal and company categories. Included in the personal section are Quick's discharge papers of 1861, his commissions as second and first lieutenant, muster rolls documenting the fact that he was mustered into those ranks, a statement of his appointment as sergeant, a certificate giving him authority to recruit for the Army, and certificates documenting his membership in the Grand Army of the Republic.

The company section contains administrative materials. An account book lists amounts of equipment and mess supplies issued to company personnel. The contraband lists give names and dates of transmittal of escaped Negro slaves. The morning reports, muster rolls, and personnel reports contain information about the soldiers in Quick's command. The general orders, some of which are printed material, represent decisions of the army high command. The special orders are from lower-ranking commanders and deal with particular local situations. The provision returns, receipts, and requisitions detail various transactions involved in equipping the company.

Of particular note are the charges and specifications and the records of proceedings of courts-martial. All are handwritten documents. There are charges related to desertion, disobedience of orders, and other offenses. Also here are the proceedings of a court-martial related to absence without leave and another related to desertion.

Legal and financial records, 1835-1903, include documents such as wills and accounts payable books. The accounts payable record details expenditures made on behalf of Lawrence Quick, who may have been a son or brother. An 1867 deed documents the sale of property by Richard G. Perry to Quick's wife, Eliza Ann. Among the wills and related documents are the will of Eliza Ann Quick, a letter testamentary related to that will, and the will of Jacob Perry. It is not clear what relationship the latter has to the rest of the collection, although it may involve the above-mentioned property sold to Quick's second wife. The certificate of non-liability for military service seems to have been issued to a relative of Eliza Ann Quick.

Memorabilia, 1857-1886, contains mostly printed material. The constitution of the Sons of Veterans is a printed document of this auxiliary of the GAR. The book of English ballads is incomplete. The phrenological analysis of George T. Quick was apparently made by a professional phrenologist.

Arrangement of the Collection

Correspondence is arranged chronologically. Military files are subdivided into personal and company files and within that arranged alphabetically. Legal and financial records and Memorabilia are arranged alphabetically.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Related Material

Special Collections Research Center also has numerous collections relating to the America Civil War and to military history; please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing. See the Sons of Veterans, New York Division, Collection for more information about this auxiliary of the GAR.

Subject Headings


Quick, George T.

Corporate Bodies

United States. -- Army -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Sources.
United States. -- Army -- Officers.
United States. -- Army. -- New York Volunteers.


Soldiers -- United States.


United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Sources.
United States -- History, Military -- To 1900 -- Sources.

Genres and Forms

Military records.
Muster rolls.



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

George T. Quick Papers
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Purchase, 1967.

Table of Contents



Legal and financial records


Selected index to correspondence


Selected index to correspondence

Letters to George T. Quick are marked "to GTQ."