About Colonel Abel Godard (USA)
Colonel Abel Godard commanded the 60th New York Infantry at the Battle of Gettysburg.
From the Gouveneur Northern Tribune, August 1, 1891:
COL. ABEL GODARD.
In the prime of life, apparently in the full possession of health and strength, Col. Godard surrendered to the great conquerer. The call came without an instant's warning. One moment genial and happy, the next, and the gallant Colonel of the 60th had "fallen in" at his place in the ranks of the great Grand Army of the dead. The deceased was the only son of Harlow and Mary Rich Godard. and was born at Richville, N.Y., June 26th 1835.
His early education was received at the Gouverneur Seminary after which he entered the University of Rochester from which he graduated with honors in the class of '59. He then took a two year course in the Albany Law School, and was granted the diploma of that institution entitling him to practice in any court of the United States. He was a member of the St. Lawrence County Bar, tho never active in the practice of his profession.
At the breaking out of civil war he organized Company K, 60th N.Y.S.V., and was made its captain Sept. 25th 1861, from which rank he was twice promoted for valiant service. His commission of Major is dated Sept. 16th '62 and he was made Colonel of his regiment the 10th of Dec. the same year. He was discharged on account of sicknessSept. 18, 1864, and the following testimonial granted him at that time:
COL. ABEL GODARD, Commanding 60th Reg. N.Y.S.V.
"We learn with the most sincere regret that in consequence of ill health your connection with us as an officer is about to cease. We cannot part with you without an expression of our appreciation of your gallant services while an officer among us, and our respect for you as a man. Two years of continued association and service in the field have given us an opportunity of knowing your high qualities as an officer, two years of the most eventful in the nation's history. We all remember with what daring you led your command in the glorious action of Lookout Mountain, and a few days after at Ringgold, Ga. In the recent eventful campaign of Sherman in his eventful march thro' Georgia you have justified by your conduct our high opinion of your capacity. Worn out by fatigue, enervated by a weakening disease contracted in the nation's service, we cannot help but admire the resolution which has kept you at your post so long, and we hope that with rest and treatment your health will be again restored and that your talents will in some other sphere be as advantageous to the nation as your career has been honorable and useful while associated with us."
This testimonial is signed by all his brother officers of the 3rd Brigade of the famous "White Star Division," and shows the high esteem in which he was held by his comrades in arms. He was offered a Brevet-Generalship but preferred to retain the title won by his valor on the field.
Col. Godard has been a prominent figure in social, business and political circles. He was the first republican state senator elected from this district, and was, at the time he was thus highly honored, only thirty-two years old. He has, since its organization, held faithful allegiance to that party. Has several years served his town most faithfully as Supervisor and in 1882-3 was Assemblyman from this district.
Col. Godard twice rebuilt the Richville Mills and they are a monument to the enterprise which few men would have exhibited in the face of so many discouragements.
In 1877 he founded the banking house of A. Godard & Co., which was merged into the 1st National Bank of Gouverneur.
The Colonel was especially popular in Grand Army circles, commander of Geo. A. Rich Post, No. 468, and over one hundred veterans, representing this and neighboring Posts, were in line at the funeral held from his late residence Tuesday afternoon. The brief service was conducted by Rev. T.T. Davies, followed by the beautiful ritualistic service of the G.A.R.
Any expressions of sympathy to the bereaved family, however warmly felt, seem too cold and formal in an hour of so great sorrow.