About Lt. Colonel Samuel E. Pingree (USA), Governor
Samuel Everett Pingree (August 2, 1832 – June 1, 1922) was a lawyer, a U.S. politician of the Republican Party, and an American Civil War veteran who received the Medal of Honor.
Pingree was born in Salisbury, New Hampshire, the son of Stephen and Judith (True) Pingree. He received his early education in Andover, New Hampshire, and McIndoes Falls, Vermont, then entered Dartmouth College, where he graduated in 1857. He studied law in Bethel, Vermont, and was admitted to the bar in Windsor County in December 1859. He began practicing law in Hartford.
He enlisted in Company F, 3rd Vermont Infantry, and was soon chosen 1st lieutenant. In August 1861, he was promoted to captain, and was commissioned major on September 27, 1862, and lieutenant colonel on January 15, 1863. He was severely wounded at the Battle at Lee's Mills on April 16, 1862, during which he led his company across a wide creek and drove the enemy from rifle pits on the opposite bank. He spent ten weeks recuperating in a Philadelphia hospital.
During the second day of the Battle of the Wilderness, Pingree was placed in command of the 2nd Vermont Infantry, since all the field officers of that unit had been killed or wounded. Pingree participated in the battles of Spotsylvania, North Anna, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, and Weldon Railroad, where he narrowly escaped capture with a portion of his command. Pingree's final military action occurred at Fort Stevens on July 11, and July 12, 1864. He mustered out of the service on July 27, 1864.
On August 17, 1891, Pingree received the Medal of Honor, for his actions at Lee's Mills.
Pingree returned to Hartford and his law practice. In 1868 and 1869, he was state's attorney for Windsor County. He served as town clerk of Hartford for 50 years, and in 1868 was chosen delegate-at-large to the Republican National Convention at Chicago. In 1870 he was elected president of the Vermont Officers' Reunion Society.
In the fall of 1882, Colonel Pingree was elected lieutenant governor, and in 1884, governor. "His administration was characterized by the same efficiency and zeal which he has ever displayed as soldier, lawyer and citizen."
After his tenure as governor, Pingree served as chairman of the board of the newly established state railway commission from 1886 to 1894.
He was a trustee of Vermont Academy in Saxtons River from 1885 to 1910. He also served as judge advocate of the Medal of Honor Legion, an organization established in 1890 to protect the reputation of the medal.
In 1898 he was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree from Norwich University.
Governor Pingree married, on September 15, 1869, Lydia M. Steele, daughter of Sanford and Mary (Hinman) Steele, of Stanstead, Quebec.
Medal of Honor citation
Rank and Organization: Captain, Company F, 3d Vermont Infantry
Place and date: Lees Mills, Va., April 16, 1862.
Entered service at. Hartford, Vt.
Birth: Salisbury, N.H.
Date of issue: August 17, 1891.
Gallantly led his company across a wide, deep creek, drove the enemy from the rifle pits, which were within 2 yards of the farther bank, and remained at the head of his men until a second time severely wounded.