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SGT: GEORGE A. HOVEY of the 17th Iowa Infantry of Company K, Civil War Veteran of Monterey County.

Sgt: George A. Hovey was born in New York on October 10, 1836. He first enlisted into Company F of the 15th Iowa Infantry as a private on October 10, 1861, in February 1862 to the 17th Iowa Infantry of Company K as a third Sergeant. On March 1, 1863 he was promoted to First Sergeant, he later became Quartermaster Sergeant; in November of 1863 he was in battle at Missionary Ridge, TN. He later took part in the Siege of Corinth and the Siege of Vicksburg in 1863. On October 13, 1864, he was taken prisoner at Tilton, Georgia. He was moved from prison to prison and finally ending up at Andersonville, Georgia. On April 18th, 1865 he was placed in charge of 3100 prisoners and was cut loose by the Rebs at Baldwin Junction. His wife was named Zerus B. Hovey. Sgt: George A. Hovey died at his home in Pacific Grove on February 23, 1918. He was a member of the Lucius Fairchild GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) Post # 179 based out of Pacific Grove, California. He is buried at the El Carmelo Cemetery in Pacific Grove, California.

The following are Transcriptions from the obituary and funeral notice from the Monterey Cypress & American Newspaper.

HOVEY, GEORGE A (1835-1918) PACIFIC GROVE El Carmelo Cemeery

(Monterey Cypress & American Feb 24, 1918) George A. Hovey Dies Suddenly Friday afternoon between five and six o’clock George A. Hovey, an honored citizen of pacific Grove, passed away suddenly. He was a veteran of the Civil War, a member of the G.A.R. and honored and respected citizen. The funeral services will be from the Methodist Church on Monday afternoon at two o’clock, the G.A.R. and Women’s Relief Corps participating. A sketch of the life of the deceased as a soldier and prisoner in the Civil War will appear later. (Monterey Cypress & American February 25, 1918)

Geo. A. Hovey The funeral services of the late George A. Hovey, who passed away last Friday afternoon were held in the Methodist Episcopal Church of Pacific Grove at Two o’clock this afternoon. The pastor Dr. Frank K. Baker, had charge, and Miss Anna Bieghle provided the music, with Mrs. George Turner at the organ. The altar of the church was fittingly decorated for the occasion. The G.A.R. and the Women’s Relief Corps attended in a body, escorting the casket from Paul’s Undertaking Parlors to the church. Ten soldiers from the Presidio acted as escort for the G.A.R.

At the church suitable hymns were sung by the quarter consisting of Annie Bieghle, Mrs. E. C. Hurlbert, George Moser and E.C. Hurlbert. Before Dr. Baker’s remarks, Adjutant J.C. Brown of the local G.A.R. Post; read the army record of the deceased. Dr. Baker spoke on “The Christian’s Supreme Confidence” and of how the deceased had that confidence, his life and experience testifying to it all along the way. He was a true Christian, a loyal citizen, a good man, a dedicated husband and father, and a courteous gentleman. He joined the local Methodist Church on November 20th, 1904, but had been a member of the church from his young manhood. he loved his church and was faithful to his vows.

At the conclusion of Dr. Baker’s remarks, the Women’s Relief Corps, Mrs. W.B. Filcher, President, conducted their beautiful service as they stood around the casket. At the El Carmelo Cemetery, Lucius Fairchild Post, G.A.R., with Post Commandeer C.F. French in charge, conducted their impressive service. A firing squad of ten men from the Presidio fired a salute over his grave.

The deceased leaves his widow, Mrs. George A. Hovey, and a son Charles E. Hovey of Oakland, to mourn their loss.

George A. Hovey was born October 10th, 1836 in New York. On September 25th 1861, he enlisted in Company F, Fifteenth Iowa Infantry Volunteers. The rendezvous was at Keokuk, Iowa during the winter of 1861-62. On October 10th Company F was mustered into the United States service. In February 1862, he was transferred to the Seventeenth Iowa Infantry Volunteers and assigned to Company K as third sergeant On July 4th he was promoted to first sergeant. On May 3rd he was detailed acting commissary sergeant of the regiment. On July 4th he was commissioned quartermaster sergeant on the non commissioned staff of the regiment, the Seventeenth Iowa.

In November, 1863, he was at the battle of Missionary Ridge, Tennessee. On March 23, 1864 he re-enlisted for three years. At this time the regiment veteranized. He participated in fifteen battles, the siege of Corinth and the siege of Vicksburg. Up to that time they were numbered as Colonel Holmes Second Brigade, Third Division, Seventeenth Army Corps, commander by General J.B. McPherson.

On October 13th, 1864 he was taken prisoner at Tilton, Georgia, and sent to Columbia, Alabama; from there to Milton Dalton Stockade; from there to Black Shear, Georgia; from there to Thomasville; from there on December 25th 1864, by way of Albany to Andersonville Georgia. He left there April 18th 1865, in charge of 3100 prisoners, and was turned loose by the rebels at Baldwin Junction.

William Sweezy, Company A, Seventeenth Iowa; a man belonging to the Tenth Missouri, and Mr. Hovey were all who made Jacksonville the first day, out of the 3100 men.

On April 28, 1865, he ordered 3100 loaves of bread, and the provost marshal ordered them to give a loaf to every prisoner they met and not to stop until they got to Baldwin Junction, if it took all night. It was then about seven o’clock in the evening. He says they were kept in Jacksonville, Florida, for about a month. Three steamboat loads of the prisoners, a thousand on each boat, went to Annapolis, Maryland, on May 3rd 1865. Mr. Hovey was in charge of the prisoners on the Daniel Webster.

He arrived at home in Red Oak, Iowa, on July 4th 1865, and had an old fashioned Fourth of July jubilee. He first joined the G.A.R. on February 10th 1882, John Brown Post No. 44, Department of Kansas. He was quartermaster in the local Lucius Fairchild Post at the time of his death.

(Monterey Daily Cypress)

Died Last Evening Mrs. Zerwah Hovey Mrs. Zerwah Hovey passed away at her late residence on Seventeenth street last evening. She had been declining in health for some time and her going was expected. Her maiden name was Huntoon and she was born July 14th, 1832, in Vermont. She lived in the Eastern States until 1864. She was married to Alvah Beckminster in 1858. Her husband entered the New Hampshire volunteers on August 6th 1862 and was finally reported as killed on May 12th, 1864 at Spottsylvania Virginia.

Shortly after her husband’s death she came with her daughter, Luella to California by way of Cape Horn. She resided in Sacramento until 1870 and for thirteen years in San Francisco and then in Sacramento until she came to Pacific Grove in 1904, where she resided until the day of her death. About twelve years ago she was married to George A. Hovey, an honored veteran of the Civil War, who passed away about one year ago

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Compiled and Submitted: by Tim P. Reese, PCC  
Camp Abe Lincoln #10 based out of Santa Cruz, Ca  
Dept. of Calif. and Pacific  
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War  
Sep 2009

Additional information provided by the great, great granddaughter of George A. Hovey, Andrea Nairne Metz [] on 2/17/2012.

George Andrew Hovey was first married to Sophronia Arvilla Symonds (a Mayflower descendant). They had three children, two who died in infancy in Iowa, and the youngest, Charles Elliott Hovey - my great grandfather. Charles was a well known contractor in the Pacific Grove, CA. area and was the builder/contractor of the Pacific Grove Bed and Breakfast Inn in Pacific Grove. (I also understand he may have had something to do with the building of the Asilomar conference grounds main building.) Charles married my great grandmother, Sara Ann Dauphiney. They had 5 daughters, of which my grandmother, Edna Hovey (vis Nairne) Butler, was the youngest.  Edna's youngest son, Robert Hovey Nairne, is my father. He is 85 and living in Pomona, CA. 

George, as you know by his obituary, died and is buried in Pacific Grove - El Carmelo cemetery. He was not in Kansas at his death. In fact, George and his wife Sophronia, migrated to California (from Iowa) after the Civil War with their son Charles and his wife Sarah. They spent a few years with family in the central valley or California and then settled in the Pacific Grove area.