George Albert Woods, the oldest child of David Woods and Leah Eckels, was born in Pennsylvania in 1843, but moved to Ohio at a very young age. He was the only child of the couple to be born in Pennsylvania, as the other siblings were all born in Ohio, according to censuses.
By the 1850 census, the family were settled in Xenia, Greene County, Ohio, where David, 31, and Leah, 30, farmed and raised their three children at the time: George, W.B. (William), 4, and Charles, 2.
A move north prior to meeting the 1860 census enumerator found them in Pulaski in Williams County. David had real estate worth $500 on which to raise his growing family which now included David, John, Mary, James and Anna. George was sixteen years old and his occupation was given as farmhand.
Participation in the Union cause called to him when he was nineteen, as he enlisted on August 21, 1862, as a private in Company E, 111th O.V.I. The unit was organized in Toledo with a three year signup. These soldiers fought through Kentucky and Tennessee and then into the large battles in Georgia. Almost as soon as enlisting, George was promoted to full colonel on August 26, 1862, and later on to full sergeant. He stayed throughout the war, being discharged in 1865, after serving two years, ten months and five days, according to the 1890 Veterans Census. On that document, he reported his disability as "rhumatism (rheumatism) contracted in the U.S. Army."
According to Paulding County Marriage Records, George married Cynthia Jane Daniel in March of 1867. By 1870, they were settled in Highland Township, Defiance County. George was ready to farm with real estate worth $1000. Their first child, Anna, was one year old.
In the 1880 census, George, 36, reported that he was a saw miller, while Cynthia stayed home with Anna, 11; Charles, 9; John, 7; Curtis, 5; Laura, 3; and Nora 2 months. With them lived the teamster, Joseph Calkins, 20.
Now they lived in Richland Township.
George was a mover, as in the 1890 Veterans Census, he reported his residence as Sherwood, O. By 1900, he and his family were in Farmer where George, 55, owned a farm, free and clear. Their daughter, Jennie L. Nisley, 23, a widow, with one child, Roy L. Nisley, 3, lived with them at the time.
The Defiance Express reported on April 6, 1905, that "George A Woods, who recently disposed of his farmer near Ney, has removed to this city and is now a resident of North Defiance." Perhaps it was his retirement home. He was active in the G.A.R. and elected President of the 111th, Company E reunion.
His wife died on March 21, 1917.
George A. Woods died on May 11, 1918, at the age of 74. Several obituaries appeared in the newspapers, one in the Defiance Democrat and another in the Crescent News.
(This is part of a series on Civil War veterans of Defiance County who were part of the G.A.R., Bishop Post, that headquartered in the city. Formed in 1879, the post was named after a local man, Captain William Bishop, Company D, 100th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Army who died as a result of wounds received in battle. The veterans' photos are part of a composite photo of members that has survived. If you have other information or corrections to add to the soldiers' stories, please add to the comments!)