MAJOR-GENERAL BEAL was born in Norway, Maine, May 21, 1825. His father was Ezra
F. Beal, one of the first citizens of the town, and for many years a resident of Portland. The son, George L.,
received his education in the common schools and at Westbrook Seminary. He took great interest in military affairs,
and being always popular with his acquaintances, he was elected Captain of the Norway Light Infantry, a position
he held at the breaking out of the war.
On the receipt of the news of the fall of Sumter and President Lincoln's call for troops to put down the rebellion,
Governor Washburn promptly organized the First Maine Regiment to fill the quota of Maine. Captain Beal tendered
his company for immediate service on the twentieth day of April, 1861, and was the first man to enlist in Oxford
County. Seven days after he took his company into camp at Portland, which became Company "G," First Regiment
On the expiration of his three-months' term of service in the vicinity of Washington, he re-enlisted for two years
and was commissioned Colonel of the Tenth Maine Infantry. His regiment covered the famous retreat of General Banks
from Winchester to Williamsport and participated in the battles of Cedar Mountain, General Pope's retreat, and
Antietam. He was severely wounded at Antietam but quickly recovered and soon returned to duty.
He was mustered out with his regiment in May, 1863, but promptly re-enlisted for three years and was made Colonel
of the Twenty-ninth Maine Regiment.
His command participated in the battles of the Red River and Shenandoah Valley campaigns in 1864. At the battle
of Sabine Cross Roads, Louisiana, he rendered distinguished service in the successful efforts of the First Division,
Nineteenth Corps, in checking the advance of the enemy and saving Banks' army. It was here he won his General's
His brigade was the first to advance and break the enemy's lines at Cedar Creek, after Sheridan had ridden from
Winchester, "twenty miles away," turning defeat in the morning into a glorous victory in the afternoon.
During reconstruction times he was placed in command of the Eastern District of South Carolina, with head-quarters
at Darlington, where he performed his duties so faithfully and well, that he was promoted to Brevet Major-General
of the Volunteers.
In January, 1866, he was mustered out, and honorably discharged, having been nearly five years in the service of
General Beal was a delegate to the Republican National Convention which nominated General Grant for President in
1868 and was elector at large on the ticket for that year. In 1872 he was appointed Pension Agent at Portland,
which position he held with marked ability and fidelity till the office was transferred to Concord, New Hampshire.
He was the first Department Commander of the G. A. R. in Maine, and Commander of the Military Order of Loyal Legion
Commandery of Maine for 1893-4. From 1880 to 1885 he was Adjutant-General of this State, and has been State Treasurer
since 1888. His administration of the State's finances has been able, faithful, and efficient.