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George Chester Beckford.
Birth: 1834, Rhode Island.
Death: unknown, Providence County, Rhode Island.
Wife: Minerva (Cook) Beckford.
Married January 9, 1853, Johnston, Providence, R. I.
Burial: Oak Grove Cemetery, Pawtucket, Providence County, Rhode Island.
Pages 279-80., It was a custom of the cooks late at night to visit the well just outside the stockade entrance and fill their camp kettles for the next morning's coffee. It chanced on a certain bright moonlight night the well-known and popular comrade George C. Beckford, who at that time was cook for an officers' mess, went out with his kettle at the weird hour of eleven p. m. Near the top of the slope up from the well were some scattered graves. Now just as this man had raised his filled kettle to the well flooring he chanced to glance toward the graves, and there he saw or thought he saw a ghost looking over one of the wooden headboards. As he had been a sailor, this was too much for him. He dropped his kettle, rushed back to the fort and to his quarters, threw himself upon his bunk, drew his blanket over his head and never again went outside the fort after dark. But there is another side to George C. Beckford.
In the Spring of 1862 he arrived in Liverpool after a three years' voyage. Pinning a small flag, the "Stars and Stripes," to his collar, he went ashore and made his way to one of the haunts of seafaring men. On entering he was greeted with a jeering reference to the colors he wore. His indignation was at once aroused, and, sailor-like, he was ready to resent the insult. "Hold on, shipmate," exclaimed the keeper, "I see you are not posted. The United States have all gone to pieces. They are fighting each other and the flag you carry is a thing of the past." He took the flag from his collar and sat down and cried. All at once an impulse seized him, and, holding the sacred emblem aloft in both his hands, meanwhile steadfastly gazing thereon, he apostrophized it: "Under your folds I was born. As a boy I grew to manhood beneath your protection. I have traveled the world over and have never for a moment had but one thought concerning you. If need be I will die for you !" He returned at once to his ship, settled his accounts and next day sailed for New York. During the esuing three eventful years he never faltered