George Newton Hollister was born in Hartford, Connecticut on September 27, 1843. During his childhood he moved with his family to St. Anthony, Minnesota.
George answered his state’s first call for volunteers at the outbreak of the Civil War. Captain George Morgan enlisted him as a private into Company E, 1st Minnesota Infantry at Fort Snelling, Minnesota on April 29, 1861. He served through all of the regiment’s engagements during the next year and a half. He remained unwounded after 1st Bull Run and Antietam, where the regiment suffered 20% and 28% casualties respectively.
After the battle of Antietam, George was one of several members of the 1st Minnesota to transfer to the regular cavalry. Lieutenant Ira Claflin enlisted him into Company F, 6th U.S. Cavalry on October 28, 1862 in Knoxville, Maryland. His enlistment documents describe him as 19 years old, 5′ 6″ tall, with hazel eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion.
Private Hollister served the remainder of his enlistment with the 6th U.S. Cavalry. After time in the regiment’s dismounted camp to learn his new trade, he participated in Stoneman’s Raid, Brandy Station, the Gettysburg campaign and picket duty during the winter of 1863. He was extremely fortunate, avoiding wounds and capture in the regiment’s fighting at Fairfield and Funkstown. He was discharged at the expiration of his term of service at the 6th Cavalry’s camp on April 29, 1864.
Like many veterans, George travelled west after the war. He spent most of his postwar years on the border of Washington and Idaho. He married Elmira Camp in Waitsburg, Washington on November 5, 1872. They had three daughters together before she died in 1914.
George Hollister died in Lewiston, Idaho on November 30, 1926 at the age of 83. He is buried in the Genesee City Cemetery, Genesee, Idaho, next to his wife.