Lewis Garrison Holt, called “Gat” by his family, is remembered in Andover today as an extraordinarily sensitive and observant young soldier, thanks to the preservation of many of his wartime letters to his older sister Caroline. Born in Andover in 1839 and educated at both the public schools and at Phillips Academy, Gat worked on his family’s ancestral farm until the spring of 1861. He was unharmed in Company H’s first engagement at Spotsylvania on May 19, 1864 but, as revealed by a letter written many years later, he was deeply shaken by the day’s heavy casualties. On June 3 at Cold Harbor, he was wounded in the back of the neck, hit by a minie ball as he lay with his head on his knapsack twenty yards behind the line of battle. He downplayed the seriousness of this injury in his letter to his sister, but later reflected how a “slight deviation in the course of the ball” would have had “a fatal result.”
After the war, Holt married Emily “Emma” Jenkins of Bradford and served as a Selectman in Andover. In 1873, he sold the family homestead and moved to Lawrence where he entered the ice business in partnership with his brother Brooks Holt. The Lawrence Ice Company, with Gat as treasurer, flourished, owning twelve ice houses on the Merrimack River and ten in Methuen. They retailed 30,000 tons of ice annually by 1898. Holt held several municipal offices in Lawrence and was widely known and respected. He died in 1916, at the age of seventy-seven.