William Wirt Henry Correspondence
William Wirt Henry was born on November 21, 1831, in Waterbury, Vermont, the eldest child of James Madison Henry (1809-1863) and Matilda Gale Henry (1811-1888). William Wirt Henry was educated in the schools of Waterbury and spent one term at...
Show moreWilliam Wirt Henry was born on November 21, 1831, in Waterbury, Vermont, the eldest child of James Madison Henry (1809-1863) and Matilda Gale Henry (1811-1888). William Wirt Henry was educated in the schools of Waterbury and spent one term at People's Academy in Morrisville. William taught school for one winter (1849-50) in Wolcott, Vermont, and then caught "gold fever" and moved to California to seek his fortune. He returned to Vermont in 1857 and joined his father's druggist business, J. M. Henry & Sons. In 1861 he sold his interest in the business and enlisted as a first lieutenant in Co. D of the Second Vermont Volunteers. He resigned November 5, 1861, and then reenlisted as a major in the Tenth Vermont Infantry. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in November 1862 and to colonel in June 1864. He resigned December 17, 1864, and was made brevet brigadier general on March 7, 1865. He was wounded in the battles of Cold Harbor and Cedar Creek. After he returned from war, William Wirt Henry rejoined the family business, then known as John F. Henry & Co., manufacturer of patent medicines. William served in the Vermont Senate from Washington County in 1865-1868, and from Chittenden County in 1888-1889. He was mayor of Burlington from 1887 to 1889. He served for seven years as U.S Marshall for the District of Vermont and was a U.S. Immigration Inspector. From 1897 until 1907 he was the American Consul in Quebec. William W. Henry died August 31, 1915, at the age of 83. He is buried at Lake View Cemetery in Burlington, Vermont. Henry's correspondence contains letters between Henry and his wife and family. The letters address family concerns, his health, casualties from friendly fire, kindness fro Col. Stannard, and an artillery review by General McClellan.