William Wirt Henry MOH

b. 21/11/1831 Waterbury, Vermont. d. 31/08/1915 Burlington, Vermont.

DATE OF MOH ACTION: 19/10/1864 Cedar Creek, Virginia.

William W Henry MOH

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 married on August 5, 1857, to Mary Jane Beebe daughter of Lyman and Mary (Sherman) Beebe of Waterbury, Vermont. They had five children, Bertram (1858-1859); Mary (Mollie) Matilda (b. 1860), Ferdinand Sherman (1862-1884), who died while a student at the University of Vermont; Katherine (Katie) Beebe (1865-1897), who married the Reverend William Henry Hopkins and whose only child died in 1906; and Carrie Eliza (b. 1869). Mary Jane (Beebe) Henry died November 18, 1871.

William’s father was a leader in the temperance movement and represented Waterbury in the legislature. William 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 was in the first Battle
of Bull Run in 1861. 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 was wounded in the battles of Cold Harbor and Cedar Creek. He resigned December 17, 1864, and was made brevet brigadier general in March 1865. In 1892 he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his gallantry at Cedar Creek.

After he returned from war, William rejoined the family business, then known as John F. Henry & Co., manufacturer of patent medicines. The company moved to Burlington in 1867 and added a wholesale drug business to their company. The
partnership divided in 1870 to become Henry & Co. (later known as Wells, Richardson & Co.), taking over the wholesale business, and Henry & Lord (later Henry, Johnson & Lord) taking over the proprietary medicine business.

In 1872, William W. Henry and a group of friends traveled to the Laurentian Mountain region of Quebec, Canada on a fishing trip. The trip was so successful, the group returned annually, eventually setting up a permanent camp and finally
incorporating as the St. Bernard Fish and Game Club in 1899. Henry was considered the founding father of the organization and remained an honorary member of the club until his death in 1915.

William W. Henry 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.



Though suffering from severe wounds, rejoined his regiment and led it in a brilliant charge, recapturing the guns of an abandoned battery.