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Henry D. Kingsbury

Researcher: Alison Henschel

            October 1, 1861, Henry D. Kingsbury enlisted in the Union army. A Bootmaker of Franklin, Massachusetts is now a soldier in the 1st regiment Volunteer Cavalry. He served in the third battalion, company K. Immediately his company was forwarded to Camp Brigham in Readville Massachusetts where Colonel Robert Williams was appointed commander of the 1st regiment.


            Until January 13, 1862, the third battalion was detained in New York. They were then sent to Hilton Head as part of a force led by General T. W. Sherman.  Now under Major Curtis they took part in the James Island demonstration against Charleston, South Carolina. Major Atherton A. Stevens, in July 1862, was placed in command of the third battalion; this battalion included company K which Kingsbury was in. They were left at Beaufort and Hilton Head, S.C.


            February 12, 1864, the third battalion was assigned to the 4th Regiment Massachusetts Cavalry and became the 1st battalion in that regiment. This Regiment went to the Alexandria Va. Battle, September 2, 1862. By this time men and horses alike were in very poor condition. From this battle the men departed directly to the Antietam campaign. Here 40 men were taken as prisoners at Poolesville, and in general 5,000 men died in the battle. The south retreated.


            In January 1863, the regiment participated in Burnside’s “Mud March”. Then went to Potomac Creek. His regiment became part of Duffie’s 1st Brigade, Averall’s second division, in February of 1863. The most severe engagement in which the regiment ever participated in was fought June 17, 1863; it was the Battle of Aldie, VA. The regiment alone lost 88 to prison, 24 to death, and 42 were wounded. From here Kingsbury along with his fellow troops would march on to Gettysburg. Day one they were not in action. Day two they brought up the 6th Corps. And Day three they were guards at the army headquarters in stopping stragglers and in guarding prisoners. Following the Confederates, they engaged at Jones’ Cross Roads on July 11.


            Kingsbury’s regiment experienced major loss in the Mine Run campaign in November. Around December 11 the regiment went to their winter quarters in Warrenton, Va. Towards late April the Wilderness campaign began. In 1863, under the command of L. M. Sargent, they reached the camp at Warrenton in an unfortunate snowstorm. From here the entire cavalry was sent on a raid towards Richmond following Lee’s army. During this attack 12 men were captured.


            After stalking Lee’s army the regiment engaged in the Cold Harbor Battle quickly followed by the Trevillian raid, and not long after that they engaged in the Deep Bottom Campaign. To do provost duty, the regiment was sent to City Point on March 17, 1865, this occurred during the assault on Petersburg. This siege of Petersburg was the last mission for Kingsbury’s regiment. Therefore, Henry D. Kingsbury himself left the service, missing the Appomattox.


            Assuming Henry D. Kingsbury made it this far through the Civil War with the rest of his regiment it may be assumed that when he was discharged maybe he went back up to Franklin, Massachusetts. Maybe he continued to be a Bootmaker. He may have been married, or for all is known he may have died shortly after.          

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