Thursday, August 30, 2012

August 27, 1862: the False Report of the Death of Major William Henry, Jr.

Major William Henry , Jr., of Oxford Furnace, was the brother of Captain Jospeh Henry, of the 9th NJ Volunteer Infantry Regiment - the first New Jersey officer killed in the war at Roanoke Island in 1861.  Major Henry was the adjutant of the 1st NJ Volunteer Infantry Regiment.  On August 12, 1862 - two weeks before the 2nd Battle of Manassas - Henry was promoted to Major. 
During the battle, he was wounded.  Major Henry's uniform and hat were riddled with bullet holes.  By early September, Warren County, NJ newspapers were erroneously reporting Henry's death.  The Belvidere Intelligencer reported in the September 12th edition, "MAJOR HENRY HAS FALLEN - The Scranton Republican of last week says, 'This is the second sacrifice made by the Henry family on the altar of their country - Joseph fell gallantly at the head of his company at Roanoke, - his elder brother was killed in the last fights in Virginia.  Entering the store of the Coal and Iron Company at an early age, he gradually rose to be confidential clerk of the concern until 1857, when he left for Oxford Furnace in company with Seldon T. Scranton, who could not dispense with his services.  Of pleasing address, generous temper, and high toned character, he made friends wherever he was known.  He took a deep interest in this war, was active in furthering enlistments at the inset and was tendered the Adjutancy of the First New Jersey Regiment, which position he held with great credit and acceptability, and was promoted to the Majority.  We have not heard the particulars of his death, but he was doubtless found at his post manfully doing his duty.  He leaves two brothers, two sisters, an aged father and a host of friends to mourn his untimely end.'"
Major Henry, however, did not die until March 16, 1889 in Fort Worth, Texas - of old age.  Henry's hat and clothes were riddled with bullets, but he survived with slight injury.
Copyright 1997-2012: Jay C. Richards

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