Elijah Armstrong Henderson-A Personal Acount



Pa, Va, Tn, Ga., SC, NC, Washington DC

This story was originally written by my grandfather, Edson Hoyt, as told to him by my great-grandfather, Elijah Armstrong Henderson.  Edson was Elijah’s son-in-law.

Civil War Record of Elijah Armstrong Henderson - A Personal Account

He was drafted but called volunteer in his discharge papers.  He entered the Army July 13, 1863 at Greensburg, Pa.  and went from there to Eastern Virginia near Coon Ford, where he spent four weeks without a shelter tent.  He was a member of Co. D., 46 Pa. Infantry, the Old Twelfth Corps under Old Fighting Joe Hooker.

In October 1963 the Eleventh and Twelfth Corps were sent to the Western Army of the Cumberland, consolidated, and called the Twentieth Corps.  They kept the "Star,", the Twelfth Corps badge, but discorded the Eleventh Corps badge, the "Half Moon."

They skirmished into Nashville, Tenn.  Fought at Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge and Chattanooga.  Won all of these.  Went on to Chickamauga under McPherson.  Went to Atlanta and Savannah.  Fought in battle of Peach tree Creek on March to Atlanta.  Four corps went from there to the sea under Sherman.

Came in through South Carolina into North Carolina, Saturday, March 6, 1865, to Goldsboro, not far from Raleigh.  Laid there till Lee surrendered to Grant April 9, 1865.

Johnson didn't want to surrender to Sherman.  Sherman telegraphed Grant and he came down.  They went out fifteen miles - Generals and their staffs and four corps - all Sherman's command, under a flag of truce, April 24, 1865.  They were three days without rations on this trip.  Grandad said he thought he ate two days rations on this trip and two days rations in one meal after this.

At 12 o'clock Friday night, they were called out on dress parade, the adjutant of the regiment read a notice, "The War is Over."  E. A. Henderson's words were "God! those were the prettiest words I ever heard."

Instructions followed:  "Be ready to march home Sunday with 16 rounds of ammunition."  With caps and everything, this weighed about two pounds.  Grandad threw all but four rounds away.  They marched into Washington.  Their clothes were about gone, but they got new ones before they reached Washington.

 They were in Washington for the second day of the Grand Review.  Grant's army reviewed May 24, 1865; Sherman's army, May 26th.  They laid out on D Street until near July 4, 1865. Mustered out of U.S. service, July 16, 1865 near Ft. Wood, Alexandria - seven miles out of Washington, D. C.  Belonged to state service then.  Went to Washington; from there went to Harrisburg to Camp Curtin.  Discharged July 21st.  July 22nd in a.m. received back pay - four months at $13 per month, twenty months at $16 per month and a bounty of $100.

Took train back to Intersection, July 22, in afternoon.  Got home July 23rd at 5:00 a.m., having marched from Intersection to Bolivar to his father's farm near Tom Brendlinger's.  The dog didn't know him and wouldn't let him in and so he sat on the fence and "hallohed" until his mother heard him, recognized his voice and called the dog off.  His wife was at his father's place.  They wouldn't let him in the house until he went to the wash house and had a good scrubbing.

Officers under whom Elijah served:

  • General William T. Sherman, Corps Commander

  • General McPherson, Division Commander; killed at Atlanta.

  • Colonel Jas. L. Selfridge, Brigade Commander.  He commanded four regiments (a brigade)

  • Major Patrick Griffith

  • Captain Thomas J. November

Elijah was never wounded.  He was in service two years and eight days.  The gun he carried bore the initials J. H. (John Hoak).