State Highway Marker

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Expected at West Point- May 1864

Guy Vernor Henry

                   AND GLOUCESTER POINT,
                        Yorktown, Va., May 1, 1864.

Colonel SHAFFER,
    Chief of Staff, Fort Monroe:
The following is from Col. G. V. Henry, commanding brigade, Tenth Corps, at West Point, this morning:
My command landed at 10 a. m. to-day. The inhabitants say we have been expected for two or three weeks. The impression is that 40,000 or 50,000 are to march toward White House. Am building a good dock with material I have brought, and desire to keep up this impression. If not contrary to your views, would like to keep up the impression.

                    G.V. HENRY,
                Colonel Fortieth Massachusetts Volunteers.

I have sent word to Colonel Henry that as soon as he feels his position secure he can make the reconnaissance, but not to go too far.

                    WM. F. SMITH,

                             West Point, Va., May 2, 1864.

Lieutenant Colonel FLOYD,
    Commanding Third New York Volunteers:
COLONEL: The colonel commanding directs that you will march your command to the front 8 or 10 miles upon the main road, collecting all the information of the enemy possible. You will go in light marching order with one days rations in haversacks, and use the utmost caution, scouring the country thoroughly. In case of an attack you will send immediately to these headquarters, reporting as near as possible the force in your front, and fall back slowly until you join the main body of troops. You will return to camp to-night, and upon your arrival report in person to the colonel commanding.
    Very respectfully, yours,

                    F.W. WEAVER,
                 Lieutenant and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

A couple of digressions . . .

Col. G.V. Henry from the Arlington National Cemetery website . . .

Born at Fort Smith, Indian Territory (now Arkansas), March 9, 1839, he graduated from West Point on May 5, 1861 and served throughout the Civil War and Indian Wars as Lieutenant, Captain, Major, Lieutenant Colonel, Colonel and Brigadier General in the Regular Army.
He received successive brevets for gallantry in various battles and was breveted Brigadier General, U.S. Army, for gallantry at Rose Bud, Montana, where he was shot through the face while fighting Indians. He was awarded the Medal of Honor on December 5, 1893 for his Civil War Service at the battle of Cold Harbor on June 1, 1864 where he was serving as Colonel, 40th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry.
He was later Colonel of the all-black 10th U.S. Cavalry and was commanding Fort Assinniboine during the Spanish-American War in 1898. He served as military governor of Puerto Rico following that war.
He died at his home in New York City on October 27, 1899 and was buried in Section 2 of Arlington National Cemetery.

. . . and his Medal of Honor citation for actions some thirty days after landing at West Point. . .

The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Colonel Guy Vernor Henry, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism on 1 June 1864, while serving with 40th Massachusetts Infantry, in action at Cold Harbor, Virginia. Colonel Henry led the assaults of his brigade upon the enemy's works, where he had two horses shot under him.
General Orders: Date of Issue: December 5, 1893

. . . while this Medal of Honor was awarded to a drummer of the 40th Massachusetts, William Lord, just two weeks before that . . .

The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Musician William Lord, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism on 16 May 1864, while serving with Company C, 40th Massachusetts Infantry, in action at Drewry's Bluff, Virginia. Musician Lord went to the assistance of a wounded officer lying helpless between the lines, and under fire from both sides removed him to a place of safety.
General Orders: Date of Issue: April 4, 1898

 . . . the officer he rescued? Lt.Col. Eldridge G. Floyd, commanding the Third New York

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