Manassas (Bull Run), Virginia
August 30, 1862
While we have had some success in documenting Vermonters in Vermont units through the war, we have not been so lucky finding material on Vermonters who served in units from other states. In this case we have.
Henry H. Buxton was born April 4, 1836, the second of four sons of Rodney R. and Sarah Stoddard Buxton of Westminster, later Rockingham, Vermont. His mother died March 10, 1849. His father was a laborer, but managed to send his son to college.
Henry enlisted April 25, 1861 at Fort Schuyler, New York. age 25, as a Private in Company K, 5th New York Infantry. He was promoted to Corporal March 17, 1862, slightly wounded in the head at Gaines Mill, VA, June 27, 1862, and wounded in the elbow joint at Manassas, VA, August 30, 1862.
He was admitted to Armory Square General Hospital, DC, Sept. 1, 1862. His last promotion, to First Sergeant, occurred on September 26, 1862. His arm was amputated, and he died of the wound/amputation, complicated by typhoid, on October 21, 1862. The following letter came from friends of Henry's in the 1st Vermont cavalry, and sheds some light on his final hours.
Westminster West Vt. Nov 7th 1862 Otis S Graves Dear Sir Being a friend to H.H.Buxton the P.M. has requested me to answer your enquiries in regard to him. Henry was wounded in the battle front of Manassas about the last of August.He was very severly wounded in the ankle and another wound in the leg and while crawling on the ground a ball struck his right elbow shattering it badly. After being thus wounded he was found by a cavalry man picked up and carried about four miles to the surgens tent and there had his wounds dressed. The next day he was taken to the Army Square Hospital in Wash - ington and the surgeons hoped to save his arm for sometime but found it impossible ~ It was amputated Oct 4th and it was feared that he had not suffic - - ient strength to rally but he did and it was hoped that he would recover until it was found necessary to again take up the artery which made it almost certain that he could not recover he being so very weak and low - but he did rally and his friends again felt encouraged from the letters in regard to him. Oct 15th his arm bled again and he continued to fail until the 21st. 4 1/2 oc P.M. at which time he died the death of a true christian. Capt. Hall 1st. Vt Cavalry from this town and a friend of Henry's was Stationed near Washington and was with him every day constantly seeing that he had every necessary comfort and attention until his death then had him embalmed and in good shape forwarded to his friends here He suffered a great deal during his sickness and the corpse looked very poor but natural. During his sickness he contiued to show forth a true christian character and was perfectly willing to die ~ feeling that he should die in a worthy cause. He has left quite a circle of truely afflicted relatives and a very large number of friends who feel they have lost one of their best christians friends. If you will please inform Henry's friends in your vicinity of his death & C you will confer a favor to his friends here. Any further information as to Henry's sickness and death you can obtain of Major Josiah Hall 1st Vt Cavalry Washington D.C. Yours truly E.A.Wilcox
Source The letter was picked up at a flea market in Brooksville, Florida, about 20 years ago, and is presented courtesy of Wayne T. Friesen, email@example.com.
Data for the biographical sketch was provided courtesy of the late Captain Brian Pohanka, Company A, Duryee's Zouaves, Fifth New York Volunteer Infantry.