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Davenport, Henry D.

MILITARY SERVICE

Age: 11, credited to Roxbury, VT
Unit(s): 6th VT INF, 17th VT INF
Service: enl 8/14/61, m/i 10/15/61, DRMR, Co. H, 6th VT INF, disch 11/30/62, son of CPT David B. Davenport, same Co.; enl, Lowell, 10/22/63, m/i 3/2/64, DRMR, Co. C, 17th VT INF, wdd, Wilderness, 5/7/64, dsrtd 2/28/65 (pension, so desertion probably removed)

See Legend for expansion of abbreviations

VITALS

Birth: 10/06/1850, Eden, VT
Death: 02/10/1924

Burial: Fairview Cemetery, Bethel, VT
Marker/Plot: Not recorded
Gravestone researcher/photographer: Joe Schenkman
Findagrave Memorial #: 95761604

MORE INFORMATION

Alias?: None noted
Pension?: Yes, widow Lila M.
Portrait?: Unknown
College?: Not Found
Veterans Home?: Not Found
(If there are state digraphs above, this soldier spent some time in a state or national soldiers' home in that state after the war)

Remarks: None

DESCENDANTS

2nd Great Grandfather of Sally Blanchard, Burlington, VT

Great Grandfather of David Alexander, Brookfield, VT

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BURIAL:

Copyright notice

Tombstone

Fairview Cemetery, Bethel, VT

Check the cemetery for location/directions and other veterans who may be buried there.


Article

We wish to call attention to the record of two of the above mentioned veterans, G.H. Kimball and H. D. Davenport. Concerning the government report which gives Mr. Kimball's death at the battle of Antietam and burial at the Antietam National Cemetery, we wish to state that this is an error and that Mr. Kimball is now very much alive and walking in our midst. When Mr. Kimball first discovered that the government records stated that he was killed he wrote to Adj.-Gen. Thomas Wood asking for his authority. Mr. Wood replied with a government report giving section and number of the grave at Antietam National Cemetery which was marked with Mr. Kimball's name, regiment, company, etc. Adj.-Gen. Wood also remarked that if he (Mr. Kimball) was still roaming the hills of Vermont that he had better take in his headstone.

Mr. Kimball thinks that the error occurred in this way. A few days before the battle of Antietam Mr. Kimball was on sick leave and left the camp at Harrison's Landing. In camp he left his full equipment, with his name stamped on every article. It is thought that some soldier took possession of Mr. Kimball's equipment, and was wearing it the day of the battle of Antietam, the day he was killed.

H. D. Davenport, probably the youngest person to enlist during the Civil war, was born Oct. 6, 1850, in Eden, Vt. His father, Capt.David B. Davenport enlisted from Roxbury Aug. 14, 1861. He took his son to Governor Fairbanks at St. Johnsbury, and had him play the snare drum before the governor. The performance greatly pleased Governor Fairbanks, who patted young Davenport on the shoulder and said, "You can go too; you can beat them all." Then the boy duly enlisted as musician of Co. H, 6th Vt., his father's company, and he served until hs was discharged in November, 1862. The father was wounded in the battle of Lee's Mills in April 1862, and died from the result of the wound six weeks later. His death occurred at the Jackson House in Alexanderia, Va., being the same house in which ColonelEllsworth was shot. the sone was withhis father at the time of his death, and soon rejoined his regiment. Thenhis mother sent for him and he was discharged.

Source: Bethel Courier, November 2, 1916
Courtesy of Tom Boudreau.

Henry D. Davenport

(Vermont Tribune, Ludlow, Vermont 22 Feb., 1924) --
Death of Henry D. Davenport:

The death of Henry D. Davenport at Bethel, a Civil War Veteran, at the age of 72 years, calls to attention just once more, how large a part mere boys played in the Civil War. Henry D. Davenport was not quite ten years of age when he entered the Union Army as a drummer boy. It is true that he went in the company which his father commanded, and was therefore more or less under parental control and oversight until the father was wounded, at which time the boy left the service. After his father's death, the ardor of patriotism and the attraction of the stirring military life got the upper hand of the boy, and he enlisted again, just after passing his 12th birthday. in the 17th Vermont Regiment, having [served] previously in the 6th Vermont. In the Battle of the Wilderness, the bloody conflict which resulted in 18,000 Union casualties, and 11,000 Confederate casualties, young Davenport was wounded and had to give up Army life. He was then still in his 12th year, the Battle of the Wilderness having being fought May 6 and 7 1864.

The intrepidity of the young soldier gained for him the title of 'Drummer Boy of the Potomac,' a name which clung through the remaining years of his life. His was, indeed, a remarkable record in warfare, and not very often duplicated. Boys of 13 and 14 years, carrying rifles, were more or less common in both armies, engaged in that great struggle of Brother Americans; but for a mere youth of nine to go into war service and to experience camp life before his 10th birthday was truly rare, even in those days. How many mothers, and how many fathers would have consented, even if the government had been willing, that their nine-year old son should go into military service during the late World War? Patriotism might have prompted them to be ready to send their sons to defend their country, but all other considerations would have argued to the contrary, and the government, of course, would have added the decisive argument against such service.

But conditions were somewhat different early in the Civil War than they were in the World War; and parental acquiescence to service by their sons at a very tender age during the early part of the Civil War was, perhaps based partly upon the fact that there had not been tremendously heavy slaughters of human life up to that time, and the full horrors of war had not yet developed. On the other hand, the World War had developed into wholesale slaughter before the time when American armies were called into the service to fight it. That, of course, might make a difference in the viewpoint of parents, let alone the viewpoint of the government itself. But that aside, contemplation of the Army life of the "Drummer of the Potomac," reveals a remarkable career, and one calculated to go down in American history as very rare.
-- reprinted from the Barre Times.

Contributed by Linda M. Welch.

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