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Davenport, Henry D.


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


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


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


2nd Great Grandfather of Sally Blanchard, Burlington, VT

Great Grandfather of David Alexander, Brookfield, VT

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Copyright notice


Fairview Cemetery, Bethel, VT

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


(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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