Military Wiki
Henry Harnden
Born (1823-03-04)March 4, 1823
Died March 17, 1900(1900-03-17) (aged 77)
Place of birth Wilmington, Massachusetts
Place of death Madison, Wisconsin
Place of burial Forest Hill Cemetery, Madison, Wisconsin
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch Union Army
Rank Lieutenant Colonel
Brevet Brigadier General
Battles/wars American Civil War

Henry Harnden (March 4, 1823 – March 17, 1900) was an officer in the United States Army during the American Civil War. He led the Wisconsin troops who assisted a Michigan military company in the capture of Jefferson Davis.


Harnden was born in Wilmington, Massachusetts. He ventured to sea early in his life, and moved to Wisconsin in 1852, taking up residence in the town of Sullivan, in Jefferson County, Wisconsin. He later moved to Ripon, Wisconsin. He also spent many years in California. He fought in the Mexican-American War and was wounded on several occasions during the American Civil War.

Harnden enlisted in the 1st Wisconsin Cavalry Regiment, Company D, as a private in July 1861, and rose through the ranks. He held the rank of captain from 1862 to 1864, major from 1864 to 1865 and, for a short time, lieutenant colonel. On March 13, 1865, he was brevetted to colonel. On May 10, 1865, leading a detachment of three companies of the 1st Wisconsin, he assisted the 4th Michigan Cavalry (after an unfortunate initial friendly-fire engagement with that unit) in the capture of Jefferson Davis at Irwinville, Georgia. Harnden mustered out of the service on July 19, 1865.[1] On January 13, 1866, President Andrew Johnson nominated Harnden for appointment to the grade of brevet brigadier general of volunteers to rank from March 13, 1865, and the United States Senate confirmed the appointment on March 12, 1866.[2]

After the war, Harnden returned to Wisconsin, settling in Madison. He served one term in the Wisconsin State Assembly (1866), as well as U.S. Assesor (1867–1873), and U.S. Collector of Internal Revenue (1873–1883). In 1899, Harnden was Department Commander of the Wisconsin GAR until his death.

Harnden died of pneumonia at his home in Madison, Wisconsin, and was buried there in the historic Forest Hill Cemetery. He was survived by his widow and four children.

Due to the controversies surrounding the capture of Jefferson Davis, Harnden authored a short book, The Capture of Jefferson Davis, published in 1898.

See also[]


  1. Eicher, John H., and David J. Eicher, Civil War High Commands. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-8047-3641-3. p. 281.
  2. Eicher, 2001, p. 747.


This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).