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H. W. Slocum

H. W. Slocum

Federal (USA)

Major General

Henry Warner Slocum

(1827 - 1894)

Home State: New York

Education: US Military Academy, West Point, NY, Class of 1852;Class Rank: 11/43

Command Billet: Commanding Division

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 1st Division, 6th Corps


see his Battle Report

Before Antietam

On graduation from West Point in June, 1852, he was commissioned a 2d Lieutenant in the 1st US Artillery. His first assignment was to Fort Meade, Florida where he participated in the Third Seminole War.

In 1853 his company was sent to Fort Moultrie, South Carolina. While stationed there, he studied law with a local attorney. Commissioned a 1st Lieutenant in 1855, Slocum was beginning to consider a legal career. During the unusually warm summer of 1855, his wife and daughter Caroline became ill, and then word came that his unit to be sent back to Florida. In October of 1856, his young Caroline died in Charleston, and eleven days later, he resigned from the Army.

Upon his return to NY, Slocum was admitted to the bar, and he began his practice in Syracuse. In November of 1858, he began his political career with election to the New York State Assembly. In 1860 he was elected to a three-year term as Treasurer of Onondaga County. He also served as an instructor of Artillery Service in the Militia with the rank of Colonel.

With the beginning of the Civil War in 1861, he immediately volunteered to raise a regiment of light artillery, but was turned down by Governor Morgan, who felt that the war would be of short duration. The 27th New York Volunteer Infantry from Elmira then elected Slocum as their Colonel. On July 10, 1861, the regiment left Elmira for Washington, D.C., and on July 21 they took part in the First Battle of Bull Run. After receiving a wound to his left thigh, Slocum was removed to a hospital in Washington, then to Syracuse to recuperate from his wound. He was on sick leave from July 22 to September 10, 1861.

Slocum was promoted to Brigadier General in August, and his unit served in the Defenses of Washington, September 1861 to March, 1862, and participated in McClellan's Peninsular Campaign, the Seige of Yorktown, action at West Point, the Battle of Gaines Mill, the Battle of Glendale, and the Battle of Malvern Hill.

On the Campaign

After his promotion to Major General in July of 1862, he led his men into the Battle of Crampton's Gap on South Mountain on September 14. About the charge, General Franklin wrote,

"...the advance of General Slocum was made with admirable steadiness through a well directed fire from the enemies batteries on the Mountain...The enemy was driven in utmost confusion from a position of strength...The pass was cleared and in possession of our troops".
His Division was on the march from Crampton's on the morning of the 17th, and arrived on the battlefield at about noon in support of what was left of Gen Geene's Division of the II Corps. Although under Confederate artillery fire for most of the rest of the day, the Division was not actively engaged.

The rest of the War

After General Mansfield was killed at Antietam, Slocum was given command of the 12th Corps, and with them participated in all the major engagements of the Army of the Potomac from Fredericksburg to Gettysburg.

In September of 1863, the 11th and 12th Corps were transferred from the Army of the Potomac to Tennessee in order to reinforce General Rosecrans. The 12th Corps then fought at Wauhatchie and Lookout Mountain.

In April 1864, Slocum was given command of the fortified post and District of Vicksburg. When Sherman organized his Atlanta Campaign, he chose Henry Slocum to command the 20th Corps, and on September 2, 1864, Slocum's men occupied Atlanta, Georgia. On the final march to the sea, he commanded the Army of Georgia, the left wing of Sherman's army.

In the Campaign of the Carolinas, his Corps fought at Averysboro and Bentonville, and on April 13, 1865, took the surrender of Raleigh, North Carolina. On April 26, 1865, General Johnston surrendered his army, and the Slocum and his troops returned to Washington, D.C. for the Grand Review. Henry Slocum rode at the head of the Army of Georgia.

After the War

In September, 1865, General Slocum resigned from the army and resumed the practice of law in Brooklyn, New York. In 1866 he declined the appointment of colonel of infantry in the regular army. In 1868 was elected to Congress, and was re-elected in 1870. In 1876, he was appointed Commissioner of Public Works in the City of Brooklyn, but resigned before his term expired. He returned to politics in 1882 when he was elected Congressman-at-Large. He was President of the Board of Trustees of the New York State Soldiers' and Sailors' Home in Bath, N.Y., and was a member of the Board of the Gettysburg Monuments Commission. He was also one of the commissioners of the Brooklyn bridge, and was in favor of making it free to the public.

References & notes

Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James Grant Wilson and John Fiske. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889

More on the Web

See excellent detail from a local history site, the source of most of the information above.
Also, there's a statue of him in Brooklyn.


9/24/1827; Delphi Falls, NY


4/14/1894; Brooklyn, NY; burial in Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY