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H.J. Stainrook

H.J. Stainrook

Federal (USV)


Henry J. Stainrook

(1826 - 1863)

Home State: Pennsylvania

Command Billet: Brigade Commander

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, 12th Corps

Before Antietam

He was a Private in Company G, First Pennsylvania Volunteers for Mexican War service (1847-1848) at about age 21, was a house painter in the Spring Garden neighborhood in Philadelphia by 24, and was a 34 year old grainer (decorative painter of wood grain and marbling) there in 1860.

He was commissioned Captain of Company C, 22nd Pennsylvania Infantry for 3 months' service on 23 April 1861 and mustered out with them on 7 August. Early in December 1861 he began recruiting for the 109th Pennsylvania Infantry with headquarters and barracks on Chestnut Street in Philadelphia, and he was commissioned their Colonel on 5 May 1862 (to date from November 1861). He led them on the Valley Campaign and in Northern Virginia in the Summer of 1862.

He was named Brigade Commander about 1 September 1862 at Alexandria, VA.

On the Campaign

He commanded the Brigade (minus the 109th PA who were in the rear guarding the supply trains) as part of the 12th Corps attack toward the West Woods mid-morning at Antietam on 17 September 1862. General Greene later reported:

Where so many acted with distinguished gallantry it is impossible to designate all the individual officers entitled to notice. Colonel Stainrook, Lieutenant-Colonel Lane, One hundred and second New York, and Major Pardee deserve commendation for activity and gallantry through the day.

The rest of the War

His Brigade was part of the initial Twelfth Corps flanking movement at Chancellorsville, VA. He was killed there on 3 May 1863:

Until noon of the 3d the men hugged the breast-works, kept in nervous excitement in the momentary expectation of an attack, the fire of artillery and of the sharp-shooters being constant. At a little past noon the enemy began to press upon the left flank, endangering the integrity of the command, pressing at the same time upon the front. The order was accordingly given to retire, but at that instant a rebel sharp-shooter, not twenty paces distant, shot and instantly killed Colonel Stainrook. Lieutenant Kidney, of Company G, who had witnessed the act, seizing a musket and skilfully awaiting his opportunity, sent a bullet in reply which effectually silenced the sharp-shooter's fire.

References & notes

His Mexican War service from his record at the National Archives via fold3. His Civil War service from Bates1 and the Card File. The Chancellorsville quote above from Pennsylvania at Chickamauga and Chattanooga (1897). Personal details from family genealogists and the US Census of 1850 and 1860. His gravesite is on Findagrave, source also of his picture, from a photograph contributed by Thom Pinkston; he was originally buried in the Odd Fellows Cemetery, Philadelphia, but was moved to Lawnview Cemetery in the 1950s.

He married Anna J. Minster (1827-1898) in August 1846 and they had two children.


1826; Philadelphia, PA


05/03/1863; Chancellorsville, VA; burial in Lawnview Cemetery, Rockledge, PA


1   Bates, Samuel Penniman, History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-65, Harrisburg: State of Pennsylvania, 1868-1871  [AotW citation 26027]