(1827 - 1899)
Home State: Pennsylvania
Command Billet: Commanding Regiment
Branch of Service: Infantry
see his Battle Report
Before the War he was a newspaper publisher (the Pottsville Mining Record) and politician, and was associated with the National Light Infantry (NLI) of Pottsville,
PA , being elected Brigadier General of State forces. He commanded the First Defenders* at Washington D.C. in 1861, with Company D (NLI) of the 25th Pennsylvania Infantry. This was a 3 month unit which became nucleus of the new 96th PA Infantry.
"The Ninety-sixth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, was organized by Colonel Henry L. Cake, at Pottsville, Schuylkill county, Pennsylvania, under authority derived directly from the War Department at Washington, under date of August 12th, 1861. It was one of the regiments thus authorized under the President's call of July 22, 1861, to serve three years."
(from The Republican)
The rest of the War
He replaced Col. Joseph J. Bartlett commanding the brigade following the Maryland Campaign, and led it at Fredericksburg in December. During the winter of 1862 - 63 Colonel Cake returned to Pottsville, PA due to ill health, and in early March 1863, retired from military life. He settled in Tamaqua and engaged in the mining and shipping of anthracite coal.
After the War
He was elected to the 41st US Congress in 1867, and served through 1871; but was an "unsuccessful candidate for renomination" in 1870. He then returned to the coal business.
References & notes
Sources: The Ninety-sixth Reg"t, Schuylkill (Pa.) Republican, September 18, 1886., available online at the 96th PVI page, and his Congressional Bio.
He suffered from epilepsy.
* The "First Defenders" were the first five Pennsylvania Militia companies that volunteered for the Civil War - the National Light Infantry (Pottsville, Schuylkill County), Allen Guards (Allentown, Lehigh County), Logan Guards (Lewistown, Schuylkill County), Ringgold Light Artillery (Reading, Berks County), and Washington Infantry (Pottsville).
10/26/1827; Northumberland, PA
8/26/1899; Northumberland, PA; burial in Riverview Cemetery, Northumberland, PA