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H.J. Spooner

H.J. Spooner

Federal (USV)


Henry Joshua Spooner

(1839 - 1918)

Home State: Rhode Island

Education: Brown University, Albany (NY) Law, Class of 1861

Command Billet: Company Officer

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 4th Rhode Island Infantry

Before Antietam

He graduated from Brown University (1860 Albany (NY) Law School (1861), and was admitted to the New York bar. He returned to Providence and studied in a prominent law firm there. He was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant, Company E, 4th Rhode Island Infantry on 27 August 1862, and joined the regiment in time to see action on South Mountain and at Antietam.

On the Campaign

At Antietam on 17 September,

Lieutenant Spooner received two shots through his clothing and a slight contusion on the thigh. So hot indeed was the fire, there was scarcely a man who did not, at least, bear the mark of one bullet on some part of his clothing or equipments.

The rest of the War

He was promoted to 1st Lieutenant on 5 October 1862, and served as Regimental Adjutant. He was in action at Fredericksburg.

He was on "detached service" at New Haven from July to November, 1863, and sick until February 1864. He served as a Brigade assistant commissary of subsistence into November. He was assigned as Adjutant of the consolidating 4th and 7th Regiments until February 1865, seeing action on the Petersburg Campaign. He then mustered out of the service.

After the War

He returned to Providence and was admitted to the bar there in June 1865. In addition to a lifelong law practice he held a number of elected offices. He was a member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives from 1875 to 1882 (speaker 1879-81), and US Representative from Rhode Island from 1881 to 1891. He was returned to the Rhode Island legislature in 1902.

References & notes

Biographical information, the quote above, and his picture from Hopkins1, with details from his Congressional biography2.


08/06/1839; Providence, RI


02/09/1918; Providence, RI; burial in Swan Point Cemetery, Providence, RI


1   Hopkins, William Palmer, and George B. Peck, editor, The Seventh Regiment of RI Volunteers in the Civil War, 1862 - 1865, Providence: Snow & Farmham Printers, 1903, pp. 172, 328, opposite pg. 118  [AotW citation 5913]

2   US Congress, Congressional Biographical Directory, Published c. 2000, first accessed 01 January 2002, <>, Source page: /scripts/  [AotW citation 5914]