General Henry B.CARRINGTON
W. Beckwith History of Montgomery County, Indiana (Chicago: HH Hill,
1881) p 246 (thanks much to Tom Campbell for this)
Henry Beebee Carrington, LL.D., of the United States Army, was born
at Wallingford, Connecticut, March 2, 1824.
is the son of Miles and Mary (Beebee) Carrington.
name figures as early as 1192 in English history, and the Beebees
took their name, with the Beehive coat-of-arms, during the protectorate
of Cromwell, in recognition of industry and usefulness in the Puritan
Gen. Carrington's grandfather, James Carrington, was a partner of
Eli Whitney, inventor of the cotton-gin, and from about the year
1800 until 1825 was superintendent of the manufacture of arms for
the United States at Whitneyville, Connecticut, and for a long time
inspector of public work at the Springfield and Harper's Ferry United
a memento of past times, Eli Witney Jr. sent a fowling-piece of
his own manufacture to the general's second son, James, as "an expression
of profound respect for his own father's friend."
site of Simpson, Hall & Co's Britannia works, at Wallingford, Connecticut,
is known as "Carrington's Pond," in memory of James Carrington,
who indulged his inventive taste in the manufacture of the first
parallel rulers, coffee-mills, and other original mechanical products,
as he gained time from public work.
also built the first factory there.
Gen. Carrington's maternal grandfather and great~grandfather, as
well as himself, were graduates of Yale College, and the second
named bore part in the French and Canadian war of 1757, the original
address which he delivered to the soldiers on the eve of departure
for Canada being still in possession of the family. The subject
of this sketch began preparation for college in 1835, at Torringford,
Connecticut, in the old house of Samuel J. Mills, the early missionary,
and under the instruction of Rev. William Goodman and Dr. E. D.
Hudson, who were among the earliest abolitionists, and were repeatedly
mobbed in New England for their sentiments. While at this school
an incident occurred which made a permanent impression upon the
stranger visited the school, addressed the boys upon African history
and the horrors of the slave-trade, and then asked all to stand
up who would pledge themselves in after years to pray and work for
universal liberty. Young Carrington was one of two who gave this
The stranger, placing a hand upon the head of each, repeated the
following singular benediction:
fidelity devoted his leisure hours to the perusal of classic authors,
thus laying the foundation of his work upon " Pre- Christian Assurances
of Immortality and Accountability," which embraces a selection from
Latin and Greek authors upon those themes.
He was elder in the Second Presbyterian Church, at Columbus, for
a time superintendent of its Sunday-school, and had charge of the
erection of its fine Church edifice; was president of the Young
Men's Christian Association of the city, and, with H. Thane Miller,
Esq., of Cincinnati, attended as a delegate from Ohio the first
international association, held at Montreal in 1849. For months
before the war began he was earnestly interested in the preparation
of the state militia for the contingency already foreseen.
letter from Senator Chase in February advised the selection of good
officers, as the best advised persons were anticipating war. Secretary
Cass thus wrote in the spring: "We have indeed fallen upon evil
times, when those who should preserve seem bent upon destroying
by the urgency Gen. Carrington wrote to Gen. Wool, then commanding
at Troy, New York, for 10,000 stand of arms, and announced, in an
address entitled "The Hour, the Peril, and the Duty," that the nation
was "on the verge of a war which would outlast a presidential term,
would cost hundreds of thousands of lives and thousands of millions
of treasure; but that in the end the continent would be free, and
the nations would pay us homage."
was repeated at the request of the members of the Ohio senate, especially
of Mr. Garfield and Mr. Cox (both of whom became generals in the
service), but before it was delivered a second time the annoucement
of the fall of Sumter was received.
the first call for troops two regiments were started for Washington
from Ohio within sixty hours; a foundry was opened on Sunday for
casting round shot for a battery, and under the orders of Gen. McClellan,
to whom Gov. Dennison had intrusted the command of the state troops,
nine full regiments were moved to West Virginia before the United
States three-months men were organized.
thanks of the secretary of war and of Gens. Scott and Wool for this
prompt action were followed by the detail of Gen. Carrington as
visitor to West Point, and by his appointment as colonel of the
18th United States Inf., they concurring with Secretary Chase in
a recommendation to the president for his selection to a full colonelcy.
A regular army camp was established near Columbus, Ohio, under his
command, for the organization of the 15th, 16th, 18th, and 19th
U. S. Inf.
demands of the service left little time for drilling men in camp;
so that in the fall of 1861 he reported to Gen. Buell with twelve
companies of the 18th and six of the 16th Inf.
was assigned to the command of his regiment, the 9th and 35th Ohio
and the 2d Minnesota, and joined Gen. Thomas at Lebanon, Kentucky.
required to complete his regiment, he returned to Ohio and filled
it to its maximum of 2453 men, but in the pressure of the Kirby
Smith campaign he was transferred to Indiana, to hasten the organization
and movement of its troops to the front.
as brigadier-general of volunteers followed in 1862, and as district
commander, superintendent of recruiting service, and commander of
the draft rendezvous, he had charge of the organization of nearly
139,000 men in Indiana, in addition to the regular troops and the
early regiments raised from Ohio. For services in raising the siege
of Frankfort he received the thanks of Gov. Bramlette, and fully
disclosed the secret operations of the Sons of Liberty and other
treasonable orders along, and north of, the Ohio river.
personal relations were extremely intimate with Gov. Morton, and
he entertained the strongest confidence in the purity, patriotism,
and statesmanship of that extraordinary man.
Upon muster out as general of volunteers he joined his regiment
in the army of the Cumberland, presided over the military commission
at Louisville for the trial of guerrillas, and was then sent to
the plains to replace volunteer troops with his own regiment.
in 1865 he was in command, at Fort Kearney, of the east subdistrict
of Nebraska, supervising Indian operations on the Republican river.
May, 1866, he commanded the expedition to open a wagon-route to
Montana by the Powder River and Big Horn Mountain countries, built
Fort Kearney and other posts, commanded the Rocky Mountain district,
and was through the harassing Indian operations connected with the
Bed Cloud campaign. In 1867 he was in charge at Fort McPherson,
establishing friendly relations with Spotted Tail and other chiefs,
commanded at Fort Sedgwick in 1868 and 1869, and was detailed, under
an act of congress, as professor of military science at Wabash College,
Indiana, in December of that year.
1870, suffering on account of wounds and exposure incurred while
on duty, he was retired from field service, but continued on the
college detail at his pleasure.
is given, in rapid summary, Gen. Carrington's career as a student,
lawyer, and soldier.
record as a litterateur remains to be considered.
has paid little attention to his minor works.
"The Scourge of the Alps," a serial Swiss story of the days of Tell,
was written in 1847, while at Tarrytown.
Classics," or "Incidents of Revolutionary Suffering," followed in
1849, as well as "Russia as a Nation."
was coincident with the visit of Kossuth, from whom he obtained
a detailed map of the Russo-Hungarian war, and with whom he formed
an enduring friendship.
address upon the Hungarian struggle was the last ever given in the
old Ohio state-house, which was burned on the night of its delivery.
to Soldiers Taking the Field" became popular, and the Christian
Commission distributed more than 100,000 copies during the war.
and essays have been numerous, including a pamphlet upon the "Mineral
Resources of Indiana," and papers upon "Chrome Steel," the "American
Railway System," etc., some of which have been read before the British
Association of Science in Great Britain.
the Bristol meeting of that scientific body, in 187y5, he was placed
on the executive committee of the following sections: "Mechanical
Science," "Geography," and "Anthropology."
paper upon the "Indians of the North West" was published in full
in the British papers; and upon the test of the eighty-one ton gun
at Woolwich he was called from Paris by telegram from Gen. Campbell,
British director-general of artillery, being the only foreigner
present at the experiment.
Thoughts," published in 1878, includes " The Hour, the Peril, and
the Duty," with two other orations upon the war.
b-sa-ra-ka, Land of Massacre," now in its fifth edition, is a book
of nearly four hundred pages, with maps and engravings, giving a
full description of Indian battles, massacres, and treaties, from
1865 to 1879, and is carefully accurate, while full of thrilling
narrative and adventure; the first thirty chapters, embodying his
wife's experience, were first published in 1868, upon her return
from Montana and Dakota.
more important work, the result of research and study extending
over a period of thirty years and the outgrowth of early conferences
with Irving, is the " Battles of the American Revolution."
labor upon this work has been immense. British and French authorities,
and the faculties of universities, alike extended courtesies during
the research; and while personal surveys of many battle-fields greatly
cleared the doubtful questions, the field- notes of British, Hessian,
French, and other soldiers, were carefully tested, and incorporated
in the maps, which in every case were drawn by the laborious author.
The indorsements of the work include not only public officials abroad,
such as ex-president Thiers and Senator La Fayette, of France, but
English statesmen, with Bancroft and Lossing, Woolsey and Evarts,
Gens. Sherman and Sheridan, and the press without exception.
work is original in design. It not only tells why and how a battle
was fought, but, with the aid of the forty splendid maps that adorn
the work, each battle-field assumes the character of a slowly moving
panorama, in which every movement is presented to the eye.
precision blends with descriptive power of a high order to make
this work at once valuable to the student of history, and intensely
interesting to the general reader. Gen. Carrington has, however,
made much progress upon another work, for which he is eminently
adapted by previous study.
is none other than "The Battles of the Bible," based on the same
general plan that characterizes his great American history. This
will involve not only a visit to the Holy Land, but research among
Hebrew antiquities, with critical examination of many authors and
He has the assurance of official aid abroad, and possesses the courage
to undertake the work. He knows neither fatigue nor doubt in such
labors. He has received many compliments from historical societies,
and has had several literary titles conferred upon him.
He is a member of the United States supreme court bar.
General Carrington has been twice married.
first wife, Margaret Irvin Sullivant, was the eldest daughter of
Joseph Sullivant, Esq., a noted scientist and scholar of Columbus,
Ohio, and granddaughter of Colonel Joseph McDowell, of Danville,
is described in a memorial volume, published at Columbus, Ohio,
in 1874, as "of commanding presence, gentle and dignified in deportment,
refined and cultivated in taste, and, while quite delicate in constitution,
of great courage and endurance; of a high type of womanhood, loved
and respected by both relatives and friends."
accompanied her husband during the war, and with equal fidelity
through the years of trying exposure on the plains, from 1865 to
died at Crawfordaville, Indiana, May 11, 1870, just after her husband
began duty at Wabash College.
their children, Mary McDowell, born October 5, 1852, died April
7, 1854; Margaret Irvin, born November 22,1855, died July 25, 1856;
Joseph Sullivant, born June 39, 1859, died September 29, 1859; Morton,
born June 23, 1864, died August 23, 1864; Henry Sullivant, born
August 5, 1857, was with his parents on the plains, and declined
an appointment as engineer cadet at Annapolis, but spent two years
with an expedition to the South Seas.
then entered Wabash College, and graduated June 25, 1879.
James Beebee was born October 23, 1860; he was also on the plains,
and after three years at Wabash College took a commercial course
at Russell's Collegiate and Military School, at New Haven, Connecticut.
Carrington's second wife was the third daughter of Robert Courtney
and Eliza Jane Haynes, of Tennessee, Mr. Courtney having removed
from Richmond, Virginia, in 1825.
a slave-holder, he was sure that the system was wrong, and that
the nation would never realize its highest prosperity until freedom
peculiar gentleness, combined with firmness in his moral and religious
views, he taught and transmitted the precepts which marked his children,
when, shortly after his death, the war began.
His widow and daughters were thoroughly enlisted in the Union cause.
the first federal troops, consisting of the first battalion of the
15th U. S. Inf., Major John H. King commanding, entered Franklin,
Tennessee, March 16, 1862, it was greeted with an outspoken "Hurrah
for the banner whose loveliness hallows the air," by one daughter,
Florence Octie, afterward Mrs. Cochnower.
her sister Fannie she kept up communication with the federal authorities,
and after the battle of Franklin, which raged near their house,
the mother, two daughters, and a young brother, John-now a lawyer
at Crawfordsville, Indiana-relieved the federal wounded, about two
hundred in number, who had been removed to the Presbyterian Church,
dressed their wounds and took the sole care of them during seventeen
days, until the return of the federal army from Nashville.
Thomas made official notice of the unselfish devotion of this family,
and says of the important intelligence communicated by the sister
Fannie of the movements of the enemy, "Her information was on all
occasions given from patriotic motives, as she has invariably refused
any pecuniary reward."
Sanitary Commission published her detailed report of the battle
of Franklin, and the trying hospital experience; but an emphatic
request limits the writer's desire to give full details of an experience
which was that of conscientious duty, avoiding public display.
married Colonel G. W. Grummond after the war.
subsequently appointed a lieutenant in the 18th U. S. Inf., he was
a victim of the Phil. Kearney massacre, of December 21, 1866.
single extract from Mrs. Carrington's "Experience on the Plains"
is not to be omitted: "To a woman whose house and heart received
the widow as a sister, and whose office it was to advise her of
the facts, the recital of the scenes of that day, even at this late
period, is full of pain; but at that time the christian fortitude
and holy calmness with which Mrs. Grummond looked up to her Heavenly
Father for wisdom and strength inspired all with something of her
own patience to know the worst and meet its issues."
tender association of these two women during such an ordeal, and
during a winter's march, when the mercury was sometimes forty degrees
below zero, was never interrupted.
one accompanied her husband's remains to Tennessee, Mrs. Carrington
underwent nearly three more years of frontier exposure, and survived
that exposure but a few months after her husband reached Wabash
April, 1871, General Carrington married the former companion of
his wife's experience on the plains.
children are: Robert Chase, born January 28, 1872; Henrietta, born
April 28, 1874; Eliza Jennie, born April 27, 1875; and Willie Wands,
by Mrs. Carrington's first husband, born April 14, 1867, and adopted
by General Carrington upon his second marriage. General Carrington
retained his voluntary detail at Wabash College until June, 1878;
was called to deliver the historical oration at Monmouth, New Jersey,
when the corner-stone was laid to the battle monument, June 28,
and since that time has devoted himself to the completion of his
other works, already referred to.
far he has declined positions tendered as railroad engineer and
professor of history, but has accepted an invitation to complete
his paper on American and European railway systems, for future delivery
in Great Britain.