Howard Spencer Hemenway was born on the 18th of April 1842 in Bristol, Hartford County Connecticut to Nathan and Rachel Spencer Hemenway, Jr. After the War Between the States on December first of 1865 he married Louisa Matthews in Geauga, Ohio. They had one child, a son, Hiram Howard Hemenway born the 22nd of November 1867, from which descends this line to the member of the Laura Bella Stoddard Tent 22, Daughter of Union Veterans of the Civil War 1861-1865. He died on the 14th of March 1919 in Ashtabula, Geauga County, Ohio.
On August 9, 1861, this unmarried farmer enlisted for 3 years in Captain Mallory’s Harris Light Cavalry, in Hartford, Connecticut as a private. His company, Company C, was known as the Connecticut Squadron, one of 12 recruited starting in 1861. All twelve companies then became known as the 2nd New York Volunteer Calvary. They fought with the Union Army throughout the entire war (1861-1865). The 2nd ranked eighth in the list of mounted regiments which lost the most men in action during the war.
Private Howard Hemenway detailed as a waggoner and a teamster starting on July 1, 1862 until the battle of Liberty Mills in which his life would change significantly. This battle involved General Meade’s Union forces following General Lee’s army in Virginia after they both crossed the Potomac River in Union pursuit of confederates following the battle of Gettysburg. At Liberty Mills, Virginia, on the 23rd of September 1863 the 2nd New York engaged in battle with General Jeb Stuart’s Confederate Cavalry. Hemenway was captured there and confined at Belle Isle on the James River near Richmond, Virginia for five months. For during his capture, he became very ill due to exposure and want of proper food. He describes himself as a “broken down man sorely afflicted with rheumatism, bronchitis, disease of the kidneys (dropsy), liver enlarged and hardened so as to affect his lungs.” On the 21st of March he was sent to Camp Parole in Annapolis, Maryland spending most of the month of April. He was then sent to Camp Stoneman in Alexandria May 18th 1864. He rejoined his regiment in July of 1864 but so disabled from his imprisonment that he was no longer able to ride a horse. Instead, he drove teams to continue his service and fulfill his commitment to the Union. His received an honorable discharge in New York on September 10, 1864. He then married Louisa Matthews on the first of December, 1865 in Geauga, Ohio.
Sources: Birth, Death and Marriage Records; Pension Records from the National Archives; Muster Rolls from Company C, Harris Light Cavalry; Wikipedia; Robert J. Trout: After Gettysburg Cavalry Operations July 14 – December 31, 1863; The Union Army: a history of military affairs in the loyal states, 1861-65 – records of the regiments in the Union army – cyclopedia of battles—memoirs of commanders and soldiers, Volume II: New York, Maryland, West Virginia and Ohio. Madison, WI: Federal Pub. Co. 1908.
Respectfully Submitted: Debbie Nelson Zemer Kendrick