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Eaton, Henry Augustus


Age: 24, credited to Rochester, VT
Unit(s): 16th VT INF, 17th VT INF
Service: comn CPT, Co. A, 16th VT INF, 8/26/62 (10/12/62), wdd, Gettysburg, 7/3/63, treated at Peter Myers House, Gettysburg, m/o 8/10/63; com CPT, Co. D, 17th VT INF, 3/4/64 (4/17/64), pr MAJ 8/12/64 (9/27/64), kia, Poplar Spring Church, 9/30/64 [College: MC 62]

See Legend for expansion of abbreviations


Birth: 11/08/1838, Granville, VT
Death: 09/30/1864

Burial: North Hollow Cemetery, Rochester, VT
Marker/Plot: Not recorded
Gravestone photographer: Joe Schenkman
Findagrave Memorial #: 10165875


Alias?: None noted
Pension?: Yes, father David, 6/7/1890, VT
Portrait?: Gibson Collection, VHS Collections
College?: MC 62
Veterans Home?: Not Found
(If there are state digraphs above, this soldier spent some time in a state or national soldiers' home in that state after the war)

Remarks: None


Granduncle of Jeffrey Eaton Butler, Oromocto, NB

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Copyright notice


North Hollow Cemetery, Rochester, VT

Check the cemetery for location/directions and other veterans who may be buried there.


VHS - Reunion Society Collection


John Gibson Collection

Henry Augustus Eaton

"Henry Augustus Eaton was born in Granville, Vt., Nov. 8, 1838. He graduated at Middlebury College, Vt., and intended to study law. During the Free Soil contest, and soon after his eighteenth birthday, he responded to the call from Kansas and remained there until the issue between Freedom and Slavery was decided. Thoughtful and eager for knowledge from his youth, he secured a liberal education, largely by his own exertions, graduating with much honor from Middlebury College in 1862. He at once enlisted for nine months in Company A, 16th Vermont Volunteers, and was the unanimous choice of his company for captain. The regiments took part in the last two days of the battle of Gettysburg, occupying an important position in the line. There he distinguished himself by remarkable coolness and an almost reckless bravery, until severely wounded. At the expiration of his service, and even before he could move with safety, he zealously worked in Bethel, Vt., to raise a company for three years' service in the Seventeenth Vermont regiment, and was again elected captain. The regiment shared in the terrible battles of the Wilderness and was almost annihilated. Captain Eaton had been detached from his command to serve as commissary, and afterwards as aid on Gen. Griffin's staff. At his own request he was relieved to return to this regiment, of which he had command during the absence of the wounded colonel. At the battle of Poplar Grove Church, Virginia, Sept. 30, 1864, he was killed while leading his men.
Not long before the battle he had been commissioned major, and shortly after, before his fate was known, he was made lieutenant colonel. His heart was with the defenders of the Union, and he was ready to die in the discharge of duty. Everywhere his faithfulness and ability secured confidence. As an office, "his eye was quick and accurate; his self-possession never forsook him; his fidelity was unquestionable and his ardor never cooled." His name, with the names of forty other Rochester soldiers who gave their lives to their country, is inscribed on the soldiers' monument in that town, and the Grand Army Post is named for him. It is the testimony of all who knew Colonel Eaton that he was nearly faultless. He had no bad habits; he was pure in heart; he loved his fellow-men; he was as modest as he was brave. Such a character was worthy of the heroic age in which he lived and the great cause for which he died.
Although Henry Augustus Eaton was buried on the battlefield and his brother Eugene Edgar Eaton died elsewhere (presumably Malden, Mass.), both are named on the Eaton family monument in North Hollow Cemetery in Rochester, Vt.

Source: Thomas Bellows Peck, Richard Clarke of Rowley, Massachusetts and his descendants in the line of Timothy Clark of Rockingham, Vt., 1638-1904 (David Clapp & Son, Boston, 1905; reprinted by Tuttle Antiquarian Books, Rutland).
Contributed by Susan F. Eaton, Middlebury, whose husband, Maxwell Eugene Eaton, Jr., is great-grandnephew to Henry and Eugene.


We learn of Col. Eaton's death with deep sorrow. We knew him as a man of rare worth and an officer of singular fidelity, and we hope soon to be furnished with a biographical sketch of him. The following resolutions were recently adopted by the Middlebury Chapter of the Delta Kappa Epsilon Fraternity:

Wounded and taken prisoner in the battle of Poplar Grove Church, September 30, 1864, and since died, Lt. Col. Henry A. Eaton, 17th Vt. Volunteers.

WHEREAS, By the iron rule of ghastly and cruel War, friend after friend is falling falling, like the blast-blown Autumn leaves: - at the will of a kind Father, whose inscrutable ways we would not question, whose eternal designs are past our finding out, out Brother has been called from the turbulence of battle to a rest calm and constant as the ages. Of a noble character unassuming, cool and gentle, still firm ever zealous in the pursuit of duty, be it in the peaceful struggles of the scholar, or in the harsher, fiercer shocks of the soldier with a social frankness, that won the regard of all who knew him, he has poured his life into the vast purple tide that ebbs and flows so freely still for our country on Virginia soil.

Resolved, That while we mourn him lost to his family, and friends to our Fraternity to his country's cause to a long life of usefulness in society, his death leaves behind examples of self-sacrifice, worthy of our emulation, and an influence, quickening, and inciting to good deeds that may live on long after his well-known form shall have mouldered into original dust.

Resolved, That to his deeply afflicted family and friends we extend our warmest sympathy, counting ourselves fortunate by a near acquaintance of his virtues, and a share in his friendship, that we are permitted to drop with them the silent tear of sorrow at his death, and held in lasting admiration of his faithfulness in the discharge of every duty, his memory.

Resolved, That as a tribute of love and respect for our departed Brother we drape our badges in mourning for thirty days.
Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be sent to the Vermont Record, requesting publication.

Source: Vermont Record, November 25, 1864.
Courtesy of Tom Boudreau.