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Higley, Edwin Hall


Age: 19, credited to Castleton, VT
Unit(s): 1st VT CAV
Service: enl 9/30/61, m/i 11/19/61, 1SGT, Co. K, 1st VT CAV, comn 2LT, 7/16/62 (7/28/62), wdd, Weldon Railroad, 6/23/64, pow, Nottoway Court House, 6/23/64, Columbia, SC, prld 3/1/65, Bvt 1LT, Bvt CPT, and Bvt MAJ, each to date from 3/13/65, for gallant and meritorious service during the war; m/o 5/15/65, SOWD [College: MC 65]

See Legend for expansion of abbreviations


Birth: 02/15/1843, Castleton, VT
Death: 05/05/1916

Burial: Hillside Cemetery, Castleton, VT
Marker/Plot: Not recorded
Gravestone photographer: Tom Boudreau
Findagrave Memorial #: 18744317


Alias?: None noted
Pension?: Yes, widow Jennie, 6/20/1916, MA
Portrait?: Gibson Collection, Guber Collection off-site, Middlebury College Archives, off-site
College?: MC 65
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


Ancestor of Jared Rousseau, Brattleboro, VT

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Hillside Cemetery, Castleton, VT

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


John Gibson Collection

Edwin H. Higley

Higley, Edwin Hall, of Groton, Mass., son of Rev. Harvey O. and Sarah (Little) Higley, was born in Castleton, Feb. 15, 1843.
He received his preparatory education at Castleton Seminary, and then entered Middlebury College, where he graduated in the class of 1868. For the next four years he studied music and philology in Boston and Cambridge, and from 1882 to 1884 at the Royal Conservatory of Leipsic, in Germany.
Though scarcely emerged from boyhood, he was inspired with the enthusiasm attending the early outbreak of the war for the Union, and in 1861 he enlisted in Co. K, 1st Vt. Cavalry. During his service he was detailed as adjutant and as regimental commissary and in the latter part of 1863 acted as brigade ordnance officer on the staff of Gen. G. A. Custer. During Kilpatrick's raid he commanded a section of Battery C, 3d U. S. Artillery and had the satisfaction of shelling the rebel capitol. He was wounded and taken prisoner June 29, 1864, after having participated in most of the cavalry engagements of the Army of the Potomac in the campaigns of Pope, Second Bull Run, Gettysburg and the Wilderness. Exchanged March 1, 1865, he was commissioned captain of Co. K, and soon after brevet major for gallant and meritorious service during the war.
From 1868 to 1872 Major Higley taught music in Boston, Mass., and then accepted a professorship of German and Greek in Middlebury College, where he remained ten years. After his return from Europe, he was teacher of music and organist in Worcester, Mass. In 1886 he came to Groton School as Greek and German instructor and as choir master and organist, which position he holds up to the present time.
He married, June 2, 1870, in Middlebury, Jane S., daughter of Oliver and Jane (Shepard) Turner. They have one daughter: Margaret E.

Source: Jacob G. Ullery, compiler, Men of Vermont: An Illustrated Biographical History of Vermonters and Sons of Vermont, (Transcript Publishing Company, Brattleboro, VT, 1894), Part III, pp. 83.


The Vermont Journal, April 1, 1865

The household of Rev. H.O. Higley was recently made glad at the appearing among them of their son and brother, Lieut. E. H. Higley, who went out as Sergeant in the Vermont Cavalry, and in July, 1862, was promoted to the Lieutenancy for honorable conduct in the field. For the nine months past he has been an occupant of southern prisons at Macon, Columbia, and Charleston, and was for some time under fire of the enemy at the latter place. He remains at home thirty days and then returns to his regiment to serve out the term of his commission, which expires next July.

Contributed by Cathy Hoyt.



Prof. Edwin Hall Higley died in Groton, Mass., last Friday, after a brief illness of pneumonia. Although it is more than thirty years since he was a Professor at Middlebury College, he was well known in this community. He was a frequent attendant at the college commencements and often visited his sister, the late Miss Emma Higley. Few alumni of the college were more highly respected or more deeply loved.

Professor Higley was born in Castleton in 1843. He entered college with the class of 1864 but when a Sophomore enlisted in the famous First Vermont cavalry. He served during the entire war and attained the rank of Captain. He was made Major by brevet when he left the service in 1865. He was nine months in rebel prisons, once escaping but being recaptured. He would never apply for a pension. After the war he re-entered college and graduated the valedictorian of the class of 1868. From 1872 to 1882 he was professor of Greek and German. Later he studied in Germany and for the past thirty years had been Master in Greek and German in the celebrated Groton School. He was a great teacher, a man who exercised a strong influence over his pupils. Middlebury College conferred the degree of Doctor of Laws upon him in 1901.

Professor Higley was one of the company who for many years have camped each summer on Knight's Island, Lake Champlain, some of the others being Professor Brainerd Kellogg, Dr. Ezra Brainerd, and Prof. D. McGregor Means.

Funeral services were held in the chapel of the Groton School Monday afternoon and the interment was in Castleton Tuesday.

Source: Middlebury Register, May 12, 1916.
Courtesy of Tom Boudreau.