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Bisbee, Lewis Henry


Age: 23, credited to Derby, VT
Unit(s): 9th VT INF
Service: enl 6/10/62, m/i 7/9/62, 1SGT, Co. E, 9th VT INF, comn 1LT, Co. H, 1/6/63 (1/14/63), pr CPT 3/13/63 (3/20/63), resgd, 6/3/63

See Legend for expansion of abbreviations


Birth: 03/28/1839, Derby, VT
Death: 05/08/1898

Burial: Graceland Cemetery, Chicago, IL
Marker/Plot: Not recorded
Gravestone photographer:
Findagrave Memorial #: 139749399


Alias?: None noted
Pension?: Yes, 6/19/1889, IL
Portrait?: Gibson Collection, Charles Collection, VHS Collections
College?: Not Found
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: Cremated

Webmaster's Note: If this soldier enlisted before 9/1/62, and was with the regiment on 9/13/62, he would have briefly been taken prisoner along with the entire regiment at Harper's Ferry. Read the unit's Organization and Service for details.


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Copyright notice

Cremated at Graceland Cemetery, Chicago, IL

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


VHS - Reunion Society Collection


VHS - 9th Vermont Infantry Album (V2)


John Gibson Collection

Lewis H. Bisbee



MARCH 18th, 1863

EDITOR NEWSDEALER:--Thinking that perhaps a word in your columns from a member of the Lamoille Company in the 9th Vt. Would not be uninteresting to their many friends at home.I will attempt to give you a few words concerning us. We are still walking the beats around Camp Douglas, and our glistening bayonets tell Mr, " Seceesh" to keep at proper distance, or suffer the consequences. Our men go on guard every other day, which is quite fatiguing still they do it with but little grumbling, and we have learned that complaining is of but little avail in the army. Our company (H) by some unknown agency has been reduced to the small number of 15 men for duty, and a total of about 50 men. Besides the great number sick in the different hospitals in the city from this company. The small pox has been fearful inroads, and leaves the same sad record that it usually does wherever it spreads to any extent.

Six of our company have had, and are having it. Fifer Geo. W. Bagley had it lightly, and has recovered, and is now detailed as a nurse in the smallpox hospital James R. Steene had it very hard, but is now convalescent; Judson A. Robinson, dead; Corporal Albert A. Niles, convalescent; Second Sergeant David P. Barnes, dead;, and Victor M Frazier very sick, yet hopes are entertained for his recovery. Judson A. Robinson died on the 13th, and Sergeant Barnes on the 16th of March.

They were both young men of good standing, good habits, and flattering prospects in life. The loss is irreparable---much respected by officers and men---always prompt to duty, and always did their duty without complaining. Both are martyrs to their country, who have sacrificed their lives to maintain our glorious Government, assailed by a band of most fiendish traitors that ever disgraced a nation on the face of the earth.

We have men in the City and Marine Hospitals, and as many in regimental hospitals, many of whom we hope to soon have with us.

Our fare is very good and many thanks to our excellent Quartermaster (F. Sawyer), for his untiring efforts in our behalf. We soon expect to lose our much respected Colonel (Geo. G. Stannard), as he is now Brigadier General, and will soon take the field in in his new capacity. The good wishes of all of us go with him, as we know him well deserving even a higher place, and will venture to say, that he will give a good account of himself wherever he may be, and will never turn his back to the enemy, unless ordered to do so.

He shows a clean record in all his military duty, and has proved himself an able and efficient commander. We should hate to spare him, did we not know that Col. Andrus, his success we have another of the same stamp, and one who has the confidence of us all. We are anxious to be removed from the quiet of Chicago, into Gen. Stannard's brigade, and we have the promise of the general of its accomplishment if within his power.

Yours truly,
L.H. Bisbee

Submitted By: Deanna French


Bisbee, Lewis H., of Chicago, Ill., son of David and Sara Bisbee, was born March 28, 1839 at Derby.
The subject of this sketch (one of the most prominent and gifted members of the Chicago bar) was born and reared through boyhood on a farm. It is not true that the broad, stimulating and intense conditions of wealth and city life are necessarily suppressive of marked individual force and character. It is true, however, that much of the brawn and muscle, the life and brain, the refinement and energy which lead and govern the real forces of society are developed under the more quiet and rugged condition of country life. It is a most happy and valuable fact that the real strength and virtue of society are being constantly replenished from the rural and agricultural forces of the country. And there is probably no source from which is derived a stronger and better reinforcement of manners and social refinement. The home of Hon. Lewis Bisbee is in Hyde Park. It is one of the most refined and elegant in the country, and is a prominent center of healthful and refining social influence on a moral and intellectual plane as high as social development has anywhere attained.
Mr. Bisbee's advantages in the common schools while a lad were good. But he early conceived the idea of obtaining the higher and broader education afforded in the academies of Vermont. In summers he worked on the farm, attending school in the winters until the age of sixteen. At this age he fell back on his own resources and proved himself possessed of the energy and tenacity of purpose requisite to overcome the obstacles naturally in his way. He attended the academies at Glover, Derby, and Morrisville in Northern Vermont and took a course at St. Hyacinth College, near Montreal, Can., when nineteen years of age. The course of instruction there being conducted in the French language, he became a thorough French scholar. Subsequently he read law with J. L. Edwards, Esq., a prominent practitioner at Derby, paying his way mainly by teaching French, and was admitted to practice in June, 1862.
The same month he was admitted to the bar he enlisted as a private in Co. E, 9th Vt. Inf., and was afterward promoted to the captaincy of Co. H, of the same regiment. During his military service his conduct was marked by gallantry and faithfulness. Through all the hardships of war he was found resolute and cheerful, and in battle always a the front. In 1863 he resigned on account of sickness and returned to Newport and engaged in the practice of law, soon building up an extensive and lucrative business.
In 1866, Mr. Bisbee was elected state's attorney of Orleans county, where he then lived, and was re-elected in 1867, but soon after resigned to accept the position of deputy collector of customs, which office he filled till 1869, when he was elected to the Legislature of the state. He was again elected to the Legislature in 1870. He proved a most valuable and efficient member of that body, was one of the leaders of his party in the legislative debates, and a member of important committees. In extempore debate, when the occasion was important, he was considered one of the most vigorous and effective speakers on the floor.
It was in April, 1871, that Mr. Bisbee moved to Chicago, but scarcely had he become well started in business when the great fire occurred. In the rebuilding of the city, the reorganization and re-establishment of order and business, Mr. Bisbee came naturally and directly to the front of affairs. He had an unwavering faith in the future of Chicago, and the ability to seize and hold the front position which he has ever since occupied.
Mr. Bisbee is one of the most successful jury and chancery lawyers in the Northwest. His practice is one of the highest and most lucrative order. His management of the case known as the "B. F. Allen blanket-mortgage case," for Hoyt Sherman, especially, was conducted with extraordinary ability, and was highly complimented by courts and bar; also the noted Sturges case, with many others, might be adduced as confirming his high reputation as a lawyer.
In 1887 the Illinois Legislature passed a law permitting the annexation of the town of Hyde Park to Chicago. Through the instrumentality of Mr. Bisbee the annexation became a fact.
Mr. Bisbee was elected to the common council, representing the town of Hyde Park, but the Supreme Court of the state declared this law unconstitutional. There up in 1888-'89, Mr. Bisbee secured the passage of a new law, which resulted in the annexation to Chicago of the town of Hyde Park, Lake Jefferson, and a part of Cicero, containing an aggregate population of about 220,000 people. This great work made Chicago the second city in population of the United States, and among other advantages enabled it to hold the World's Columbian Exposition within its corporate limits.
Mr. Bisbee is the author of the well-known work entitled "The Law of the Produce Exchange," which is a standard text book on commercial exchanges in England and America.
In 1878 he was elected to the Legislature of Illinois, receiving nearly the unanimous vote of the district, one of the most populous and intelligent in the state. In that body he was one of the most prominent leaders as a ready and able debater and an influential and judicious legislator. He is a graceful and impressive orator, an incisive and logical thinker; and being possessed of a fine and commanding presence few men are his equal in the legal or legislative debating arena. In politics he is an ardent Republican, and in campaigns, when the principles of he party are at stake, his voice and eloquence are always conspicuous.
Mr. Bisbee is a member of the Oakland and Hyde Park Clubs, and on of the founders of the Society of Sons of Vermont in Illinois, of which he has been president. He is also a Knight Templar, a member of the St. Bernard Commandery.
Personally Mr. Bisbee is a genial and affable gentleman of broad and generous nature, dignified, courteous and obliging. In his profession he is honorable, conscientious, painstaking and laborious. Of robust and hardy nature, refined, cultivated and learned, his is in the true sense of the term a self-made man. And the most of his life, as the lives of strong men generally run, is still before him.
He married in 1864 to Jane E. Hinman, of Derby, Vt., a member of a prominent family of Orleans county. Their two children are: Hattie Hinman, born at Newport in 1867, and a graduate of Cornell University; and Benjamin Hinman, born in 1877 in Chicago.
Source: Jacob G. Ullery, "Men of Vermont: An Illustrated Biographical History of Vermonters and Sons of Vermont," (Transcript Publishing Company, Brattleboro, Vt., 1894), Part III, pp. 18-20.

Lewis H. Bisbee is the son of David Bisbee, a farmer of Derby. Orleans Co., Vt., where he was born on March 28, 1839, and worked on the farm until sixteen years of age. He prepared for college in the academies at Glover, Derby and Morrisville, in Northern Vermont; entering St. Hyacinth College, near Montreal, Canada, at nineteen years of age and graduating at twenty-one. The course of study there being conducted in French, he mastered that language so as to write and speak it fluently.
Reading law with J. L. Edwards, a prominent lawyer of Derby, and paying his way mainly by teaching French, he was admitted to the Bar in June, 1862. The same month, he enlisted in Co. "E," 9th Vermont Infantry, and afterward became captain of Co. "H" of the same regiment, serving with credit in all the severe campaigns through which that regiment passed. At Harper's Ferry he was captured, released on parole, and sent to Camp Douglas, Chicago, where he remained until exchanged, when he rejoined his regiment, resigning, on account of sickness, in 1864. He then returned to Newport, Vt., and soon built up an extensive law practice. In 1866, he was elected State's attorney of Orleans County and was re-elected in 1867; but soon resigned and became deputy collector of customs, which office he held until 1869, when he was elected to the Legislature, and re-elected in 1870. He was placed on the most important committees, and was among the acknowledged leaders of his party. Some of his arguments were pronounced the ablest ever made in that house. From 1865 to 1870, he was United States commissioner for Vermont under the extradition treaty. He removed to Chicago just before the fire of 1871. He had great faith in the future of Chicago, and his success, both financially and professionally, indicate that his judgment was sound. Mr. Bisbee has had several partners, and is at present with John P. Ahrens and Henry Decker, under the firm name of Bisbee, Ahrens & Decker. In 1878, he was elected to the Illinois Legislature, receiving the almost unanimous vote of his district. He at once took rank as one of the most formidable debaters in that body. His speech in nomination of Senator Logan has often been referred to as a model of eloquence, and had powerful effect in securing his election. In 1864, he was married to Miss Jane E. Hinman, of Vermont. They have two children,—Hattie and Benjamin H. Mr. Bisbee is a member of the Bar Association and of the Chicago Law Institute. His Masonic connection is with Garfield Lodge, No. 686, A.F. & A.M.; York Chapter, No. 148, R.A.M.; and St. Bernard Commandery, No. 35, K.T.
Source: Alfred Theodore Andreas, History of Chicago from the Earliest Period to the Present Time, (A. T. Andreas Company, Chicago, 1886), 3:266-267.