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Henry Hobart Vail

Henry Hobart Vail, son of farmer Joshua and Harriet (Warren) Vail, was born in Pomfret, Vermont, 27 May 1839. He graduated from Middlebury College in 1860, and was teaching school in Alburg when the war broke out. "What I Saw of the civil War," are his experiences as a Sergeant in Company C, 131st Ohio Infantry for 115 days in 1864.

The 131st Ohio Infantry was organized at Camp Chase, Ohio and mustered in 14 May 1864. The majority of its brief three month career was spent in garrison duty in and around Baltimore, Maryland, including Forts McHenry, Marshall and Federal, with detachments at Washington, Harper's Ferry, West Virginia, Fortress Monroe and City Point, Virginia, most of which Vail mentions in his short memoir. The regiment returned to Ohio on 19 August and was mustered out on 25 August 1864.

After the war Vail engaged in the publishing business, first in Cincinnati, Ohio and later in New York City, eventually becoming a director and chairman of the board of The American Book Company. In addition to publishing, he was heavily involved in historical and genealogical research, being a member of the New England, Ohio and New York Genealogical and Biographical Societies, and the Society of Colonial Wars. He wrote the history of Pomfret, Vermont, which was edited by Emma Chandler White and published after his death in 1903 (and apparently reprinted in 1993). He also published "Genealogy of some of the Vail family descended from Jeremiah Vail: at Salem, Mass., 1639," which was privately published in New York in 1902.

Henry married Minerva Elizabeth Hewitt, of Ohio, daughter of Sylvester Miller and Catherine Gwynn (Miles) Hewitt, on 10 October 1867, in Ohio. They had four daughters, Cora, Bessie Hewitt, Mary Catherine and Clara Warren.

Henry Hobart Vail died 2 September 1925, in New York City, and is buried (in New York City, I think, pending verification from SUVCW Tilden Post #28).


America's Successful Men of Affairs: An Encyclopedia of Contemporaneous Biography. New York: New York Printing Co., 1895. vol. 1, p. 671.

Dyer, Frederick H. A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1865.

New York: Thomas Yoseloff, 1959. Reprint. Dayton, OH: Morningside, 1979.

Latter Day Saints, Church of. "1880 Census, Winton Place, Hamilton, Ohio." Family History Library. Film 1255023, NA Film Number T9-1023, Page Number 409B.

Middlebury College Civil War

Notable Vails.

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