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1st Vermont Cavalry

Henry Charles Spaulding
Co. F, 1st Vermont Cavalry

Henry C. Spaulding came from a long-line of pioneer Spauldings -- a numerous family in early New England records. His father, Otis Spaulding was born in Cavendish in 1817, and lived grew up in the small farming community of Andover, Vt.

Seeking a better life with more lucrative employment prospects, Otis removed to Mifflin, Ohio where he and family lived for some time, before they came back to Vermont. They settled at Cavendish by 1850 with their three children who had been born in Ohio-- Henry being one of them.

At one time, Otis Spaulding was interested in the preparation and sale of a patent medicine, "the Wyandotte Indian Remedy" and he became widely known in Vermont as "Dr. Spaulding." He was a man of genial disposition and much liked by those who knew him-- a terrific salesman of his day and age, traveling around the stump and selling his homeopathic medicines promising to cure every ail a human being had.

Otis also had a blacksmith shop above Ordway Mills on the Twenty-Mile Stream in Cavendish (Windsor County) Vt. He sold the shop on 8 Aug., 1854 for $65.00 to Asa Spaulding. He and Azuba were living at Lexington, Massachusetts at the time of the sale. They settled back in Andover, Vt. in 1857 where young Henry grew up.

Henry was born in Mifflin, Ohio in 1845. He voluntarily enlisted for three year's service at Cavendish, at the age of 18, 21 Dec. 1863 as a Civil War soldier. Judge Calvin French of Cavendish signed as a witness to young Henry's enlistment papers. Henry was mustered as a Private in Co. "F", 1st Vt. Cavalry at Brattleboro, 29 Dec., 1863. He had light complexion, blue eyes, brown hair and was five feet five inches in height. He was reporting missing after a skirmish near Mechanicsville, and was reported captured at Ashland (or Meadow Bridge) Virginia on 1 March, 1864. He was confined by the Confederates at Richmond until he was sent to Andersonville Prison in Georgia in early August.

Knowing his days were numbered and illness severe, young Henry succeeded in cutting a hole in the center of his Bible and placed his well loved pocket watch inside. He then bribed a guard to take it and send it home to his family in Cavendish, which was done. Mrs. Joanne Woodward, one of George's later relatives is still in possession of his watch. His illness at Andersonville proved grave and he was admitted to their hospital on the same day he died of "scorbutus" 12 Aug., 1864.

Another Vt. Civil War soldier -- one of so very many -- lost in that cause for saving our Union.

[taken from Familes of Cavendish, Vol. 2, by Linda M. F. Welch, Cavendish Historical Society, Cavendish, Vermont, 1994]