Henry Jackson Hunt - Encyclopedia




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HENRY JACKSON HUNT (1819-1889), American soldier, was born in Detroit, Michigan, on the 14th of September 1819, and graduated at the U.S. military academy in 1839. He served in the Mexican War under Scott, and was breveted for gallantry at Contreras and Churubusco and at Chapultepec. He became captain in 1852 and major in 1861. His professional attainments were great, and in 1856 he was a member of a board entrusted with the revision of light artillery drill and tactics. He took part in the first battle of Bull Run in 1861, and soon afterwards became chief of artillery in the Washington defences. As a colonel on the staff of General M'Clellan he organized and trained the artillery reserve of the Army of the Potomac. Throughout the Civil War he contributed more than any officer to the effective employment of the artillery arm. With the artillery reserve he rendered the greatest assistance at the battle of Malvern Hill, and soon afterwards he became chief of artillery in the Army of the Potomac. On the day after the battle of South Mountain he was made brigadier-general of volunteers. At the Antietam, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, he rendered further good service, and at Gettysburg his handling of the artillery was conspicuous in the repulse of Pickett's charge, and he was rewarded with the brevet of colonel. He served in Virginia to the end of the war, attaining the brevet ranks of major-general of volunteers and brigadier-general of regulars. When the U.S. army was reorganized in 1866 he became colonel of the 5th artillery and president of the permanent Artillery Board. He held various commands until 1883, when he retired to become governor of the Soldiers' Home, Washington, D.C. He died on the 11th of February 1889. He was the author of Instructions for Field Artillery (1860), and of papers on Gettysburg in the "Battles and Leaders" series.

His brother, Lewis Cass Hunt (1824-1886), served throughout the Civil War in the infantry arm, becoming brigadier-general of volunteers in 1862, and brevet brigadier-general U.S.A. in 1865.

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