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Audubon County


1915 Bios Index


Henry Franklin Andrews, son of Jacob and Martha Phinney (Hamblen) Andrews, was born at Lovell, Maine, Thursday. June 27, 1844. He was married at Atlantic, Iowa, by the Rev. M. Hughes, February 27, 1871, to Jennie Maria, daughter of William Canfield and Ruth Harriet (Thayer) Norton, of Oakfield, Iowa. Jennie Maria Norton was born in Springfield township, Allen county, Indiana, June 21, 1850. She returned with her parents to Springwater, New York, from whence they had moved to Indiana, and came with her parents to Oakfield, Iowa, in 1856. Before marriage she had become a successful school teacher in Audubon county. They separated in 1898, and were divorced December 13, 1902. Both unmarried 1915. She lives with her children near Shoshone, Wyoming. He is a lawyer and genealogist.

Henry Franklin Andrews lived with his parents in Lovell, Stoneham, Portland, and again in Lovell, Maine, except two summers in Naples, Maine, until 1862. He was reared a farmer and lumberman. He attended the public school up to and including the winter of 1861. but was employed at work for his father in the summer seasons after he was twelve years old.

On July 18, 1862, Henry Franklin Andrews enlisted as a private in Company D, Sixteenth Regiment Volunteer Infantry, joined his company at Augusta, Maine, and was mustered into the United States service on August 14, 1862. The regiment went by rail on August 19, via Portland and Boston to Fall River, Massachusetts, thence by the steamer "Bay State" to Jersey City, arriving there August 20, and at Philadelphia the following day, and was entertained there with refreshments at the "Cooper Shop"; thence again by rail via Baltimore and arrived at Washington on August 22. The regiment marched down Pennsylvania Avenue and crossed Long Bridge into Virginia the next day and camped at Fort Tillinghast, near the Lee mansion on Arlington Heights, just across the Potomac from the White House.

On September 2, Companies D and I were detailed to serve at Fort Corcoran, and the other companies to other forts in the vicinity. At Fort Tillinghast was heard the first sounds of war and real fighting while the battle was on at Chantilly. The "long roll" called them out there in the night for the first time in their long arduous service. On September 7 the regiment was consolidated and marched away on the Maryland campaign; and on September 9 it was assigned to Hartsuff' s Brigade, composed of the following named regiments: Eleventh Pennsylvania, Ninth New Hampshire, Twelfth and Thirteenth Massachusetts and Sixteenth Maine, Rickett's Division, Hooker's First Army Corps, under Gen. George B. McClellan, Army of the Potomac.

Hon. Henry F. Andrews
Click image to enlarge

Mr. Andrews marched with the regiment on the first day, but was taken violently sick with fever, and on the morning of September 8 was sent back to Harewood Hospital, Washington. As soon as he could stand and walk he attempted to find his regiment, and after various delays joined it at Sharpsburg, Maryland, in October. From there he marched with the regiment across the South Mountains, crossed the Potomac at Berlin, thence via Waterford, Hamilton, Middleburg, White Plains, Warrington, etc., to Rappahannock Station, and then to Brook's Station, Virginia; being sick and unfit for duty during the entire march. To add to the hardship and suffering, the men had left their knapsacks at Washington when starting on the campaign, and were without overcoats or change of clothing from September 7 to November 27; and during that period encountered severe weather and hard storms, so that a large per cent, of the men were sick and off duty. About this time Comrade Andrews was detailed as "cattle guard," and to shoot the beeves for the brigade, which relieved him from drill, picket and guard duty and other hardships incident to the regular service, and permitted marching without carrying a heavy load. During the battle of Fredericksburg he took a bunch of beeves to the battlefield and slaughtered them for food for the troops of the brigade.

On the "Burnside mud march" he was serving with the "cattle guard," but soon afterwards voluntarily returned to his company and put in the remainder of the winter at regular duty; drilling, on picket and camp guard, having partially recovered his health.

Mr. Andrews served with the regiment at the second battle of Fredericksburg and at Chancellorsville, May, 1863, where he suffered a severe relapse and contracted an illness from which he never fully recovered. However, he started from near Fredericksburg on the Gettysburg campaign, and completely collapsed and was sent from Centerville to Fairfax Seminary Hospital in June, 1863, suffering from debility and fever. He joined the regiment again at Rappahannock Station in time to participate in an engagement there on August 1, 1863, and continued to serve in the fall campaign in the advance of the army to the Rapidan river; and on the retreat of the army back to Centerville in October, 1863; where he was again prostrated with a severe illness and sent to the field hospital, but went on duty again before recovery and participated in the battle of Mine Run in November, 1863.

During the fall and winter of 1863-4, on account of ill health, he was relieved from drill, picket and guard duty, and detailed as company clerk.

In May, 1864, Mr. Andrews marched with the regiment and participated in the battles of the Wilderness and Spottsylvania. The Sixteenth Maine was a fighting regiment from start to finish, commanded by the gallant, brave Col. Charles W. Tilden, afterwards brevet brigadier-general; and by Lieut.-Col. Augustus B. Farnham, brevet colonel, and the adjutant, Abner R. Small, was of the best in the army, afterwards major. The regiment suffered heavy losses. It bore upon its rolls the names of one thousand nine hundred and sixty-two officers and men, of whom one hundred and seventy-eight were killed in battle or died of wounds, two hundred and eighty-eight were wounded in action, fifty-two missing in action, some of whom were probably killed, two hundred and seventy-one died of disease, and two hundred and seventy-seven were discharged for disability; a large number were captured by the Rebels in battle and were confined in prisons, where many perished. At Fredericksburg the regiment lost fifty-four percent, of the men who went into the fight, killed and wounded. At Gettysburg after a hard fight and losing heavily the first day, it was ordered to hold its position "at all hazards," to enable the remainder of the division to retreat from the field and gain a new position. The order was faithfully and literally obeyed, that gallant handful of men held the line until the Rebels swarmed around them, overwhelmed and captured most of them. Only two officers and fifteen men escaped and remained for duty at the close of the battle. The remainder, except those killed and wounded, were captured by the Rebels and taken to prison at Richmond, Virginia, including Colonel Tilden, who had the proud record of escaping through the tunnel from Libby Prison the following winter.

The various organizations to which the regiment belonged were as follow: It was assigned to Hartsuff's Brigade as before stated. In October General Hartsuff was succeeded by Gen. Nathan Taylor in command of the brigade, and soon afterwards the Sixteenth Maine was transferred to the First Brigade, same division, composed of the Twelfth Massachusetts, Ninety-fourth and One Hundred and Fourth New York. One Hundred and Seventh Pennsylvania, and the Sixteenth Maine, commanded by Col. Adrian R. Root, of the Ninety-Fourth New York, who assumed command on November 19, 1862. Gen. John Robinson took command of the Second Division, and Gen. John F. Reynolds commanded the First Army Corps. About October, 1862, General McClellan was relieved from command of the Army of Potomac and was succeeded by Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside who fought the first battle of Fredericksburg. He was relieved about March, 1863, by Gen. Joseph Hooker, who fought the second battle of Fredericksburg and the battle of Chancellorsville in May, 1863. He was relieved in turn the last of June by Gen. George G. Mead, who fought the battle of Gettysburg, July, 1863, and commanded the army until the close of the war.

After General Reynolds was killed at Gettysburg, the First Corps was commanded by Gen. John Newton until March, 1864, when it was consolidated with the Fifth Corps, commanded by Gen. G. K. Warren, until the battle of Five Forks, and afterwards by Gen. Charles Griffin. General Robinson commanded the Second Division, First Corps until March, 1864, when it was consolidated and became the Second Division of the Fifth Corps. At the battle of Spottsylvania, May 8, 1864, he lost a leg, and Col. Dick Coulter had temporary command of the division. On May 10, the brigade was temporarily assigned to the First Division under Gen. Lysamis Cutler. On June 8, 1864, the brigade was transferred to General Crawford's Third Division, Fifth Corps. It had various commanders at different periods. Colonel Root conmianded at Fredericksburg, both battles, and at Chancellorsville. It went into the battle of Gettysburg under Gen. Gabrielle Paul, who had both eyes shot out, and was succeeded, respectively, by Colonels Root, Leonard and Coulter, who were all wounded. This little brigade lost over one thousand men the first day at Gettysburg. Colonel Leonard commanded during the fall and winter of 1863-4, and up to the battle of Spottsylvania, May 8, 1864. Col. Thomas F. McCoy seems to have been in command at the battle of Weldon Railroad, Virginia, August 18, 1864. On August 21, 1864, the Sixteenth Maine was transferred to General Baxter's Second Brigade.

The First Brigade during the winter of 1863-4 was stationed at Mitchell's Station, Virginia, on the Orange and Alexandria railroad, between Culpeper and the Rapidan river, south of Slaughter's Mountain.

As before stated, Comrade Andrews suffered from repeated attacks of sickness, which seriously mitigated against his success and advancement as a soldier. Notwithstanding which, and without solicitation, he was tendered promotion by Captain Plummer, which was promptly declined against the earnest protest of the captain, on the ground that it would deprive other comrades, who had performed better service, from merited promotion. On account of continued ill health and disability for further active duty in the field, he was again sent to the hospital at Washington, the last part of May, 1864, from which he never returned to duty with the regiment. After convalescence he was detailed as a clerk at Mount Pleasant United States Hospital, Washington, where by close attention and fidelity to duty he became chief clerk of the hospital a year later, with fifty clerks and ward masters under his direction. By order of the war department he was directed to be transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps for duty, which was barely escaped by the close of the war. He served out his time as chief clerk, and was discharged for disability at Washington, July 13, 1865. After discharge he continued his position a month longer to assist his commanding officer to discharge and muster out the men who were inmates of the hospital, and to close out the post.

Without solicitation Comrade Andrews received the following certificates of service from his commanding officers :

"Waterford, Maine. September 20, 1864.

"This may certify that Henry V. Andrews, a private of Co. D. 16 Me. Vols, has, during his two years of service, shown himself to be not only a true soldier, but a young man possessed of more than ordinary business capacity. He has a greater portion of the time been employed by me as company clerk, and by his strict and close attention to his duty has proved himself to be an able and efficient person to perform all such labors imposed upon him.

"I would, therefore, cheerfully recommend him for some better position which his talents, industry and general character eminently deserve.

"(Signed) S. K. Plummer,
"Capt. Co. D, 16 Maine Vols."

"Mt. Pleasant Hospital, Washington, D. C,
July 16, 1865.

"As the time draws near when the hospital will close, I should be doing injustice to my feelings were I not to express to you my gratification for the efficient manner in which you have performed the duties of chief clerk of the main office.

"Your character has always been most exemplary. After your honorable discharge you returned to the hospital and resumed your old duties, although no provision had been made for your employment--an action worthy of all praise, and in marked contrast to the selfish course pursued by others. I consider that the promptitude with which 1 was enabled to muster out and discharge the convalescent soldiers was due in no small degree to your labors---and you are entitled to the gratitude of your former comrades as well as my own thanks. Wishing for you every success,

"I remain very truly your friend,

(Signed) "H. Allen,
"Asst. Surg. U. S. A., In Charge.
"Henry Franklin Andrews,
"Late Co. D. 16 Maine."

The following certificate was given by the officer last named in response to a request for a recommendation for an appointment in the War Department:

"Mount Pleasant Hospital, Washington, D. C,
"July 16, 1865.

"Sir--In reply to your request that I would give you my opinion as to your fitness for the position of clerk at the War Department, I would say that I have rarely met in the service with one more devoted to his duties than yourself, or who was less disposed to secure promotion at the expense of the interests of his fellow soldiers. I can also affirm to your efficiency as a clerk, for you have assumed charge of the main office of this hospital to my entire satisfaction. I hope that in the disposal of the appointments, the claim of those who have already rendered faithful service to the Government will be considered.

"(Signed) H. Allen,
"Ass't Surg. U. S. A. In Charge."

"Henry Franklin Andrews,
"Late Priv. Co. D, 16th Maine Vols."

The foregoing documents were from a regular army officer, commanding a post of three thousand sick and wounded men and convalescents, embracing every branch of the army service, guarded by three companies of the Veteran Reserve Corps, with thirty surgeons or more, and numerous stewards, wardmasters, clerks, attendants, etc., under his command, equalizing the command of a division in the field. It was an unusual act for such officers to present a volunteer enlisted man such compliments. The service which suggested this action was such as had merited his special approval.

Instead of accepting a clerkship Comrade Andrews retired to civil life. He came to Exira on October 3, 1865, whither his parents had moved while he was in the army, where he has since principally resided. During the winters of 1865-6 and 1866-7, he taught school, and worked at farming and carpentering in the summer months. He served as county recorder, 1867-8; county judge, 1868; was admitted to the bar 1870. He was deputy United States marshal, and enumerated for the eleventh United States census for the counties of Audubon and Shelby, in 1870. In 1872 he attended one term at the school of the law department, Iowa State University. Admitted to the supreme court of Iowa, 1884, and to practice before the United States department of the interior the same year, and to the United States district and circuit courts in 1886. Employed as county attorney, 1884-6. He was state senator, 1892-5; notary public for many years; mayor of Exira, 1894-5; justice of the peace, 1905-8. He has been a member of the Free Masons; Knights of Pythias, in which he held the office of chancellor commander; Improved Order of Red Men; Modern Woodmen of America; Iowa Legion of Honor; Grand Army of the Republic, in which he held nearly every office in the post. Four times colonel and aid-decamp on the staff of the national commander, Grand Army of the Republic. He devoted much time in assisting the old veteran comrades to obtain pensions and claims for army and navy services from the government.

Mr. Andrews was chairman of the military committee in the Senate of Iowa at the time of building the Iowa soldiers' monument at Des Moines; was author of the bill which placed the Grand Army of the Republic headquarters in the state house; author of bill granting aid to indigent soldiers; author of the plan placing the sixth judge on the supreme court of Iowa; an active supporter of the historical department of Iowa. He has given liberally of his time in promoting various associations for the reunions of the veterans of the Civil War. Colonel of the Audubon County Veteran Regiment, 1904; general of the Nishua Botna Veteran Association, 1905; general of the Western Iowa Veteran Association, 1906; member and active supporter of the National Association of Civil War Musicians. A leading and successful member of the Audubon county bar, and has been engaged in many business enterprises. He has been an extensive landowner, land agent and dealer in real estate, farmer, stock grower, fruit grower, merchant, dealer and shipper of grain and live stock.

One of the founders of the town of West Exira, 1879. He built the first brick building in Audubon county in 1873. The county records and newspaper files of Audubon county show that IMr. Andrews has been a busy man since 1865, and that he has ever been devoted to the interests of the people among whom he has lived.

Henry Franklin Andrews is the author of "The Andrews Family," published in 1890; "The Hamlin Family," 1894; "The Hamlin Family," 1900; "The Hamlin Family," 1902; and other publications. And author of the "History of Audubon County."

Mr. Andrews is a Republican. He is an agnostic.

To Mr. and Mrs. Andrews the following children were born at Exira: Charles Franklin, born on April 24, 1872, unmarried; Claude Norton, March 10, 1874, unmarried; Jessamine Julia, April 16, 1877, unmarried; Wallace Pearl, July 28, 1879, unmarried; John Hamlin. October 15, 1886, unmarried; Philip Stearns, July 20, 1888, married Fleta E. Walker.

Transcribed from History of Audubon County, Iowa Its People, Industries and Institutions With Biographical Sketches of Representative Citizens and Genealogical Records of Many of the Old Families, by H. F. Andrews, editor, Indianapolis: B. F. Bowen & Company, 1915, pp. 840-847.