Bio: Fessenden, Henry J.
Contact: Lani Bartelt

----Sources: Family Records

The Henry J Fessenden Family

Henry J Fessenden was b 6 April 1822 in Boston, Massachusetts the son of Timothy & Angeline (Robbey) Fessenden. His father was from Haversill, Massachusetts and his mother was from Montpelier, Vermont.

Henry’s father was a blacksmith and machinist by trade who worked in the Boston, Massachusetts area for many years. Henry’s mother was a daughter of Richard Robbey, a Revolutionary War soldier who first fought for the British and then deserted and fought with the American side. Henry’s parents had nine children seven of whom reached maturity –Louise, Angeline, Lucy, Henry, Sarah, Nancy & Francis. One son George also reached maturity but died leaving a family.

Henry was raised and educated in Boston, Massachusetts there he learned the Blacksmith Trade from his father but he had to give that up for health reasons. He next learned the carriage and wagon making trade at which he worked for six years. He then emigrated to Illinois in 1838 first settling in Greene County, then to Griggsville, Pikes County in 1839, Columbus, Adams Co in Oct. 1850; then to Hancock in 1854, and then to Cartage same county. He then began teaching vocal and instrumental music for several years while living in Hancock, Illinois, making his home in Carthage, Illinois.

He served in the Civil War in Co D 16th Ill. Inf. from 24 May 1861 to 8 May 1862 and was the detailed leader of the 16th Illinois Regimental Band. He reenlisted 15 Aug 1862 and served till 3 Aug 1863 when he was discharged for disability. He fought in the battles of Port Gibson, Champion Hill, Black River Bridge, and Vicksburg.

16th Regiment, Illinois Infantry

Organized at Quincy, Ill., and mustered in May 24, 1861. Moved to Grand River, Mo., June 12, 1861, and duty as Railroad guard on Hannibal & St. Joseph R. R. till September 10. Action at Monroe Station July 9 (Cos. "F" and "H"). Caldwell Station July 16. Operations about Kirksville August 16-21. Affairs at Hunnewell and Palmyra August 17. Operations in Northeast Missouri August 20-September 7. Expedition against Green's Guerrillas September 8-9. Moved to St. Joseph, Mo., September 10, and duty there till January 27, 1862. Skirmish at Platte City September 14, 1861. Attached to Dept. of Missouri to February, 1862. 4th Brigade, 1st Division, District of Cairo, February, 1862. 1st Brigade, 4th Division, Army of Mississippi, to April, 1862. 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, Army of Mississippi, to September, 1862. 2nd Brigade, 13tb Division, Army of the Ohio, to November , 1862. 1st Brigade, 4th Division, Centre 14th Army Corps, Dept. of the Cumberland, to January, 1863. 1st Brigade, 4th Division. 14th Army Corps, Army of the Cumberland, to June, 1863. 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, Reserve Corps, Army of the Cumberland, to October, 1863. 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 14th Army Corps, to July, 1865.


Moved from St. Joseph, Mo., to Bird's Point, Mo., January 27, 1862, thence to New Madrid, Mo., March 3. Operations against New Madrid and Island No. 10 March 3-April 8. Actions at New Madrid March 12-14. Capture of New Madrid March 14. Island No. 10 April 6. Action and capture at Tiptonville April 8. Expedition to Fort Pillow, Tenn., April 13-17. Moved to Hamburg Landing, Tenn., April 17-24. Advance on and siege of Corinth, Miss., April 29-May 30. Action at Farmington May 3. Reconnoissance toward Corinth May 8. Pursuit to Booneville May 30-June 12. Tuscumbia Creek May 31-June 1. Reconnoissance toward Baldwyn June 3. At Clear Creek till July. March to Tuscumbia, Ala., July 20-25, thence to Nashville, Tenn., August 28-September 15. Action at Columbia September 10. Siege of Nashville September 15-November 6. Repulse of Forest's attack on Edgefield November 5. Duty at Nashville till July 20, 1863. Moved to Murfreesboro, Tenn., July 20, thence march to Columbia, Athens, Huntsville and Stevenson, Ala., August 24-September 7, and to Bridgeport, Ala., September 12. Duty there till October 1. Operations up the Sequatchie Valley against Wheeler October 1-17. Anderson's Cross Roads October 2. Moved to Waldron's Ridge, thence to Kelly's Ferry; and guard lines of transportation till January, 1864. Chattanooga-Ringgold Campaign November 23-27. Chickamauga Station November 26. Veterans on furlough January and February, 1864. Rejoined at Rossville, Ga. Demonstration on Dalton February 22-27. Tunnel Hill, Buzzard's Roost and Rocky Faced Ridge February 23-25. Atlanta Campaign May 1 to September 8. Demonstration on Rocky Faced Ridge May 5-11. Tunnel Hill May 6-7. Buzzard's Roost Gap May 8-9. Battle of Resaca May 14-15. Rome May 17-18. Operations on line of Pumpkin Vine Creek and battles about Dallas, New Hope Church and Allatoona Hills May 25-June 5. Operations about Marietta and against Kenesaw Mountain June 10-July 2. Pine Hill June 11-14. Lost Mountain June 15-17. Assault on Kenesaw June 27. Ruff's Station July 4. Chattahoochie River July 5-17. Vining Station July 17. Peach Tree Creek July 19-20. Siege of Atlanta July 22-August 25. Utoy Creek August 5-7. Flank movement on Jonesboro August 25-30. Battle of Jonesboro August 31-September 1. Operations in North Georgia and North Alabama against Forest and Hood September 29-November 3. Florence, Ala., October 6-7. March to the sea November 15-December 10. Sandersville November 26. Siege of Savannah December 10-21. Campaign of the Carolinas January to April, 1865. Fayettevllle. N. C., March 11. Near Fayetteville March 13. Averysboro March 16. Battle of Bentonville March 19-21. Occupation of Goldsboro March 24. Advance on Raleigh April 10-14. Occupation of Raleigh April 14. Bennett's House April 26. Surrender of Johnston and his army. March to Washington, D. C., via Richmond, Va., April 29-May 19. Grand Review May 24. Moved to Louisville, Ky., June 12. Mustered out July 8, 1865.

Regiment lost during service 3 Officers and 54 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 3 Officers and 110 Enlisted men by disease. Total 170

After the War he returned to Carthage, Illinois and in Oct 1863 he came to La Crosse County, Wisconsin settling in West Salem where he clerked in a store and worked at the carriage maker’s trade until 1871. He next moved to Birmingham, Marshall County, Kentucky in 1874 then came to Union City, Tennessee in Feb 1875 and next to Osbourne, Kansas and in 1881 he came to Wisconsin where he lived on the Old Eau Claire Lumber Co. farm until April 1883. In that year he came to Sterling, Wisconsin and took Charge of the store and books of the Eau Claire Lumber Co. and was retained by the Sterling Lumber Co. when they took charge of the business in March 1888.

Henry Fessenden was married 17 Nov 1846 in Columbus, Adams County, Illinois to Minerva Ann Nance, born near New Albany, Indiana daughter, of William Nance.

Henry & Minerva had seven children and in 1891 those still living were:

Emma, wife of H.O. Pixley of Covert, Kansas; Ella, wife of Joe Sterling, a member of the Sterling Lumber Co firm; Eva G, wife of J.B. Swift of Chicago, Illinois; and George of Clark County, Wisconsin who married Amanda E Sloop of Loyal, Clark County, Wisconsin In 1891 they purchased a home in Thorp, Clark County, Wisconsin and settled down to enjoy their declining years among friends they had known for twenty years.

Socially Henry was a member of the I.O.O. F. and the GAR and politically he was a Republican. Minerva was a member of the Christian Church. (Baptist)

Henry died 6 Oct 1904. His wife Minerva died 1 April 1894 at their home in Thorp, Wisconsin. She was 66 yrs 10 ms and 22 days old and passed away after an illness of only four days. Services were held at the Baptist Church with J.B. Bachman officiating. Surviving here were her husband, Henry; daughter Ella Sterling of St Louis, Missouri; son, Ed of Thorp, Wisconsin; and daughter Emma Pixley of Covert, Kansas.


Majority of Henry Fessenden Bio originally from 1891 History of Clark & Jackson County, Wisconsin Pages 211-212

Obit of Minerva Fessenden

Lani note/Mar 2006 for any Fessenden family researchers there is a lot of information online if one would Google search the names Fessenden and Robbey on the internet.



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