Henry Jackson Hunt

Henry Jackson Hunt, a brother of Lewis Cass Hunt, was born on September 14, 1819, at Detroit, Michigan. Both his father and paternal grandfather were officers of the Regular Army. Orphaned at the age of ten, the young Hunt obtained his early education through the kindness of family friends and was graduated from West Point in 1839. He fought in Mexico in Winfield Scott's campaign as a lieutenant of artillery and won the brevets of captain and major for gallantry. From then until the beginning of the Civil War his most distinguished service was probably his membership on a board of three, the others being W. F. Barry and W. H. French, to revise the system of light artillery tactics. Their report was adopted by the War Department in 1860 and used throughout the Civil War by both sides. Hunt took a prominent part in the campaign of First Manassas (Bull Run), became chief of artillery of the Washington defenses, and during the winter of 1861-62 was in charge of training the artillery reserve of the Army of the Potomac. At Malvern Hill, the concluding battle of the Peninsular campaign, Hunt's hundred guns shattered the Confederate assaults, and at Fredericksburg he deployed the 147 pieces which inaugurated the battle. Meantime, he had served with distinction at Sharpsburg and had been made a brigadier general of volunteers on September 15, 1862. On the last day at Gettysburg, Hunt had seventy-seven guns in position along a narrow front on the left center of the Federal line, which a few minutes later blunted the celebrated charge of George E. Pickett and his supports. He remained as chief of artillery until June, 1864, when General Ulysses S. Grant put him in charge of all siege operations on the Petersburg front. Hunt was brevetted major general of volunteers for his services at Gettysburg and at the end of the war was given the same rank in the regular establishment, after which he reverted to his permanent rank of lieutenant colonel of the 3rd Artillery. In 1869 he became colonel of the 5th Artillery and until his death was regarded as the leading authority on that branch of the service. During Reconstruction he was stationed for much of the time in the South, where he earned a reputation for fairness and moderation. After his retirement in 1883 he became governor (1885) of the Soldier's Home in Washington, where he died on February 11, 1889, and was buried.

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Reference: Generals in Blue. Lives of the Union Commanders by Ezra J. Warner. Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge.