Henry Shaw Briggs

Henry Shaw Briggs was born in Lanesboro, Massachusetts, on August 1, 1824. He was the son of George Nixon Briggs, six-term representative in Congress and governor of Massachusetts from 1843 to 1851. Young Briggs was graduated from Williams College in 1844, was admitted to the Massachusetts bar in 1848, and in 1856 represented Pittsfield in the state legislature. At the outbreak of the Civil War he was captain of the "Allen Guard," a local militia company which, as part of the 8th Massachusetts Militia, arrived in Annapolis several days after the capitulation of Fort Sumter. The 8th Massachusetts, a three-month regiment, was soon disbanded and on June 21, 1861, Briggs was mustered into Federal service as colonel of the 10th Massachusetts Infantry. After training and duty in the defenses of Washington, the regiment was engaged in George B. McClellan's Peninsular campaign in the spring of 1862. At the battle of Seven Pines (Fair Oaks), Briggs received bullet wounds through both thighs. During his convalescence he was appointed a brigadier general of volunteers to rank from July 17, 1862. Briggs's health was undermined by his wounds, and he did little active field campaigning after his return to the army. Toward the end of the war he commanded the draft rendezvous at Alexandria which dispatched draftees to the various commands of the Army of the Potomac. Honorably mustered out of service in December, 1865, General Briggs was state auditor of Massachusetts until 1869; he then became judge of the district court of Central Berkshire and for the last fourteen years of his life was appraiser at the Boston Custom House. He died in Pittsfield on September 23, 1887, and was buried there.

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