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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History
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Henry Walsh

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 417 - 419

All honor is due to the noble and brave men who offered their services and lives, if need be, when our Nation's destiny hung in the balance; and to the survivors of the Rebellion there should be a fitting tribute paid in the pages of their country's history. Mr. Walsh, who owns a farm on section 9, Lima Township, was one of the boys who wore the blue and is a valued citizen.

The birth of Henry Walsh occurred in Milwaukee County, Wis., August 10, 1845. He is one of three children, the others, Kate and Ellen, being now deceased. The parents were Patrick and Mary (Plantt) Walsh. The father was a native of the Emerald Isle, bora in March, 1817. He learned the trade of a mechanic, and was for several years employed in the cotton mills of Lowell, Mass. He bade adieu to his native land when eighteen years of age, and married in the East. After remaining there for five years, he came to Wisconsin, in 1842, and bought forty acres of unimproved land in Milwaukee County, where he continued to live for seven years. In the spring of 1848, he acquired a tract of wild land in Lima Township, this county, comprising eighty acres. There was no house on the place, and he proceeded to build a log cabin, in which his family lived for several years. He was a resident of the township until his death, "which occurred in August, 1891. His franchise was exercised as he deemed wisest, though he usually supported Republican nominees. Both he and his wife were members of the Catholic Church, in the faith of which the latter passed away in May, 1887, at the age of seventy-two years.

The gentleman whose name heads this sketch was only three years of age when he came to Sheboygan County, since which time his life has been here spent. He has seen the entire growth of the county from a wilderness to one of the most beautiful parts of the State. As he first remembers it, the settlements were very sparse, the land was covered with timber and brush, and the red men of the forest often came to beg for food. For many years there was no Catholic Church, and services were held at the homes of pioneers. He has educated himself and by his own exertions has hewed out his career.

Among the brave boys who went to the defense of the Union during the late war was Henry Walsh, who enlisted on the 10th of December, 1863, in Company C, Fourth Wisconsin Cavalry. He walked all the way from Sheboygan Falls to Fond du Lac. They rendezvoused at Camp Randall, Madison, Wis., he being assigned to the command of Capt. Gray and Col. Boardman. Having joined his regiment at Baton Rouge, La., he did scout duty mostly for about a year. While they were in the vicinity of that city, the regiment, under command of Col. Boardman, made a manoeuver{sic} where there was a large body of rebels, and there the intrepid commander met his death. A bullet passed through his head, killing him instantly. Mr. Walsh was within ten feet of where he fell, being one of the -eighteen advance guards. While the troops were under severe fire from six hundred Confederates, a long, lank German received a scalp wound, and immediately threw up his hands, exclaiming: "Mein Gott in Himmel, I is kilt, sure!" but the wound was not of a serious nature. At the bridge crossing the Comite River, the advance guard had a hard skirmish, which proved rather disastrous for the Union troops. For a long time they were under fire nearly every day, and many of the poor boys were killed in these skirmishes. They also took part in a number of engagements at Morganza Bend, and thence were sent to Mobile, being present during the siege.

In 1865, part of the troops were transferred to the scene of action by way of Lake Pontchartrain, and the remainder proceeded by the Gulf. Mr. Walsh was sent the latter way, and at the entrance of Mobile Bay the vessel came very near going to the bottom. On the 14th of November previous, the Fourth Wisconsin Cavalry made an expedition to a point about twenty-six miles from Liberty, Miss., and surprised four hundred of the rebels with arms, equipage and horses, thus securing a valuable amount of supplies. On another occasion four hundred men made a forced march to Brookhaven, Miss., surprising the enemy and capturing ten officers and fifty-nine soldiers. Our subject took part in both of these exploits. After remaining in Mobile for two weeks, with his regiment he went to Georgia, when, peace being declared, they received orders to march to Vicksburg. They went across the States of Alabama and Mississippi, marching fifteen hundred miles in forty-seven days, an average of over thirty miles a day. They were ordered, after a rest of fifteen days', to Shreveport, La., and thence to San Antonio, Tex., where Company C was detailed as body-guard to Gen. West. They were four months in San Antonio and made two expeditions, one to Eagle Pass and one to Laredo, Tex. In Brownsville, that State, the company was detailed for orderly duty, and Mr. Walsh was employed to carry dispatches to Gen. Magi, the {x ican{sic}} commander at Matamoras, at which point the troops came very near coming to battle. They remained in Brownsville, Tex., until receiving an honorable discharge, in May, 1866. On arriving at home in June, our subject had been gone just two years and eight months, and had never been home on a furlough, or in the hospital, nor had he received a single wound.

For two years succeeding his return from the South, at which time he was scarcely twenty-one years of age, he worked in the pineries of northern Michigan, on Sturgeon River. On the 1st of October, 1868, he married Miss Fannie Hampson, who was bora in Ohio, August 12, 1850. She is a daughter of James and Frances (Clarke) Hampson, the former of Scotch descent, and the latter of English origin. To Mr. and Mrs. Walsh were born five sons and five daughters, all but one of whom are living. Fannie is one of the successful teachers of Sheboygan County, is somewhat of an artist, and has received good advantages in instrumental music. Her education was acquired in the common schools and in the High Schools of Sheboygan Falls and Hingham. Patrick is at home on the farm. Kate is fitting herself for a teacher. George, Emma, James, Mary, Robert and Ella complete the family.

The fertile and desirable farm owned by Mr. Walsh is only four miles from Sheboygan Falls. The place comprises one hundred and nineteen acres, which are under good cultivation and yield abundant harvests to the owner. The home residence is a beautiful and commodious one, and the family are truly classed among the best citizens of the county. Since casting his first Presidential vote for the soldier hero, Gen. Grant, Mr. Walsh has been identified with the Republican party. He has proved a valuable man as a public official, being the present efficient President of the Township Board of Supervisors, which position he is holding for the second year. He was Assessor for six consecutive years, and was chosen by his fellows as a delegate to the State Convention for the nomination of State officers during the years of 1890 and 1892. The cause of education has been maintained by him, and he has served as Director, Clerk and Treasurer, at the present time being the Clerk of the Board. He is a member of Richardson Post No. 12, G. A. R., of the Falls, of which he has been Adjutant and Commander. He attended the Grand Encampment in Milwaukee in 1888, and is regular in his attendance at the post. Mr. and Mrs. Walsh are members of the Catholic Church of St. Rose, which is under the supervision of Father Blume.


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