Monday, June 24, 2013

Lieutenant Colonel Henry Merritt.

Henry Merritt.

Birth: Jun. 4, 1819, Marblehead, Essex County, Massachusetts.
Death: Mar. 14, 1862, New Bern, Craven County, North Carolina.

Burial: Harmony Grove Cemetery, Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts.

Henry Merritt son of David and Anne (Ashby) was born in Marblehead, Mass., 4 June, 1819.  14 March, 1836. He enlisted in the Salem Mechanic Light Infantry, and, from that date, his connection with the militia service of his state was unbroken, till he was commissioned to represent her as Major of the 23rd M. V. Infy.  From 1st Serg. of the Mechanics he was promoted to 1st Lieut., and Adjutant of the 6th M. V. M., acted many years in this capacity, and, following his Colonel, Joseph Andrews, when promoted to command of a brigade, he became Brigade Major and Inspector. He served in this
capacity while Gen. Andrews commanded Fort Warren.

He served an apprenticeship to the watchmaker's trade, with Jesse Smith, of Salem, and followed this trade for several years after becoming of age. He afterwards became a partner in the Express business with his father and brothers. Endearing himself to the regiment by his gentle thoughtfulness for its welfare at Lynnfield and Annapolis, he knit these bonds stronger by the self sacrifice, which denied himself till the wants of the men were supplied, and, by the hardiness which made light of night-trips in row boats across the stormy waters of Hatteras. Men noted his coolness under fire at Boanoke, and his cheery persistence in their struggle through its swamp, and, when word of the loss of the Lt. Col. passed along the line at New Berne, men mourned for they loved him as a father.

Henry Merritt death.

The line was hardly, if not quite formed when a round shot or shell hit Lt. Col. Merritt and horribly lacerating the anterior walls of his abdomen, killing him.

A Mother's Love.

When the hour came for removal to a church for the public service a friend stepped forward to cover the face.  The Colonel's aged mother, even then nearly fourscore, gently interposed and performed this last service with the remark  "My son, I have covered you many times before in your cradle, now I do it for the last time and with the flag of your country."

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