Carrington - Henry Beebee - Montgomery InGenWeb Project

Go to content

Carrington - Henry Beebee


General Henry B.CARRINGTON

Family Fact Sheet

SOURCE: Atlas of Montgomery County. (Chicago: Beers, 1878) p 53

CARRINGTON, Henry B, PO Crawfordsville, Col. USA; Military Prof Wabash College, native of New Haven Co Conn settled in this County 1870.

SOURCE: From Crawfordsville: Athens of Indiana by Karen Bazzani Zach p 87 Although technically the Athens city had only 5 Generals enter the Civil War, General Henry Beebee Carrington came here shortly after the war. Coming from a long line of Yale graduates, Carrington himself graduated with the class of 1845, which sent 7 generals to the war. He was an extremely religious gentleman, being quite active in thePresbytieran Church. Via an act of Congress, carrington came to Wabash as a professor of military science. He was a lawyer and member of the US Supreme Court bar. Quite a prolific write rof essays ans speeches, he was much in demand as a speaker. A father of 8, he also had a brother John who was a lawyer in the city.

Source: H. W. Beckwith History of Montgomery County, Indiana (Chicago: HH Hill, 1881) p 246 (thanks much to Tom Campbell for this)

Gen. Henry Beebee Carrington, LL.D., of the United States Army, was born at Wallingford, Connecticut, March 2, 1824.

He is the son of Miles and Mary (Beebee) Carrington.

The name figures as early as 1192 in English history, and the Beebees took their name, with the Beehive coat-of-arms, during the protectorate of Cromwell, in recognition of industry and usefulness in the Puritan cause.

Gen. Carrington's grandfather, James Carrington, was a partner of Eli Whitney, inventor of the cotton-gin, and from about the year 1800 until 1825 was superintendent of the manufacture of arms for the United States at Whitneyville, Connecticut, and for a long time inspector of public work at the Springfield and Harper's Ferry United States armories.

As a memento of past times, Eli Witney Jr. sent a fowling-piece of his own manufacture to the general's second son, James, as "an expression of profound respect for his own father's friend."

The site of Simpson, Hall & Co's Britannia works, at Wallingford, Connecticut, is known as "Carrington's Pond," in memory of James Carrington, who indulged his inventive taste in the manufacture of the first parallel rulers, coffee-mills, and other original mechanical products, as he gained time from public work.

He also built the first factory there.

Gen. Carrington's maternal grandfather and great~grandfather, as well as himself, were graduates of Yale College, and the second named bore part in the French and Canadian war of 1757, the original address which he delivered to the soldiers on the eve of departure for Canada being still in possession of the family. The subject of this sketch began preparation for college in 1835, at Torringford, Connecticut, in the old house of Samuel J. Mills, the early missionary, and under the instruction of Rev. William Goodman and Dr. E. D. Hudson, who were among the earliest abolitionists, and were repeatedly mobbed in New England for their sentiments. While at this school an incident occurred which made a permanent impression upon the young student.

A stranger visited the school, addressed the boys upon African history and the horrors of the slave-trade, and then asked all to stand up who would pledge themselves in after years to pray and work for universal liberty. Young Carrington was one of two who gave this pledge.

The stranger, placing a hand upon the head of each, repeated the following singular benediction:

equal fidelity devoted his leisure hours to the perusal of classic authors, thus laying the foundation of his work upon " Pre- Christian Assurances of Immortality and Accountability," which embraces a selection from Latin and Greek authors upon those themes.

He was elder in the Second Presbyterian Church, at Columbus, for a time superintendent of its Sunday-school, and had charge of the erection of its fine Church edifice; was president of the Young Men's Christian Association of the city, and, with H. Thane Miller, Esq., of Cincinnati, attended as a delegate from Ohio the first international association, held at Montreal in 1849. For months before the war began he was earnestly interested in the preparation of the state militia for the contingency already foreseen.

A letter from Senator Chase in February advised the selection of good officers, as the best advised persons were anticipating war. Secretary Cass thus wrote in the spring: "We have indeed fallen upon evil times, when those who should preserve seem bent upon destroying the country."

Impressed by the urgency Gen. Carrington wrote to Gen. Wool, then commanding at Troy, New York, for 10,000 stand of arms, and announced, in an address entitled "The Hour, the Peril, and the Duty," that the nation was "on the verge of a war which would outlast a presidential term, would cost hundreds of thousands of lives and thousands of millions of treasure; but that in the end the continent would be free, and the nations would pay us homage."

This was repeated at the request of the members of the Ohio senate, especially of Mr. Garfield and Mr. Cox (both of whom became generals in the service), but before it was delivered a second time the annoucement of the fall of Sumter was received.

Upon the first call for troops two regiments were started for Washington from Ohio within sixty hours; a foundry was opened on Sunday for casting round shot for a battery, and under the orders of Gen. McClellan, to whom Gov. Dennison had intrusted the command of the state troops, nine full regiments were moved to West Virginia before the United States three-months men were organized.

The thanks of the secretary of war and of Gens. Scott and Wool for this prompt action were followed by the detail of Gen. Carrington as visitor to West Point, and by his appointment as colonel of the 18th United States Inf., they concurring with Secretary Chase in a recommendation to the president for his selection to a full colonelcy. A regular army camp was established near Columbus, Ohio, under his command, for the organization of the 15th, 16th, 18th, and 19th U. S. Inf.

The demands of the service left little time for drilling men in camp; so that in the fall of 1861 he reported to Gen. Buell with twelve companies of the 18th and six of the 16th Inf.

He was assigned to the command of his regiment, the 9th and 35th Ohio and the 2d Minnesota, and joined Gen. Thomas at Lebanon, Kentucky.

Being required to complete his regiment, he returned to Ohio and filled it to its maximum of 2453 men, but in the pressure of the Kirby Smith campaign he was transferred to Indiana, to hasten the organization and movement of its troops to the front.

Promotion as brigadier-general of volunteers followed in 1862, and as district commander, superintendent of recruiting service, and commander of the draft rendezvous, he had charge of the organization of nearly 139,000 men in Indiana, in addition to the regular troops and the early regiments raised from Ohio. For services in raising the siege of Frankfort he received the thanks of Gov. Bramlette, and fully disclosed the secret operations of the Sons of Liberty and other treasonable orders along, and north of, the Ohio river.

His personal relations were extremely intimate with Gov. Morton, and he entertained the strongest confidence in the purity, patriotism, and statesmanship of that extraordinary man.

Upon muster out as general of volunteers he joined his regiment in the army of the Cumberland, presided over the military commission at Louisville for the trial of guerrillas, and was then sent to the plains to replace volunteer troops with his own regiment.

Late in 1865 he was in command, at Fort Kearney, of the east subdistrict of Nebraska, supervising Indian operations on the Republican river.

In May, 1866, he commanded the expedition to open a wagon-route to Montana by the Powder River and Big Horn Mountain countries, built Fort Kearney and other posts, commanded the Rocky Mountain district, and was through the harassing Indian operations connected with the Bed Cloud campaign. In 1867 he was in charge at Fort McPherson, establishing friendly relations with Spotted Tail and other chiefs, commanded at Fort Sedgwick in 1868 and 1869, and was detailed, under an act of congress, as professor of military science at Wabash College, Indiana, in December of that year.

In 1870, suffering on account of wounds and exposure incurred while on duty, he was retired from field service, but continued on the college detail at his pleasure.

Thus is given, in rapid summary, Gen. Carrington's career as a student, lawyer, and soldier.

His record as a litterateur remains to be considered.

He has paid little attention to his minor works.

"The Scourge of the Alps," a serial Swiss story of the days of Tell, was written in 1847, while at Tarrytown.

"American Classics," or "Incidents of Revolutionary Suffering," followed in 1849, as well as "Russia as a Nation."

This was coincident with the visit of Kossuth, from whom he obtained a detailed map of the Russo-Hungarian war, and with whom he formed an enduring friendship.

His address upon the Hungarian struggle was the last ever given in the old Ohio state-house, which was burned on the night of its delivery.

"Hints to Soldiers Taking the Field" became popular, and the Christian Commission distributed more than 100,000 copies during the war.

Lectures and essays have been numerous, including a pamphlet upon the "Mineral Resources of Indiana," and papers upon "Chrome Steel," the "American Railway System," etc., some of which have been read before the British Association of Science in Great Britain.

At the Bristol meeting of that scientific body, in 187y5, he was placed on the executive committee of the following sections: "Mechanical Science," "Geography," and "Anthropology."

His paper upon the "Indians of the North West" was published in full in the British papers; and upon the test of the eighty-one ton gun at Woolwich he was called from Paris by telegram from Gen. Campbell, British director-general of artillery, being the only foreigner present at the experiment.

"Crisis Thoughts," published in 1878, includes " The Hour, the Peril, and the Duty," with two other orations upon the war.

"A b-sa-ra-ka, Land of Massacre," now in its fifth edition, is a book of nearly four hundred pages, with maps and engravings, giving a full description of Indian battles, massacres, and treaties, from 1865 to 1879, and is carefully accurate, while full of thrilling narrative and adventure; the first thirty chapters, embodying his wife's experience, were first published in 1868, upon her return from Montana and Dakota.

A more important work, the result of research and study extending over a period of thirty years and the outgrowth of early conferences with Irving, is the " Battles of the American Revolution."

The labor upon this work has been immense. British and French authorities, and the faculties of universities, alike extended courtesies during the research; and while personal surveys of many battle-fields greatly cleared the doubtful questions, the field- notes of British, Hessian, French, and other soldiers, were carefully tested, and incorporated in the maps, which in every case were drawn by the laborious author. The indorsements of the work include not only public officials abroad, such as ex-president Thiers and Senator La Fayette, of France, but English statesmen, with Bancroft and Lossing, Woolsey and Evarts, Gens. Sherman and Sheridan, and the press without exception.

The work is original in design. It not only tells why and how a battle was fought, but, with the aid of the forty splendid maps that adorn the work, each battle-field assumes the character of a slowly moving panorama, in which every movement is presented to the eye.

Historic precision blends with descriptive power of a high order to make this work at once valuable to the student of history, and intensely interesting to the general reader. Gen. Carrington has, however, made much progress upon another work, for which he is eminently adapted by previous study.

This is none other than "The Battles of the Bible," based on the same general plan that characterizes his great American history. This will involve not only a visit to the Holy Land, but research among Hebrew antiquities, with critical examination of many authors and places.

He has the assurance of official aid abroad, and possesses the courage to undertake the work. He knows neither fatigue nor doubt in such labors. He has received many compliments from historical societies, and has had several literary titles conferred upon him.

He is a member of the United States supreme court bar.

General Carrington has been twice married.

His first wife, Margaret Irvin Sullivant, was the eldest daughter of Joseph Sullivant, Esq., a noted scientist and scholar of Columbus, Ohio, and granddaughter of Colonel Joseph McDowell, of Danville, Kentucky.

She is described in a memorial volume, published at Columbus, Ohio, in 1874, as "of commanding presence, gentle and dignified in deportment, refined and cultivated in taste, and, while quite delicate in constitution, of great courage and endurance; of a high type of womanhood, loved and respected by both relatives and friends."

She accompanied her husband during the war, and with equal fidelity through the years of trying exposure on the plains, from 1865 to 1869.

She died at Crawfordaville, Indiana, May 11, 1870, just after her husband began duty at Wabash College.

Of their children, Mary McDowell, born October 5, 1852, died April 7, 1854; Margaret Irvin, born November 22,1855, died July 25, 1856; Joseph Sullivant, born June 39, 1859, died September 29, 1859; Morton, born June 23, 1864, died August 23, 1864; Henry Sullivant, born August 5, 1857, was with his parents on the plains, and declined an appointment as engineer cadet at Annapolis, but spent two years with an expedition to the South Seas.

He then entered Wabash College, and graduated June 25, 1879.

James Beebee was born October 23, 1860; he was also on the plains, and after three years at Wabash College took a commercial course at Russell's Collegiate and Military School, at New Haven, Connecticut.

General Carrington's second wife was the third daughter of Robert Courtney and Eliza Jane Haynes, of Tennessee, Mr. Courtney having removed from Richmond, Virginia, in 1825.

Although a slave-holder, he was sure that the system was wrong, and that the nation would never realize its highest prosperity until freedom became general.

Of peculiar gentleness, combined with firmness in his moral and religious views, he taught and transmitted the precepts which marked his children, when, shortly after his death, the war began.

His widow and daughters were thoroughly enlisted in the Union cause.

When the first federal troops, consisting of the first battalion of the 15th U. S. Inf., Major John H. King commanding, entered Franklin, Tennessee, March 16, 1862, it was greeted with an outspoken "Hurrah for the banner whose loveliness hallows the air," by one daughter, Florence Octie, afterward Mrs. Cochnower.

With her sister Fannie she kept up communication with the federal authorities, and after the battle of Franklin, which raged near their house, the mother, two daughters, and a young brother, John-now a lawyer at Crawfordsville, Indiana-relieved the federal wounded, about two hundred in number, who had been removed to the Presbyterian Church, dressed their wounds and took the sole care of them during seventeen days, until the return of the federal army from Nashville.

General Thomas made official notice of the unselfish devotion of this family, and says of the important intelligence communicated by the sister Fannie of the movements of the enemy, "Her information was on all occasions given from patriotic motives, as she has invariably refused any pecuniary reward."

The Sanitary Commission published her detailed report of the battle of Franklin, and the trying hospital experience; but an emphatic request limits the writer's desire to give full details of an experience which was that of conscientious duty, avoiding public display.

She married Colonel G. W. Grummond after the war.

Being subsequently appointed a lieutenant in the 18th U. S. Inf., he was a victim of the Phil. Kearney massacre, of December 21, 1866.

A single extract from Mrs. Carrington's "Experience on the Plains" is not to be omitted: "To a woman whose house and heart received the widow as a sister, and whose office it was to advise her of the facts, the recital of the scenes of that day, even at this late period, is full of pain; but at that time the christian fortitude and holy calmness with which Mrs. Grummond looked up to her Heavenly Father for wisdom and strength inspired all with something of her own patience to know the worst and meet its issues."

The tender association of these two women during such an ordeal, and during a winter's march, when the mercury was sometimes forty degrees below zero, was never interrupted.

While one accompanied her husband's remains to Tennessee, Mrs. Carrington underwent nearly three more years of frontier exposure, and survived that exposure but a few months after her husband reached Wabash College.

In April, 1871, General Carrington married the former companion of his wife's experience on the plains.

Their children are: Robert Chase, born January 28, 1872; Henrietta, born April 28, 1874; Eliza Jennie, born April 27, 1875; and Willie Wands, by Mrs. Carrington's first husband, born April 14, 1867, and adopted by General Carrington upon his second marriage. General Carrington retained his voluntary detail at Wabash College until June, 1878; was called to deliver the historical oration at Monmouth, New Jersey, when the corner-stone was laid to the battle monument, June 28, and since that time has devoted himself to the completion of his other works, already referred to.

Thus far he has declined positions tendered as railroad engineer and professor of history, but has accepted an invitation to complete his paper on American and European railway systems, for future delivery in Great Britain.
Back to content