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Henry Livermore Abbott
Personal Information
Born: January 21, 1842(1842-01-21)
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Died: May 6, 1864 (aged 22)
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Birth Name: {{{birth name}}}
Other Information
Allegiance: United States of America
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Branch: United States Army
Union Army
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Rank: Brigadier general (posthumous)
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Unit: 20th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry
Battles: American Civil War
Relations: Josiah Gardner Abbott (father)
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Henry Livermore Abbott (January 21, 1842 – May 6, 1864), the son of Josiah Gardner Abbott, a judge and United States congressman, was a brigadier general in the Union army during the American Civil War. A Harvard law student, Abbott joined the Massachusetts militia after the Confederates attacked Fort Sumter.

In August 1861, second lieutenant in the 20th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. Abbott saw action in the Battle of Ball's Bluff, Virginia in 1861, during the 1862 Peninsular Campaign, the Battle of Antietam and the Battle of Fredericksburg. His regiment took part in repelling Pickett's Charge at the Battle of Gettysburg; he assumed command of the regiment when his superior officers were wounded. After the battle, he was promoted to major.

In 1864, during the Battle of the Wilderness, he again assumed command of his regiment after Colonel George Macy was wounded. On the third day of the battle, he was shot and mortally wounded. On March 13, 1865, he received a posthumous brevet promotion to brigadier general.

Abbott was a good friend of Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., who served in the 20th Mass. with him. Holmes deeply admired Abbott for his courage and unruffled calm, and for his determination to do his duty even though he was deeply skeptical of Union war aims, was politically opposed to President Lincoln, and did not support the abolition of slavery. Holmes considered Abbott an ideal soldier, and praised him in a famous 1884 Memorial Day speech.

See also[]

  • List of Massachusetts generals in the American Civil War


  • Henry Livermore Abbott at Find a Grave Retrieved on 2008-02-12
  • Fallen Leaves: The Civil War Letters of Major Henry Livermore Abbott, ed. by Robert Garth Scott (Kent State U. Press, 1991)

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