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Henry Martyn Duffield
[[Image:Lt. Henry M. Duffield|center|200px|border]]
Personal Information
Born: May 15, 1842(1842-05-15)
Place of Birth: {{{place of birth}}}
Died: July 13, 1912 (aged 70)
Place of Death: {{{place of death}}}
Nickname: {{{nickname}}}
Birth Name: {{{birth name}}}
Other Information
Allegiance: United States of America
Participation(s): {{{participations}}}
Branch: United States Army
Union Army
Service Years: {{{service years}}}
Rank: Brigadier General
Service number : {{{servicenumber}}}
Unit: 9th Michigan Volunteer Infantry Regiment

Army of the Cumberland

Commands: Separate Brigade, Third Division, Second Army Corps
Battles: American Civil War

Spanish American War

  • Battle of the Aguadores
Relations: William Ward Duffield

Rev. George Duffield

Other work: {{{otherwork}}}

Henry Martyn Duffield (May 15, 1842 - July 13, 1912) Colonel in the Union Army during the American Civil War; lawyer; candidate for U.S. Representative from Michigan 1st District, 1876; Brigadier General of U.S. Volunteers during the Spanish-American War; Presidential Elector for Michigan, 1904. Member, Grand Army of the Republic.

Early life and family[]

Born in Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan Son of Rev. George Duffield and Isabella Graham (Bethune) Duffield. His father was the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Detroit. He married in 1863 to Frances Pitt. He was educated in the public schools of Detroit, graduating from the Old Capitol School in 1856. He spent one year in Michigan University before he transferred and graduated from Williams College, Mass. in 1861. He was the brother of General William Ward Duffield. His paternal great grandfather, Rev. George Duffield, was, on the 6th of July, 1776, appointed by Governor Morton, Chaplain to the Pennsylvania forces in the Revolutionary Army. On the Sunday following he dismissed his congregation with these words: "I hope the women will worship here in silence on the next Sabbath, and the men will be with me in Washington's Army." He was called "the fighting parson," and a price of fifty pounds sterling was put upon his head. He was subsequently associated with Bishop White as joint chaplain of the Continental Congress.[1][2]

Civil War[]

Duffield enlisted in August, 1861, as a private in the Ninth Regiment, Michigan Volunteers. He was made First Lieutenant and Adjutant of the regiment October 12th of the same year. He participated in the engagement with the Rebel forces under General N. B. Forrest at Murfreesboro, Tenn., in July, 1862. In this engagement his brother, General W. W. Duffield, then Colonel of the regiment, was twice wounded. The fighting was so severe that the wounded could not be removed from the field, and after the engagement Adj. Duffield, together with his wounded brother, was captured, but was exchanged two months later.

In the spring of 1862 he was detailed Assistant Adjutant General of the Twenty-third Brigade, Army of the Cumberland. In the campaign from Nashville to Chattanooga, 1863, he was attached to the headquarters of General George H. Thomas,and given command of the mounted Provost Guard of the Eleventh Army Corps, the members of which he was allowed to select, and took an active part in all the important battles of that campaign, including Stone River and Chickamauga, where he was wounded. During the Siege of Chattanooga, October 23rd, 1863, by the Confederate forces under General Braxton Bragg, he was promoted Post Adjutant.

In this office, by order of Major General Thomas, he issued the orders for the establishment of Chattanooga United States cemetery, giving particular attention and direction to its purpose, and to the plan for carrying out that purpose. The plan was subsequently adopted by General Thomas, and from it grew the system of National cemeteries which are enduring evidences of the devotion to their country of the brave soldiers, and of the gratitude of their fellow countrymen. When Major General Thomas was assigned to the command of the Department of the Cumberland, Colonel Duffield was appointed on his staff as Assistant Provost Marshal General of the department, in which capacity he served for the remainder of the war.

During the memorable campaign of Gen. Thomas from Chattanooga to Atlanta, Colonel Duffield was acting Provost Marshal General of the Army of the Cumberland, participating in all the hard fought battles of this gallant Union commander, among them being Resaca, Missionary Ridge, Peach Tree Creek and Jonesboro. This campaign terminated at Atlanta, where, on October 14th, 1864, he was mustered out by reason of expiration of service.[3][4][1][2]

Postbellum career[]

On returning from the army Colonel Duffield began the study of law, and in April, 1865. he was admitted to the bar, and formed a partnership with his brother, D. Bethune Duffield, which continued until 1876. He was attorney for the Board of Education from 1867 to 1871. While in this position he carried to a successful termination suits brought to recover from the County Treasurer, moneys received from fines in the municipal courts. Under provision of the State Constitution these funds were required to be applied to the support of a public library, but had been diverted to the payment of expenses of the courts and to other uses. Their recovery to the Board laid the foundation for the present magnificent public library system of Detroit.

Commencing with 1881 Colonel Duffield served two terms as City Counselor, and represented the municipality in all its litigation during that period. Both in his official capacity, and in private practice, he has had very many important cases, including, in the latter, the famous Reeder farm escheat cases, and the Stroh-WinsorHudson crooked paper case, in which he defeated the holders of the paper. He argued the case against the validity of the Miner Electoral Law, both in the State and United States Supreme Courts, and was also engaged in the Detroit Street Railway cases in the higher United States Courts. With the exception of the time spent in service during the Spanish American War, General Duffield has continued in practice, in which he has been very successful. He has a keen appreciation of the underlying principles of the law, goes into court with his cases well prepared, and is convincing in argument.

Duffield has a taste for politics in which he has been active, and is always on the Republican side. He has been a conspicuous figure in many of the City and County Conventions, and for a period of about fifteen years attended every State Convention. He was Permanent Chairman of the spring State Convention in 1877 and of the fall Convention at Jackson in 1880. In 1888 he was Chairman of the State Central Committee and was delegate both to the State and National Conventions. He was also Chairman of Michigan's delegation in the Minneapolis Convention in 1892, when he cast the vote of nineteen of the delegates for William McKinley. Though a delegate only twice he has attended every National Convention since 1871. He was candidate for Congress in the First District in that year, but ihat was not a good year nor a good district for Republican candidates, and he was defeated, though running ahead of the party Electoral ticket. He has since been importuned to take the nomination for Mayor and other important offices, but has steadily refused.[1][2]

War with Spain[]

During the long interval of peace between the close of the War of the Rebellion and the opening of the Spanish-American War, Colonel Duffield never lost his military tastes nor associations. He was on the staffs successively of Governors Bagley, Croswell, Jerome and Alger, and kept up a lively interest in the Detroit Light Guard with which he had long been connected. When the call came for volunteers in the war against Spain, although the general officers were taken mostly from the Regular Army, it was determined to select some from among the men who had already seen service in the volunteer army, account being taken of their age, condition of health and record in the Civil War.

It was in carrying out this purpose that a commission as Brigadier General was offered to Colonel Duffield, and accepted, dating from May 27, 1898. On June 14, he assumed command of a separate Brigade of the Second Army Corps, composed of the Thirty-third and Thirty-fourth Michigan and Ninth Massachusetts Volunteers. It was the desire of the Government to reinforce General Shafter's army which had just landed in Cuba, but only one vessel, the transport Yale, was then available, and that could carry only one brigade. There were two brigades in Camp Alger, and it was determined to take the one which should first report in readiness to move. General Duffield's brigade was then on a practice march to the Potomac, but it returned to camp, won in the test and was forthwith dispatched to Santiago.

In the Battle of July 1st, General Duffield was assigned to the duty of making a demonstration on the extreme left, at Aguadores, without any means of crossing the stream, and thus coming into the general engagement. The task was performed in a manner of which General Shaffer afterwards said, in an interview in Detroit: "As for General Duffield, of your City, he is a soldier, every inch of him. He had a thankless job at the Battle of Aguadores, but he acquitted himself nobly."

A few days afterwards at Siboney, Major General Young was taken ill, and the command of the Division was turned over to General Duffield, but he was himself attacked with yellow fever, went into hospital, and later in the month was sent north as a convalescent. He joined his family and spent several weeks with them on the coast of Maine, regaining his health. His last act in connection with the war was as one of the speakers at the Peace Jubilee in Chicago, October 18th, 1898.[3][5] [6][7][1][2]


General Duffield has associations with a number of the best political, military and social organizations. He is a member of The Union League Club of New York; the University Club of New York; the Army and Navy Club of Washington; the Society of the Army of the Cumberland; the Society of the Army of Santiago de Cuba; the Society of the Spanish-American War; the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States; Detroit Post, Grand Army of the Republic; Sons of the American Revolution; the Yondotega, Detroit and Country Clubs of Detroit; the Chi Psi College Fraternity, and of the Michigan Club. Of the latter he has been President and is now a Director.[1][2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Livingstone, William, Livingstone's history of the Republican party: A history of the Republican party from its foundation to the close of the campaign of 1900, including incidents of Michigan campaigns and biographical sketches, Volume 2, W. Livingstone, 1900.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Annual report of the American Bar Association: including proceedings of the annual meeting, Volume 37, American Bar Association, Headquarters Office, 1912 .
  3. 3.0 3.1 Heitman, Francis Bernard, Historical register and dictionary of the United States Army: from its organization, September 29, 1789, to March 2, 1903, Volume 1, Volume 466 of [United States] 57th Cong., 2d sess. House. Doc., Govt. Print. Off., 1903.
  4. Bennett, Charles W.,Historical sketches of the Ninth Michigan infantry (General Thomas' headquarters guards): with an account of the battle of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Sunday, Jul 13, 1862; four years campaigning in the Army of the Cumberland, Daily courier print, 1913.
  5. Duffield, Henry Martyn, Copy of report of Brig. Gen'l Henry M. Duffield, of the operations of the Separate Brigade, 2d Army Corps, in the campaign about Santiago, Cuba, 1898, Record Printing Co., Detroit, 1898.
  6. Dyal, Donald H., and Carpenter, Brian B., and Thomas, Mark A.,Historical dictionary of the Spanish American War, Greenwood Publishing Group, 1996 .
  7. Berner, Brad K., The Spanish-American War: a historical dictionary, Volume 8 of Historical dictionaries of war, revolution, and civil unrest, Scarecrow Press, 1998.
  • This article incorporates text from the public domain Livingstone's history of the Republican party: A history of the Republican party from its foundation to the close of the campaign of 1900, including incidents of Michigan campaigns and biographical sketches, Volume 2, W. Livingstone, 1900.

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