Guy Vernor Henry

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For this man's son, the cavalry officer and Olympic equestrian, see Guy Henry (equestrian).
Guy Vernor Henry
Guy V. Henry.jpg
Maj. Gen. Guy V. Henry
Born (1839-03-09)March 9, 1839
Fort Smith, Indian Territory (now Arkansas)
Died October 27, 1899(1899-10-27) (aged 60)
New York City, New York
Place of burial Arlington National Cemetery
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Union Army
Years of service 1861 – 1899
Rank Union Army major general rank insignia.svg Major General
Commands held 10th U.S. Cavalry

American Civil War

Indian Wars

Spanish–American War
Awards Medal of Honor
Other work Governor of Puerto Rico

Guy Vernor Henry (March 9, 1839 – October 27, 1899) was a military officer and Medal of Honor recipient who served as an early Governor of Puerto Rico.


Henry was born in Fort Smith, Indian Territory (now Arkansas), the son of William Seton Henry and Arietta Livingston Thompson Henry (granddaughter of Vice President Daniel D. Tompkins). William Seton Henry (1816–1851) was an 1835 graduate of the United States Military Academy, and attained the rank of Brevet Major for his service in the Mexican–American War. Guy V. Henry graduated from the United States Military Academy in May 1861, serving as a Union officer in the Civil War, and later in conflicts against the Native Americans in the West and southwest of the United States of America. From May 25, 1891 to October 3, 1894, while commanding the 7th Cavalry Regiment, he was also commander of Fort Myer, Virginia. During the Spanish–American War, he was dispatched to Guantánamo, Cuba, and later sent to Puerto Rico, alongside General Nelson Miles.[1][2]

He received successive brevets for gallantry in various battles and was brevetted brigadier general, United States Army, for gallantry at the Battle of Rosebud in Montana Territory, where he was shot through the face while fighting Native Americans. He received the Medal of Honor on December 5, 1893, for his Civil War service at the Battle of Cold Harbor on June 1, 1864, where he was serving as a Colonel and commanded a brigade.[1][2]

During the invasion of Puerto Rico, Henry led a "Provisional Division" from the city of Ponce to Arecibo, Puerto Rico to rendezvous with General Theodore Schwan, who was arriving from the city of Mayagüez. The tropical rain impeded his trek and before he reached Mayagüez, the conflict was over.[1][2]

On December 6, 1898, he was designated Governor of Puerto Rico. On February 6, 1899, he dissolved the Cabinet of Puerto Rico, which was instituted with the Autonomic Charter. Henry also eliminated taxes on basic food items. On May 9, 1899, he was replaced by General George W. Davis.[2]

Henry died of pneumonia in New York City and was buried in Section 2 of Arlington National Cemetery.[2]

Henry's son, Guy V. Henry, Jr., also served in the military with a distinguished career, and went on to win a bronze medal in the Olympics.

Medal of Honor citation[edit]

Rank and organization: Colonel, 40th Massachusetts Infantry. Place and date: At Cold Harbor, Va., June 1, 1864. Entered service at: Reading Pa. Birth: Fort Smith, Indian Ter. Date of issue: December 5, 1893.


Led the assaults of his brigade upon the enemy's works, where he had 2 horses shot under him.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Guy Vernor Henry". Arllington National Cemetery. Retrieved 2009-04-12. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Gen. Guy V. Henry Is Dead" (PDF). The New York Times. 1899-10-28. Retrieved 2009-04-12. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
John Ruller Brooke
Governor of Puerto Rico
Succeeded by
George Whitefield Davis