Henry Brewerton

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Henry Brewerton
Henry Brewerton.jpg
Henry Brewerton
Born(1801-09-25)September 25, 1801
New York City, New York
DiedApril 17, 1879(1879-04-17) (aged 77)
Wilmington, Delaware
Place of burial
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branchUnited States Army
Union Army
Years of service1819 - 1867
RankUnion Army colonel rank insignia.png Colonel
Union Army brigadier general rank insignia.svg Brevet Brigadier General
Commands heldSuperintendent, United States Military Academy
Battles/warsAmerican Civil War

Henry Brewerton (September 25, 1801 – April 17, 1879) was a career engineering officer in the United States Army, serving as the Superintendent of the United States Military Academy and then as a colonel in the Union Army during the American Civil War. He was nominated for appointment to the grade of brevet brigadier general in the Regular Army (United States) by President Andrew Johnson on December 11, 1866, to rank from March 13, 1865, and the United States Senate confirmed the appointment on February 23, 1867.

Early life and career[edit]

Henry Brewerton was born in New York City, New York.[1] He lost his parents at a very early age, but, under the guardianship of Daniel D. Tompkins, entered the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. He graduated on July 1, 1819 5th in a class of 29 cadets and was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant the same day.[1] He was not yet 18 years old at the time of his commencement.[1][2] After a brief tour at Rouses Point helping to survey and establish the 45th parallel along the border between the United States and Canada, Brewerton taught engineering at the academy. He was promoted to 1st lieutenant on January 1, 1825 and to captain on August 21, 1836.[1]

He later worked as an engineer on seacoast defenses and on the construction of the National Road in Ohio. He returned to West Point as superintendent of the military academy on August 15, 1845.[1] Replaced on September 1, 1852 by Robert E. Lee, Brewerton was promoted to major of engineers on August 23, 1856 after almost 19 years in the rank of captain.[1]

Civil War service[edit]

At the outset of the conflict in April 1861, Brewerton was on an extended tour of Western Europe, Greece, Palestine, and Egypt, escorted by Zealous B. Tower. Promoted to lieutenant colonel, on August 6, 1861, Brewerton was thereafter superintending engineer of the fortifications and improvements of Baltimore Harbor, Fort Monroe, and Hampton Roads. He was promoted to colonel on April 22, 1864.[1]

On December 11, 1866, President Andrew Johnson nominated Brewerton for appointment to the grade of brevet brigadier general in the regular army, to rank from March 13, 1865, and the United States Senate confirmed the appointment on February 23, 1867.[3]

Brewerton retired on March 7, 1867, 12 days after his appointment as a brevet brigadier general was confirmed by the US Senate, after more than 47 years active service, not including his almost 6 years as a cadet at West Point.[1] He spent his last years in Delaware.

Brewerton died at Wilmington, Delaware on April 17, 1879 and is buried at the Island Cemetery in Newport, Rhode Island.[1]

His son George Douglas Brewerton was a noted painter, poet, and journalist.

Dates of Rank[edit]

  • Cadet, USMA - July 25, 1813
  • 2nd Lieutenant - July 1, 1819
  • 1st Lieutenant - January 1, 1825
  • Captain - September 21, 1836
  • Major - August 23, 1856
  • Colonel - April 22, 1864
  • Brevet Brigadier General - March 13, 1865
  • Retired - March 7, 1867

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Eicher, John H., and David J. Eicher, Civil War High Commands. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001. ISBN 978-0-8047-3641-1. p. 144.
  2. ^ United States Military Academy Association of Graduates' Annual Report of 1879.
  3. ^ Eicher, 2001, p. 732.


External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Richard Delafield
Superintendents of the United States Military Academy
1845 - 1852
Succeeded by
Robert E. Lee