Henry Heth (Colonel)

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Colonel Henry "Harry" Heth (died 1821) was an English-born businessman who emigrated to the Virginia Colony about 1759. He served in the Continental Army and was active in the coal business.

American Revolutionary War[edit]

Colonel Henry "Harry" Heth served as an officer in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. His correspondence with George Washington is among extant documents.

Coal business[edit]

Harry Heth (as he signed his correspondence) maintained offices in Norfolk and Manchester (across the James River at Richmond), where he engaged in the coal business.

Heth owned several coal mines in the area now known as Midlothian in northwestern Chesterfield County. Colonel Heth participated in working the Railey family's coal pits and became the owner of the Black Heath coal pits.[1] Colonel Heth owned slaves, and prior to the American Civil War (and emancipation), the mines were largely worked with African Americans, mostly slaves.

Manchester, at the head of navigation on the James River, was the closest export port for Heth's coal.


Colonel Heth's son, Captain John Heth (1798–1842), who served during the War of 1812, established a home along the (old) Buckingham Road near the Black Heath mines. It was at this home that his grandson, future Confederate Major General Henry Heth was born in 1825, about four years after Colonel Heth's death in Savannah, Georgia in 1821.


  1. ^ Mid-Lothian Early Coal Pits Chronology