Henry M. Black

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Henry Moore Black
Col. Henry M. Black - NARA - 526913.jpg
Henry M. Black
Born(1827-01-15)January 15, 1827
DiedAugust 5, 1893(1893-08-05) (aged 66)
Chicago, Illinois
Place of Burial
AllegianceUnited States United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Union Army
Years of service1847–1891
RankUnion Army colonel rank insignia.png Colonel
Commands heldHumboldt Military District
California 6th California Infantry
Commandant of Cadets
United States 23rd U.S. Infantry
Battles/warsMexican–American War
American Civil War
American Indian Wars
RelationsGeorge Morton Randall (son-in-law)

Henry M. Black (January 15, 1827 – August 5, 1893) was a United States Army officer who served as Commandant of Cadets at the United States Military Academy.

Early career[edit]

Born in Pennsylvania in 1827, Henry Black was appointed to the United States Military Academy from Pennsylvania July 1, 1842. He graduated and was appointed brevet Second Lieutenant in the 4th U.S. Infantry on July 1, 1847. He was commissioned a full Second Lieutenant in the 7th U.S. Infantry, August 20, 1847 and served with that regiment in the Mexican War at Mexico City.[1]

From 1848 to 1855, Black served with the 7th Infantry at Jefferson Barracks, in Florida, and at Fort Gibson. He was promoted to First Lieutenant in the 9th U.S. Infantry on March 3, 1855, and served with them at Fort Monroe and on recruiting duty. He was then promoted to Captain in the 9th Infantry on September 10, 1856. From 1857 to 1861, he served with that regiment at Fort Simcoe and Fort Dalles, engaging in scouts against the Yakima and other Indians.[1]

Civil War[edit]

During the American Civil War Black was on the Pacific Coast from 1861 to 1864. In June 1861, he assumed command of the Army's Fort Vancouver, relieving future Union general John S. Mason.[2] He was promoted to Colonel in the Sixth California Infantry on February 1, 1863. In February 1864, he was sent to Fort Humboldt with three companies of reinforcements ("C," "E" and "G"), to take command of the Humboldt Military District.

In June 1864 he was sent to West Point to be Commandant of Cadets of the United States Military Academy and an instructor of tactics. He was mustered out of the Sixth California Infantry October 27, 1865; was promoted to Major in the 7th U.S. Infantry on July 25, 1866; and promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel in the Fourth U.S. Infantry, on October 7, 1868.[3]

Later career[edit]

Following his assignment at West Point Black was assigned to 15th U.S. Infantry, on July 1, 1870. From then until 1891, he was on duty with his regiment at posts in the South and West. He conducted courts martial, and commanded troops in Maryland and West Virginia during the railroad troubles in 1877. He made Colonel in the 23rd U.S. Infantry, on February 6, 1882.[3]

He commanded Fort Wayne, Michigan until May, 1890. He then commanded Fort Sam Houston until January 15, 1891, when he retired from active service, at 64 years of age. Black died of a heart attack on August 6, 1893, in Chicago, Illinois, aged 66.[4]


  1. ^ a b Cullum, George W. (1879). Biographical Register of the Officers and Graduates of the U. S. Military Academy, Volume 2 1841-1867. New York City: James Miller. p. 198. Retrieved 2009-12-17.
  2. ^ U.S. Returns from Military Posts, Vancouver Barracks [Fort Vancouver], June 1861.
  3. ^ a b California Adjutant General's Office (1890). Records of California men in the war of the rebellion 1861 to 1867. Sacramento, California: California State Printing Office. pp. 720–721. Retrieved 2009-11-27.
  4. ^ "Col. Henry M. Black Dead" (PDF). New York Times. 1893-08-07. Retrieved 2009-11-27.
Military offices
Preceded by
John C. Tidball
Commandants of Cadets of the United States Military Academy
Succeeded by
Emory Upton