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Brevet Brigadier-General Thomas Jefferson Henderson, U.S.V.

Brevet Brigadier-General Thomas Jefferson Henderson was born at Brownsville, Haywood County, Tennessee, November 29, 1824; received an academic education, and removed to Illinois, with his father, at the age of eleven, where he worked upon a farm until he was twenty years of age.

In 1847 he was elected clerk of the County Court of the county of Stark, which office he held until 1853, at which time he was admitted to the bar, and has since practiced his profession, except when in the public service. In 1855 he served as representative in the State Legislature, and was a member of the State Senate from 1857 to 1861. In August, 1862, he enlisted in the Union army and raised a company, which afterwards became a part of the One Hundred and Twelfth Regiment of Illinois Volunteer Infantry. But on the organization of the regiment he was unanimously elected colonel, and, being commissioned by the governor of Illinois, was mustered into the service of the United States September 22, 1862. He served in the First Brigade of the Third Division, Army of Kentucky, from October, 1862, to May, 1863, performing mostly guard and provost duty at Lexington, Kentucky. His regiment was mounted about the 1st of May, 1863, and was ordered to Somerset, Kentucky, where he remained on duty until July, 1863. While there he was engaged in a movement to drive a rebel force from Monticello, during which his regiment met the enemy for the first time. In August, 1863, he entered Fast Tennessee with his regiment, under General Burnside, and was engaged in active service at Kingston, Athens, Calhoun, and Philadelphia. On account of bad health, he was then ordered home on recruiting service. Returning in the January following, he found his regiment skirmishing with the enemy at Dandridge, Tennessee. He immediately took command of the Second Brigade, First Division, Cavalry Corps, and commanded it at Dandridge, January 16 and 17; Kelly's Ford, Fair Garden, and Sevierville, January 26-28. He then moved, with his regiment, in February, to Kentucky, where it was dismounted and reorganized as an infantry regiment, and then returned to Fast Tennessee, joining the army under General Sherman, at Rocky-face Ridge, Georgia, where it was engaged with the enemy, May 5-8; then at Resaca, Georgia, May 13-14, on which occasion he was severely wounded. Rejoining his command in July, 1864, he was assigned to the command of the Third Brigade, Third Division, Twenty-third Corps, while in front of Atlanta. He was in pursuit of Hood's army, and assisted in the destruction of the Macon Railroad, near Rough and Ready, August 31, 1864; was at Duck River, Tennessee, November 27-29, 1864, and at Franklin, November 30. He was brevetted brigadier-general for "gallantry and meritorious services during the last campaign in Georgia and Tennessee, and especially at the battle of Franklin, Tennessee." General Henderson was engaged in skirmishing from Franklin to Nashville, December 1-15; in the battle of Nashville, December 15, 1864. He was then ordered to North Carolina, and was engaged at Fort Anderson, February 17, 1865; Town Creek Bridge, February 20; capture of Wilmington, February 22; at Kinston, March 7-11; in the occupation of Goldsborough, March 21, and the surrender of Raleigh, April 13; then on duty at Greensborough, N. C., until June 20, 1865, on which day he was mustered out of service and returned home with his regiment.

On returning home he resumed the practice of his profession, and in July, 1867, removed his residence to Princeton, Bureau County, Illinois, where he has ever since resided.

In 1874 he was nominated as a Republican and elected a representative in the Forty-fourth Congress, and has served continuously in the Forty-fourth, Forty-fifth, Forty-sixth, Forty-seventh, Forty-eighth, Forty-ninth, Fiftieth, Fifty-first, and Fifty-second Congresses; and has been re-elected a member of the Fifty-third Congress. Since his first nomination he has been re-nominated by acclamation every time.

He was married May 29, 1849, to Henrietta Butler, and has three daughters and one son, Gertrude Rebecca, Sarah Ella, Mary Louisa, and Thomas Butler;--all living.

Source: Officers of the Volunteer Army and Navy who served in the Civil War, published by L.R. Hamersly & Co., 1893, 419 pgs.

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