Henry Ward Camp (1839 – 1864)

Henry Ward Camp

The subject of The Knightly Soldier by Chaplain Henry Clay Trumbull, Henry Ward Camp was born in Hartford in 1839. After graduating with high honors from Yale in 1860, Henry studied law with John Hooker, Esq. followed by enlisting in the Hartford City Guard in April 1861.

In December of that year, Camp was commissioned by Governor Buckingham as a 2nd Lieutenant in Company I of the 10th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry. He was later promoted to 1st Lieutenant in Company D of the 10th CVI and then to Adjutant of that company in 1862.

On July 19, 1863, following the Assault on Fort Wagner, Camp was captured along with his good friend, Chaplain Trumbull, and was taken to Charleston then Columbia, South Carolina. He managed to escape but was recaptured nearly one hundred miles away from where he had been held captive. He was finally released on April 30, 1864. Camp returned to his regiment and was promoted to Major in September of that year. A month later, Camp was killed in action at Darbytown Road just outside of Richmond.

According to Chaplain Trumbull in The Knightly Soldier, “His tall and manly form was too distinct a target to escape special notice from the foe. Waving his sword, he called aloud cheerily, ‘Come on, boys, come on!’ then turned to the color-sergeant just emerging from the thicket, that he might rally the men on the regimental standard. As he did so, a bullet passed through his lungs; and, as he fell on his side, he was pierced yet again and again by the thick-coming shot. His death was as by the lightning’s stroke. His eyes scarce turned from their glance at the tattered, dear old flag, ore they were closed to earth, and opened again beyond the stars and their field of blue.”

Following the battle, the enemy stripped Camp’s body, looted him for anything valuable and buried his remains. The next morning, Camp’s fellow soldiers erected a flag of truce and sent a message to the confederates asking for the remains of fallen soldier Henry Ward Camp. The request was permitted, and Camp’s remains were exhumed.

Camp’s body was accompanied home by his fellow prisoner of war and good friend Chaplain Trumbull. He was interred in Spring Grove Cemetery in north Hartford but was disinterred and reinterred at Cedar Hill Cemetery after it opened in July 1866. His monument reads: “A true knight; not yet mature, yet matchless. Erected by his fellow citizens of Hartford as a tribute to his patriotic service, and to his noble Christian character.”

Gertz, Janet Elaine. Guide to the Henry Ward Camp Papers. Manuscript and Archives, Yale University Library, New Haven, Connecticut, February 1983.
Trumbull, Henry Clay. A Knightly Soldier: a biography of Major Henry Ward Camp. Boston, Nichols and Noyes, New York, 1865.  Accessed at 
http://www.archive.org/details/knightlysoldierb00trum on August 27, 2010.

Photo Credit: Henry Ward Camp, Public Domain