J. Henry Sleeper
Obituary from the Boston Transcript, August 20, 1891
Major J.H. Sleeper died yesterday at his summer residence at Marblehead Neck, aged fifty-two years, four months. He had been ill for about a year with liver troubles. He leaves a wife and three sons. He was a son of Jacob Sleeper and was born in Boston. He went out in 1861 as second lieutenant in the Fifth Massachusetts Volunteers, but returned at Governor Andrew's request to take command of the Tenth Massachusetts Light Artillery, afterwards known as Sleeper's Battery. He served with Hancock in the Army of the Potomac to the close of the war. He was a warm friend of Hancock and a firm believer in Fitz-John Porter. He was prominent in the preparation of the history of the battery, which met with a large sale. He was a prominent member of the Union, Somerset and Eastern Yacht Clubs, and of the Loyal Legion. His winter home was at 295 Marlborough street. He had an office at 31 Milk street, but had retired from active business. His funeral will take place at noon Saturday at Trinity Church. The interment will be private.
[Sleeper is buried at Mt Auburn Cemetary, Cambridge, MA]
Henry Hinsdale Granger was born in 1818, in Hardwick, the grandson of Capt John Granger of Revolutionary War fame. He had two sons who enlisted in the Union Army, Henry Corydon (Corry) who enlisted at 20 years old on 9/12/61 with the Eleventh Mass Infantry, and Louis E. who was 19 when he enlisted in the Thirteen Mass Infantry on 7/16/61. Louis would be commisioned for his valor at Second Bull Run, serve with US Colored Troops, and remain in the Army after the War.
Corry would be killed in action on May 5, 1862 at Williamsburg, Va. On August 12, 1862, HH, 45 years old at the time, received authorization to raise a battery of light artillery from the governor of Massachusetts. It would seem that the death of his oldest son was the factor which sent HH to war.
HH was made Senior 1st Lt with the Tenth Battery, and was well respected. There are mentions in the Official Records of his section being detached during actions with commended results. When Sleeper was wounded at Ream's Station, command of the Battery fell to Granger.
When the Battery was placed at Battery XIV (near The Crater on the Petersburg line) with their new Parrott Rifles, Lt Granger spent time becoming expert in gunnery. A Confederate sharpshooter tried to put an end to his intrusions, but the bullet passed through Granger's hat.
At Hatcher's Run on October 27, 1864, the Battery was heavily engaged near the White Oak Road. When that part of the battlefield was flanked and almost surrounded, the infantry support, including the Eleventh Infantry, broke under the threat. The Battery stayed and fired all it's ammunition, Lt Asa Smith being mortally wounded. Granger took the responsibility of saving the Battery, and they withdrew down the Plank Road near the Dabney's Mill Road, resupplied their ammunition, and went back into action.
The Confederate artillery near White Oak Road was firing in the general direction, where they figured the Union troops to be. Even though they were on the other side of woods, screened by fog and at the limit of the range of the guns, every shot raked the Battery from right to left. Granger was wounded in the chest by a piece of shell.
Granger asked for all the men to gather at his side, took all of them by hand, thanked them for standing by him and bid them farewell. He asked them to look out for Lt Smith, and the Battery. Both wounded officers were taken to the hospitals at City Point, Va, where Smith died on Oct 28th, and Granger on Oct 30th.
On the fateful day of Oct 27th, the commander of Company C, Eleventh Mass Infantry, also was killed in action. Capt David A. Granger of Boston, was a great-grandson of Capt John Granger.
In the obituary for HH Granger published in a newspaper, it says his body was to be returned to Hardwick for burial. However, geneology reports say he is buried in Arlington National Cemetary. It may take some time to unravel the mystery.
By General Order #91, 10/9/67, HH Granger was breveted Captain, Major and Lt Colonel.
On July 4, 1889, Louis E. Granger presented a monument to the town of Hardwick. The names of battles are incribed on it, and Hatcher's Run is prominent. In addition to HH and HC Granger, Harmon Newton (died of disease) and Timothy Redfield (captured at Ream's Station and died in Confederate prison at Salisbury, NC) are both mentioned.
[On the monument, the dedication "Dedicated to the heroes who fell, and the Patriots who fought for Union and Liberty 1861-1865. By their comrade Col. Louis E. Granger, US Vols." LE was missing in action at Second Bull Run (8/30/62), was promoted for his actions to a Second Lt with the 80th US Colored Troops. After the war, he served with the 40th and 25th US Infantry, and was dismissed 9/1/89. He was breveted a Major by GO #65, 6/22/67, and 1st Lt and Capt by General Order #33, 4/9/69. Since he spent many years in Louisiana after leaving the service, he could have been commisioned in the State Militia.]
Joined the Battery at age 24 from Hardwick; mustered with the Battery and served until transferred to Veterans Reserve Corp January 1, 1865; discharged for disability May 5, 1865.
The photo was provided by his great-grandson, Robert Lee Allen, (his grandmother was a Pierce), who is a member of the 1st CVI of the North-South Skirmish Association (and competes against the 10th Mass Battery, N-SSA).Pictured are he and his son Mark Stephen Allen at a regional N-SSA skirmish.
Sleeper's Battery | The History of the Tenth Btty | The Roster of the members of the Tenth Btty | Service Record of the Tenth Btty | Field Artillery in the Civil War | The Tenth Mass Battery Association today |