Portrait of Henry W. Slocum

Despite being the senior general in the Army of the Potomac, Henry Slocum was passed over for command of the army in June 1863 when Major General Joseph Hooker resigned. [Wikimedia Commons]

Henry Warner Slocum - Facts

September 24, 1827 - April 14, 1894

Key facts about Henry W. Slocum, one of the youngest major generals and corps commanders in the American Civil War who led Union troops in many key battles of the Eastern and Western Theaters.

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Full Name:

  • Henry Warner Slocum

Birth Date:

  • September 24, 1827

Birth Location:

  • Delphi Falls, New York

Parents:

  • Matthew Barnard Slocum and Mary (Ostrander) Slocum

Education:

  • United States Military Academy (1852)

Occupation:

  • Military officer
  • Lawyer,
  • Politician

Career Summary:

  • First Lieutenant (USA)
  • Major General (USVA)
  • U.S. Congressman

Spouse:

  • Clara Rice (1854)

Nickname(s):

  • Slow Come

Place of Death:

  • Brooklyn, New York

Date of Death:

  • April 14, 1894

Place of Burial:

  • Greenwood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York

Significance:

  • Henry Slocum was the sixth of eleven children born to Matthew Barnard Slocum and Mary (Ostrander) Slocum.
  • Henry Slocum attended the public school in Delphi. Later, Slocum enrolled at Cazenovia Seminary in nearby Madison County where he prepared for a career as a teacher.
  • In 1843, Henry Slocum earned a certificate as a public school instructor and took a position as a teacher at a one-room school in nearby Woodstock.
  • Henry Slocum attended the Albany Normal School.
  • In 1848, Congressman Daniel F. Gott secured an appointment for Henry Slocum to the United States Military Academy.
  • Henry Slocum attended the United States Military Academy from July 1, 1848 to July 1, 1852.
  • Henry Slocum graduated seventh in his class of 43 cadets from the United States Military Academy on July 1, 1852.
  • Following his graduation from the United States Military Academy, Henry Slocum was brevetted to second lieutenant with the 1st U.S. Artillery and sent to Florida to campaign against the Seminole Indians.
  • On February 19, 1854, Henry Slocum married Clara Rice. The couple remained married for 40 years and produced four children, three of whom survived to adulthood.
  • On March 3, 1855, Henry Slocum was promoted to first lieutenant.
  • Henry Slocum resigned his commission in the U.S. Army on October 31, 1856.
  • Henry Slocum was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1858 and established a law firm with his nephew, Thomas L. R. Morgan, in Syracuse, New York.
  • On November 2, 1858 voters from the second district elected Henry Slocum to a seat in the New York State Assembly.
  • Henry Slocum joined the New York State Militia in 1859. Commissioned as a colonel, he spent the next two years training the state’s soldiers in artillery tactics.
  • When the Civil War began the men of New York’s 27th Infantry Regiment elected Henry Slocum as their colonel. He received his commission on May 21, 1861.
  • Henry Slocum was seriously wounded in his right thigh during the First Battle of Bull Run.
  • Henry Slocum was promoted to major general of volunteers on August 9, 1861.
  • Henry Slocum commanded the 2nd Brigade of the 1st Division of the 1st Corps of the Army of the Potomac from March until May during Major General George B. McClellan’s Peninsula Campaign.
  • In May, Henry Slocum was placed in command of the 1st Division of the 6th Corps of the Army of the Potomac.
  • On July 4, 1862, Henry Slocum was promoted to major general. At the age of 34, he was one of the youngest major generals in the Union army during the war.
  • In August 1862, Henry Slocum’s division covered the retreat of Major General John Pope’s Army of Virginia following the Confederate victory at the Second Battle of Bull Run.
  • On September 14, 1862, Henry Slocum’s division was victorious at the Battle of Crampton’s Gap.
  • On October 15, 1862, Henry Slocum was assigned 12th Corps commander. At age 35, Slocum became one of the youngest corps commanders in the volunteer army during the war.
  • Henry Slocum’s wing suffered a significant number of casualties at the Battle of Chancellorsville, losing nearly 30% of its soldiers. Slocum blamed Major General Joseph Hooker’s ineptitude for the severe casualties, as well as for losing the battle.
  • Despite being the senior general in the Army of the Potomac, Henry Slocum was passed over for command of the army in June 1863 when Major General Joseph Hooker resigned.
  • Henry Slocum’s dilatory behavior at the Battle of Gettysburg earned him the derogatory nickname, “Slow Come.”
  • In the fall of 1863, Henry Slocum and the 11th and 12th Corps were detached from the Army of the Potomac and deployed to Chattanooga under the command of Major General Joseph Hooker.
  • Still sour from his experience at the Battle of Chancellorsville, Henry Slocum met with President Lincoln on September 28, 1863 and threatened to resign his commission if forced to serve again under Joseph Hooker.
  • Henry Slocum commanded the Military District of Vicksburg from April 27 to August 7, 1864.
  • Henry Slocum commanded the 20th Army Corps from August 27 to November 11, 1864.
  • When Atlanta fell into Union hands on September 2, 1864, Henry Slocum’s troops were the first to enter the city.
  • Henry Slocum commanded the left wing of Major General William T. Sherman’s army group during the Savannah Campaign.
  • On March 16,  1865, Henry Slocum’s soldiers took part in the Battle of Averasboro.
  • On March 19 – 21, 1865, Henry Slocum’s soldiers took part in the Battle of Bentonville.
  • On March 28, 1865, the War Department issued General Orders No. 51, which created the Army of Georgia and named Henry Slocum as its commander.
  • Henry Slocum was present when Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston surrendered the troops under his command to Sherman near Durham, North Carolina, on April 16, 1865.
  • Henry Slocum led the Army of Georgia during the Grand Review of the Armies in the nation’s capital in May 1865.
  • Henry Slocum commanded the Department of the Mississippi from June 29 to September 16, 1865.
  • Henry Slocum served in the 41st and 42nd Congresses (March 4, 1869-March 3, 1873).
  • Henry Slocum served in the 48th Congress (March 4, 1883 to March 4, 1885) as an at-large representative from New York.
  • Henry Slocum died of heart failure caused by pneumonia on April 14, 1894, at his home in Brooklyn, New York.
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Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Henry Warner Slocum - Facts
  • Coverage September 24, 1827 - April 14, 1894
  • Author
  • Keywords Henry Warner Slocum
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date August 2, 2021
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update April 29, 2021
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