Gordon, Henry

Place of Birth: Chatham

Date of enlistment: 5 December 1872

Age given at enlistment: 21

Rank: Private

Company: M

Location on 25 June 1876: Valley fight



Name, date and place of birth not yet verified.

Killed while climbing the bluffs

A wayside sign near the Garryowen Post Office. An Alan Wellbelove photograph

  • Henry Gordon told the recruiting officer, Captain Moses Harris, in Boston, Massachusetts, on 5 December 1872 (Custer’s 33rd birthday) that he was a 21 year-old labourer from Chatham, Kent.  The records show that he had brown eyes, brown hair, a fair complexion, and was 5′ 6 tall.
  • He was sent to the St Louis Depot where he was transferred to the 7th Cavalry on 22 January 1873 and joined Company M at Oxford, Mississippi, 16 days later.
  • Gordon was with his company on the Yellowstone Campaign (1873) and the Black Hills Expedition (1874).
  • He was killed in the retreat from the Valley Fight on 25 June 1876 on the east side of the river, halfway up the bluffs and listed as HENRY GORDON on the battle monument.
  • Final Statement of  Henry Gordon [late a Private of Captain Thomas H. French’s Company] signed by 2nd Lt. J. C. Gresham, Commanding Company, at Fort Rice, 3 December 1876.
  • For retained pay under act of May 15, 1872 … $25.26
  • For clothing not drawn in kind … $78.12
  • Proceeds of sale of effects [February 24, 1877] … $31.65
  • For tobacco … $1.71
  • The above statement does not take into account basic pay due for the period May 1 to June 25, 1876.
  • Henry Gordon’s true identity has never been established.

John C. Gresham (1851-1926) retired with the rank of colonel [10th Cavalry] in 1915.

  • John Chowning Gresham, appointed to the 7th Cavalry effective from 26 June 1876, was awarded the Medal of Honor for distinguished gallantry in voluntarily leading a party into a ravine to dislodge Indians concealed therein in action at Wounded Knee Creek, South Dakota, 29 December 1890 while serving as a 1st Lieutenant in the 7th Cavalry. He was wounded during this action.
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