William Henry Penrose (1832 - 291903)

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Death: Died
Cause of death: typhoid fever
Managed by: Doug Robinson
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About William Henry Penrose

The son of an officer of Regular Army, he was born at Madison Barracks, Sacket's Harbor, New York, Mar 10, 1832. He took an irregular 2-year course at Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, then moved to Michigan where he engaged in profession of civil engineering. At the outbreak of Civil War in 1861, no doubt by virtue of father's connection with army, appointed Second Lieutenant of the 3rd United States Infantry.

He was a civil-mechanical engineer in Michigan, and was commissioned Second Lieutenant, 3rd U.S. Infantry, April 13, 1861 and First Lieutenant May 14, 1861, serving as regimental adjutant from March 1 until April 18, 1863 when he was commissioned Colonel, 15th New Jersey. He fought with this regiment at Gaines's Mill, White Oak Swamp, Malvern Hill, 2nd Bull Run, and Fredericksburg. He succeeded Torbert on May 3, 1863 at Chancellorsville as Commander of the 1st Brigade, 1st Division, VI Corps, Army of the Potomac, leading it until June 27. Leading his regiment at Gettysburg and Grant's subsequent campaign against Richmond in early 1864, he again commanded 1st Brigade, 1st Division, VI Corps from May 9, 1864-July 1864 at Cold Harbor and during the Wilderness campaign and February 26-June 28, 1865 at the Petersburg siege, where he was wounded. During Sheridan's Shenandoah Valley campaign he led 1st Brigade, 1st Division, VI Corps, Army of the Shenandoah, from August 6-September 18 and September 19-October 19, 1864 at Cedar Creek.

He was breveted for Marye's Heights, Gettysburg, Wilderness, Cedar Creek and war service to Brigadier General, United States Army, as of April 9, 1865, and Middletown, Brigadier General, United States Volunteers, as of October 1864. Continued in regular army, retiring as Colonel of 16th Infantry in 1896.

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With his promotion to First Lieutenant, May 14, 1861, he served with the regiment until he was commissioned Colonel of the 15th New Jersey Volunteers on April 18, 1863. In interval fought on Peninsula, at 2nd Manassas in brigade of Regulars, and at Fredericksburg and was favorably mentioned by superiors for his conduct. At the battle of Chancellorsville, as Colonel of the 15th New Jersey, commanded his regiment and for a time the 1st Brigade of W. T. H. Brooks' Division of VI Corps in the assault and capture of Marye's Heights. Again he directed his regiment at Gettysburg where VI Corps was not heavily engaged. When the Spring campaign opened, he was at head of his regiment in bloody battles of Wilderness and Spotsylvania Court House where he succeeded to brigade command. In the Shenandoah Valley campaign directed by Philip Sheridan, he again rendered distinguished service and received several brevet promotions for conduct. He continued in command of the 1st Brigade of Wheaton's 2nd Division of VI Corps until the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox, and on June 27, 1865, was made a full Brigadier General of Volunteers. He was mustered out of the volunteer service in 1866 and languished as Captain of the 3rd United States Infantry for 17 years. He was promoted to Major in 1883, Lieutenant Colonel in 1888, Colonel of the 20th United States Infantry in 1893, 30 years after accession to this rank as a volunteer. He transferred to the 16th United States Infantry the following year and was retired in 1896.

He died of typhoid fever at Salt Lake City, Utah, August 29, 1903 and was buried with full military honors in Section 3 (Grave 1429) of Arlington National Cemetery. His wife, Harriet Elizabeth Penrose (1836-1920) is buried with him.

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Brig. General William Henry Penrose (USA)'s Timeline

1832
March 10, 1832
1861
June 4, 1861
Age 29
291903
August, 291903
Age 8167