About Guy Vernor Henry
Guy Vernor Henry (March 9, 1839 – October 27, 1899) was a military officer and Medal of Honor recipient who served as an early Governor of Puerto Rico.
Henry was born in Fort Smith, Indian Territory (now Arkansas). He graduated from the United States Military Academy the spring of 1861, serving as a Union soldier in the Civil War, and later in conflicts against the Native Americans in the West and southwest of the United States of America. During the Spanish-American War, he was dispatched to Guantánamo, Cuba, and later sent to Puerto Rico, alongside General Nelson Miles.
He received successive brevets for gallantry in various battles and was breveted brigadier general, United States Army, for gallantry at the Battle of Rosebud in Montana Territory, where he was shot through the face while fighting Native Americans.
He received the Medal of Honor on December 5, 1893, for his Civil War service at the Battle of Cold Harbor on June 1, 1864, where he was serving as Colonel, 40th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry.
During the invasion of Puerto Rico, Henry led a "Provisional Division" from the city of Ponce to Arecibo, Puerto Rico to rendezvous with General Theodore Schwan, who was arriving from the city of Mayagüez. The tropical rain impeded his trek and before he reached Mayagüez, the conflict was over.
On December 6, 1898, he was designated Governor of Puerto Rico. On February 6, 1899, he dissolved the Cabinet of Puerto Rico, which was instituted with the Autonomic Charter. Henry also eliminated taxes on basic food items. On May 17, 1899, he was replaced by General George W. Davis.
Henry died of pneumonia in New York City and was buried in Section 2 of Arlington National Cemetery.
Henry's son, Guy V. Henry, Jr., also served in the military with a distinguished career, and went on to win a bronze medal in the Olympics.
Medal of Honor citation
Rank and organization: Colonel, 40th Massachusetts Infantry. Place and date: At Cold Harbor, Va., June 1, 1864. Entered service at: Reading Pa. Birth: Fort Smith, Indian Ter. Date of issue: December 5, 1893.
Led the assaults of his brigade upon the enemy's works, where he had 2 horses shot under him.