Capt. W. H. HENRY was born in Blount County, in 1841, and reared on a farm until about fifteen years old. He then attended and graduated from Maryville College, and afterward studied law at Macon, Ga., a short time. September 20, 1862, he enlisted in John P. McCOWAN’s body guard, and after McCOWAN’s arrest and trial by BRAGG at Murfreesboro, became attached to the Fourth Tennessee Cavalry, Company L, of which he was made Second Lieutenant, after the fall of Capt. J. J. PARTON at Chickamauga, and afterward made captain.
In August, 1864, he became paralyzed from exposure, retired for active service, but was still with his company at the surrender, in North Carolina. He returned home and farmed one year, and then taught school two or three years, but afterward resumed farming. In 1875-76 he was superintendent of public instruction in Blount County, and elected justice of the peace, in 1882, by a large majority, his district being largely Republican, and he a Democrat. His home is in Maryville, but his farm of 140 acres is one mile and a half from Maryville.
In 1866 he married Martha E., daughter of ex-Senator David W. TEDFORD. Of two sons and four daughters, one of the former and two of the latter are living, and the entire family are members of the Presbyterian Church. Samuel HENRY, the great-grandfather, was born in Virginia, and built the first grist-mill south of Maryville in this county. In connection with his milling he farmed a 640 acres entry on Little Baker Creek, and donated sixteen acres now occupied by the Baker Creek Presbyterian Church, and on which he was afterward buried. The grandfather, William W., was a farmer, and lived in East Tennessee until the war, when he moved to Bell County, Tex., and died in 1864. The father, James M., also born and reared in Blount County, followed school teaching in his younger days. In 1839 he married Ann HUTTON. He followed farming, and also teaming to and from Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina, before the days of railroads. He died in 1875. He was sheriff of Blount County from 1848 to 1854, and was justice at the time of his death. He was Captain of Company L, Second Tennessee Federal Cavalry, after Burnside entered East Tennessee in 1863, until the close of the war. The mother died in 1882.
Our subject and his brother, J. N., residents of the old home-place, which has never passed out of the family’s hands, are the survivors of six children, of whom four were sisters. The captain is the eldest, and for twenty-three years has been a great sufferer, at times, from hemiplegia, or paralysis, of the left side. Our subject and his father differed upon the questions involved in the war, and each showed his faith by his works, and yet the father’s house was always the home of the son. A remarkable coincidence is that at the close of the war each one commanded Company L in his respective regiment, not having heard from the other for two years.
Source: Goodspeed Publishing Co. History of Tennessee from the Earliest Time to the Present: Together with an Historical and a Biographical Sketch of from Twenty-Five to Thirty Counties of East Tennessee. Chicago: Goodspeed, 1887.