Grand Army of the Republic
Henry Martin Nevius was born at Freehold, New Jersey, on January 30, 1841, and was the second child of James Schureman Nevius and Hannah Browne-Nevius. He was educated at the Freehold Public School and Institute. Subsequently talking a two years post-graduate course at the Grand Rapids, Michigan, High School. He then entered the law office of General Russell A. Alger.
In August of the same year of his graduation, 1861, he enlisted as a Private in Company K, First New York (Lincoln) Cavalry, serving as Regimental Commissary Sergeant with his Regiment in the Army of the Potomac. In 1862 he was appointed Second Lieutenant for gallantry in Action to Company D, 7th Michigan Cavalry in the Brigade under the command of General George A. Custer.
He served with the 7th Michigan Cavalry until he resigned in 1864 to take a position in a Regiment forming in Trenton, New Jersey. This organization not having been completed, Henry Nevius again enlisted as a Private in Company D, 25th New York (Sickles) Cavalry, where he was promoted for bravery on the Field to a Second Lieutenant and later to Captain but he was never mustered for this rank.
He commanded the center of a small band, which resisted General Early's attack upon Washington, in July 1864, and led the charge, which forced the enemy back. His left arm was shattered with a bullet, but he held his men till the crisis was past, and then fell to the ground. That night the President made him a Major. Later his left arm was amputated due to the wound he received.
His record of service was at West Point, Via, Army of the Potomac, Antietam Campaign, Gettysburg, Defenses of Washington, Shenandoah Valley, and various other cavalry raids and expeditions. He was also wounded in action no less than four times.
After the close of the War, he held the position of Collector of Internal Revenue. In 1868 he resumed the study of law with General Charles Haight, being admitted to the Bar of Monmouth County in 1875, and as counselor in 1876. In 1875 he came to Red Bank, New Jersey, and entered into partnership with Hon John S. Applegate of Red Bank, until 1879. In 1888 he formed the co-partnership of Nevius & Wilson, latter having been a student with him, now the Attorney General of New Jersey. In 1896 Governor Griggs appointed him Judge of the Circuit Court of Hudson County.
In 1881 he was instrumental in organizing Arrowsmith Post No 61, G.A.R., at Red Bank, New Jersey, and was its Commander until 1884, when he was elected to the position of Department Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic for the state of New Jersey. In 1887 he was elected to the State Senate, of which he finished his term as President. In 1904 he was appointed Prosecutor of the Pleas for Monmouth County, New Jersey, resigning in 1908 to accept the position of Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, to which he was elected at the National Encampment held at Toledo, Ohio. To this position he devoted his entire time and attention, traveling over forty thousand miles to visit the different Departments of the Grand Army.
Henry Nevius died on January 30, 1911 from an Apoplectic Stroke, after an illness of several months; He left behind a wife, Matilda, daughter Kate and a grand son Henry Nevius Ely. He was interred in the family plot in Fair View Cemetery, New Jersey.
Engraved on the reverse of the gold medals are the following: The first gold medal in the photo is engraved Presented by the Senate of New Jersey to its President Hon Henry.M.Nevius in appreciation of the man as a Senator Citizen & Soldier and a representative of the people. The second one is engraved Presented to H.M.Nevius by members of the Arrowsmith Post No 61 G.A.R.
Information and Photographs Submitted by:
Mr. Kerry Bulow