Loyal Legion Vignettes

(1837 Ireland - 1919 Kansas)

Douglas Niermeyer, Commander-in-Chief
Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States
(April 2004)

Henry Hartford was born February 8, 1837 in Coleraire, Londenderry, Ireland, the eldest son of William and Martha (Leslie) Hartford. Martha (Leslie) Hartford was born September 15, 1812 and died in Reno County, Kansas in 1908. Her family brought her to this country when she was about 12 but they didn't like it so they went back to the old country. Henry's father owned a coach factory in Coleraine and died after a very short illness of quick consumption leaving the widowed mother running a boarding house. Henry Hartford followed his younger brother, William Hartford Jr., to New York City in 1858 and found employment there.

In April 1861, Henry and William answered Lincoln's First Call (his family still has Henry's First Call Medal) crossing the river into New Jersey and enlisting as as Privates in Company K, 1st New Jersey, U.S. Volunteers (USV) (3 months, 1861). This regiment participated in but did not engage in the 1st Bull Run, possibly since New Jersey did not vote for Lincoln and the Powers did not want them to participate in the glory. Henry mustered out at expiration of term on July 31, 1861. He reenlisted on August 31, 1861 as a 1st Sgt in Company F, 8th New Jersey Infantry, USV. He worked his way through the ranks by serving in Companies E and C, Commissioned 2nd Lieutenant December 10, 1862, 1st Lieutenant October 3O, 1863, Captain June 11, 1864, Major December 1864, and Lieutenant Colonel April 2, 1865. He was discharged as in October 1865 near Alexandria, Virginia.

His regiment was involved in many battles including Yorktown, Williamsburg, Fair Oaks (or Seven Pines), Oak Grove, Malvern Hill, Bristoe Station (or Kettle Run), Groveton, 2nd Bull Run, Chantilly, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Manassas Gap, Wapping Heights, Mine Run, Battles of the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Assault on the Salient (Bloody Angle), Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Ream's Station August, Appomattox Campaign, Boydton and White Oak Roads, Fall of Petersburg, Appomattox Court House, and the surrender of Lee and his Army. Henry Hartford was wounded several times, at least three time very seriously. A family story is that he was shot in the hip, the ball removed, but the wound would not heal. His mother, who had not removed to the US came with one sister to help. He was sent home to his mother to die. She probed the wound, found a piece of the uniform still in the wound, removed it, he got well and returned to his unit. The regiment was in the Grand Review May 23, duty at Washington till July, and was mustered out on July 17, 1865.

Following the war, Henry Hartford went back to New York City where he worked for a fore runner of Dunn and Bradstreet. In 1867, Henry, his brother William, sister Elizabeth, and mother Martha moved to Leavenworth, Kansas where the men started a food brokerage business called Hartford & Brother. His sister, Elizabeth, married a Civil War veteran from Missouri, George Cooter, who was a blacksmith and later became a successful banker in Hutchinson, Kansas. The other twin sister, Susan, had finally come to this country, but married and stayed in New Jersey. In 1872, Henry, William, mother Martha Hartford, and the Cooters removed to Reno County, Kansas, which was just forming. They had a dugout in the middle of Sec 18 TS22 R4W so they could all claim to be homesteading a Quarter. In 1874, Henry Hartford served one term as Sheriff of Reno County and was a stockman, raising Shorthorn cattle and Berkshire hogs. He was successful at it, owning over 1000 acres of ground when he retired. Henry married February 28, 1879 to Alice Elizabeth Thomas in Medoria, Kansas where they were farmers. Alice was born May 5, 1854 in Jennings County, Indiana and died February 1, 1935 in Hutchinson, Kansas. Henry died October 4, 1919 in Hutchinson, Kansas and is buried at Hutchinson Eastside Cemetery, Reno County, Kansas.

Henry's grandson, John Henry Hartford #22003, and his great great grandson, Travis Hartford Burns #22370, are hereditary members of the Kansas Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States.

Children of Henry Hartford

1) Ethel W. Hartford, born 1880 Reno County, Kansas.
2) Etta Hartford, a school teacher in the Hutchinson, Kansas.
3) Daile Hartford, married John Cain.
2) Harry Emmitt Hartford, born September 17, 1883 near Medora, Kansas, married February 12, 1921 to Leona Saunders Graves (born October 5, 1891 Inman, Kansas; died January 20, 1943 Newton, Kansas) in Hutchinson, Kansas. Harry died January 2, 1968 in Hutchinson, Kansas.
5) May Hartford, school teacher in the Hutchinson, Kansas.

Visit the Homepage of the
Kansas Commandery, Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States


1) Membership records of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States.
2) New Jersey Division of Archives and Records Management.

Copyright © 2004 Douglas Niermeyer, Missouri Commandery, Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States

Return to Loyal Legion Vignettes Page

Return to MOLLUS Home Page

Return to MOLLUS Web Site Index Page