Herman H. Heath was not, in fact, the one Civil Warfare basic to flirt with the concept of serving the Confederacy earlier than siding with the Union. He had even gone as far as to jot down President Jefferson Davis in 1861 providing to serve in a civil or navy place. “[A]lthough a northern man by delivery,” he informed a good friend, “I’ve by no means been something however southern in my emotions.” But Heath not solely fought as a Union cavalryman your complete battle, he was wounded twice and brevetted brigadier basic for “gallant and meritorious” service. Did he have a legit change of coronary heart in 1861 or was he merely an opportunist keen to serve the aspect promising him the very best probability for glory? We doubtless won’t ever know.
Born in New York in 1823, Heath began a pro-Southern newspaper earlier than the battle whereas working as a clerk in Washington, D.C. After transferring to Iowa, he started modifying the Democratic newspaper Weekly North-West, and supported John C. Breckinridge in the course of the 1860 presidential election. On April 9, 1861, Heath wrote to St. George Offutt in Montgomery, Ala., congratulating him for accepting a place with the Accomplice authorities. “I, too, would have been there, the place my coronary heart ever is, had your president responded as promptly to me as my proffer of service was tendered to the brand new authorities,” he wrote. “Earlier than I’d march towards my brothers of the South, I’d endure myself to be hanged on the primary tree earlier than the eyes of my very own spouse.”
By June, nevertheless, Heath was with the first Iowa Cavalry as a primary lieutenant. In August 1862, he broke his left hip and had an elbow shattered throughout a skirmish towards Accomplice guerrillas at Clear Creek, Mo. Three months later, he joined Maj. Gen. Samuel R. Curtis’ workers, and in Could 1863 grew to become a significant within the seventh Iowa Cavalry and the regiment’s colonel in Could 1865. The seventh spent the battle campaigning towards American Indians within the Nebraska Territory and the Dakotas.
Although elected to the Nebraska Legislature in November 1866, Heath was nonetheless enlisted within the Military and couldn’t serve. However in January 1867, Andrew Johnson appointed him New Mexico Territory’s secretary of state, and in 1870, President Ulysses S. Grant nominated him because the territory’s marshal. Heath’s 1861 letter got here again to hang-out him, nevertheless. Present in Accomplice archives, alongside along with his enterprise card, it had been turned over to the Warfare Division and made its rounds in Congress. Heath claimed it was a forgery, however Grant was criticized within the papers for appointing Heath and different Accomplice sympathizers to authorities positions out West and withdrew Heath’s nomination.
Heath left to pursue enterprise enterprises in Lima, Peru. He grew to become editor of the town’s first English newspaper and labored within the packing and meat preservation enterprise. He would die in Lima on November 14, 1874, and is buried in an unmarked grave on the Cementerio Británico Antiguo Bellavista. Shrouded Veterans not too long ago labored to have a U.S. government-issued veteran gravestone crafted and despatched to cemetery. Heath is the primary Civil Warfare basic with a gravestone put in in South America.
This text first appeared in America’s Civil Warfare journal
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