[image ALT: Much of my site will be useless to you if you've got the images turned off!]
mail:
Bill Thayer

[image ALT: Cliccare qui per una pagina di aiuto in Italiano.]
Italiano

[Link to a series of help pages]
Help
[Link to the next level up]
Up
[Link to my homepage]
Home
This site is not affiliated with the US Military Academy.
[decorative delimiter]
USMA
Home

 [decorative delimiter] Class of 1845

Vol. II
p242
1266

(Born N. Y.)

Henry B. Clitz1

(Ap'd at Large)

36

Born July 4, 1824, Sackett's Harbor, NY.

Military History. — Cadet at the Military Academy, July 1, 1841, to July 1, 1845, when he was graduated and promoted in the Army to

Bvt. Second Lieut., 7th Infantry, July 1, 1845.

Served: in Military Occupation of Texas, 1845‑46; in the War with Mexico, 1846‑48, being engaged in the Defense of Ft. Brown, May 3‑9, 1846, — Battle of Monterey, Sep. 21‑23, 1846, — Siege of Vera Cruz,

(Second Lieut., 3d Infantry, Sep. 21, 1846)

Mar. 9‑29, 1847, — Battle of Cerro Gordo, Apr. 17‑18, 1847, — Skirmish

(Bvt. First Lieut., Apr. 18, 1847,
for Gallant and Meritorious Conduct in the Battle of Cerro Gordo, Mex.)

of Ocalaca, Aug. 16, 1847, — Battle of Contreras, Aug. 19‑20, 1847, — Battle of Churubusco, Aug. 20, 1847, — Storming of Chapultepec, Sep. 13, 1847, — and Assault and Capture of the City of Mexico, Sep. 13‑14, 1847; at the Military Academy, as Asst. Instructor of Infantry Tactics, Sep. 15,

(First Lieut., 3d Infantry, Mar. 5, 1851)

1848, to Sep. 27, 1855; on frontier duty at Santa Fé, N. M., 1856, — p243Ft. Union, N. M., 1856, — Santa Fé, N. M., 1856‑57, — Cantonment Burgwin, N. M., 1857, — Ft. Defiance, N. M., 1857, — and Albuquerque, N. M., 1857‑58; on Recruiting service, 1858‑59; on leave of absence in

(Captain, 3d Infantry, Dec. 6, 1858)

Europe, 1859‑60; and on frontier duty at Ringgold Barracks, Tex., 1860‑61; and Ft. Brown, Tex., 1861.

Served during the Rebellion of the Seceding States, 1861‑66: in Defense of Ft. Pickens, Fla., Apr. 19 to June 27, 1861; in Organizing

(Major, 12th Infantry, May 14, 1861)

12th Infantry, at Ft. Hamilton, N. Y., July 7, 1861, to Mar. 10, 1862; in the Virginia Peninsular Campaign (Army of the Potomac), Mar. to June, 1862, being engaged in the Siege of Yorktown, Apr. 5 to May 4, 1862, where he was wounded, — and Battle of Gaines's Mill, June 27, 1862, where he was twice wounded and made Prisoner of War; in Libby

(Bvt. Lieut.‑Col., June 27, 1862,
for Gallant and Meritorious Conduct in the Battle of Gaines's Mill, Va.)

Prison, at Richmond, June 28 to July 17, 1862, when he was Paroled for Exchange; at the Military Academy, as Commandant of Cadets and Instructor of Artillery, Infantry, and Cavalry Tactics, Oct. 23, 1862, to

(Lieut.‑Colonel, 6th Infantry, Nov. 4, 1863)

July 4, 1864; and in garrison at Bedloe's Island, N. Y., July, 1864, to May, 1865, — at Savannah, Ga., May 22 to July 3, 1865, — Hilton Head,

(Bvt. Colonel, Mar. 13, 1865,
for Gallant and Meritorious Services during the Rebellion)

(Bvt. Brig.‑General, U. S. Army, Mar. 13, 1865,
for Gallant and Distinguished Services in the Field)

Served: as Member of Tactics Board, June 25, 1866, to Feb. 4, 1867; in command of regiment, Mar. 21 to June 16, 1867, — of post of Charleston, S. C., Mar. 21, 1867, to June 15, 1868, and Oct. 24, 1868, to Apr. 6, 1869; on leave of absence, June 15 to Oct. 24, 1868; in command of regiment and Ft. Brown, Tex., Apr. 24, 1869, to May 14, 1871; on leave

(Colonel, 10th Infantry, Feb. 22, 1869)

of absence, May 14, 1871, to Sep., 1872; as Member of Board for revising Army Regulations, Sep., 1872, to May 26, 1873; awaiting orders, May 26 to July, 1873; in command of regiment and Ft. McKavett, Tex., July 14, 1873, to June 10, 1876, and Oct. 23, 1876, to Aug. 29, 1877; on leave of absence, June 10 to Oct. 10, 1876; on sick leave of absence, Aug. 29 to Dec. 31, 1877; in command of regiment, Ft. McKavett, Tex., and District of North Texas, Jan. 22, 1878, to May 11, 1879, — and at Ft. Wayne, Mich., to Sep. 19, 1879; on Court Martial duty to Nov. 27, 1879; in command of regiment at Ft. Wayne, Mich., to June 2, 1884; on leave of absence and on delay, to July 1, 1884; and on sick leave of absence, to July 1, 1885.

Retired from Active Service, upon his own application, July 1, 1885,
after 40 Years' Service.

Died, Oct. 30, 1888, at Niagara Falls, N. Y.: Aged 64.

Cenotaph, Elmwood Cemetery, Detroit, MI.

Biographical Sketch.

Brevet Brig.-General Henry B. Clitz, was born, July 4, 1824, at Sackett's Harbor, N. Y., then the headquarters of the Second Infantry, p244of which his father, already distinguished at the Sortie from Ft. Erie, Sep. 17, 1814, was the noted adjutant.

With a military parentage, born on Independence Day, bred in a garrison, and familiar with all the paraphernalia of war, it is not surprising that young Clitz chose the profession of a soldier. At the age of seventeen he became a Cadet in the Military Academy, from which he was graduated July 1, 1845, and promoted to the Infantry, the arm with which he was already familiar. He at once joined the Army of Occupation in Texas, and soon after was engaged in the Defense of Ft. Brown, and Battle of Monterey, following which he was transferred to General Scott's army, and participated in all of its operations from the Siege of Vera Cruz to the Capture of the City of Mexico, receiving for his gallant and meritorious conduct, in the Battle of Cerro Gordo, the brevet of First Lieutenant.

On the termination of the Mexican War, Clitz was detailed as an Assistant Instructor of Infantry Tactics at the Military Academy, continuing there for seven years, after which, till the outbreak of the Rebellion, he was on frontier duty, recruiting service, and on leave of absence in Europe.

Captain Clitz accompanied the expedition to Fort Pickens, and, after two months' service there, joined the Twelfth Infantry (of which he had been promoted Major) at Ft. Hamilton, N. Y., where he re-organized, drilled, and disciplined it for active service, in which it was engaged with the Army of the Potomac in the Virginia Peninsular Campaign. In command of his regiment he took part in the Siege of Yorktown, where he was wounded, and, in the subsequent Battle of Gaines's Mill, he showed conspicuous and dashing gallantry, being twice wounded, and in that condition was captured. As a Prisoner of War he was confined in Libby Prison till paroled for exchange, July 17, 1862.

As soon as sufficiently recovered from his wounds, Clitz was placed on duty at the Military Academy as the Commandant of Cadets, in which position, by his soldierly bearing, devotion to duty, uniform courtesy, and kindly consideration for all with whom he had official or private relations, he won all hearts of both sexes and of all ages. From the time of being relieved from this duty, which he had so graced till the conclusion of the Civil War, he was engaged in the ordinary duties of his arm of service. For his "gallant and meritorious services during the Rebellion" he was brevetted a Colonel, and for "gallant and distinguished services in the field," a Brigadier-General.

After the Civil War, he became Colonel, 10th Infantry, Feb. 22, 1869; was in command of various frontier posts, on several important boards, and, after forty years' duty in the army, was retired, July 1, 1885, upon his own application, from active service. He then took up his residence in Detroit, Mich., where he was a universal favorite among his fellows, and the devoted son of an aged mother. Without any apparent cause, he suddenly left his home and was last seen, Oct. 30, 1888, at Niagara Falls.

Clitz had a personal magnetism and charm of character which won all who came within the sunshine of his genial nature. He was one of the kindest and most affectionate of men, and, though of almost feminine gentleness, it did not distract from his true manliness. His attention to the little amenities of life, his buoyancy of spirits, and his cheerful joyousness in conversation, always made him a welcome guest. He lived unmarried, but had a perpetual bride in the love of companions, and all the beauties of nature were his idolized children.

The following tribute to his memory was paid by the Michigan p245Commandery, Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States: —

"Companions, — Your committee selected to prepare a memorial page to the memory of our loved companion and Commander, Gen. Henry B. Clitz, beg to submit the following: —

"The forty years of army service of General Clitz, full of the most important military events in the nation's history, embracing the War with Mexico and the Rebellion of the Seceding States, in which he took an honored part without a stain upon his escutcheon, is the highest tribute we can pay to his patriotism, gallantry, and fidelity to duty.

"His warm-hearted, genial disposition won and retained the love of his companions and associates, to whom his loss is a personal one.

"We can see him in our mind as he stood upon the shore of the mighty Niagara. There came to his ear the familiar bugle-notes, 'lights out,' and he answered the call, and closed a life crowned with honors.

"With no monumental pile to mark his resting place, the stars his sentinels, he sweetly sleeps until the 'reveille' shall call him forth on the resurrection morn."


The Author's Note:

1 Son of Captain John Clitz, 2d Infantry.


[image ALT: Valid HTML 4.01.]

Page updated: 6 Oct 13