Short URL for this page:

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

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

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

 [decorative delimiter] Class of 1897

Vol. IV

(Born Ga.)

Henry Sims Morgan

(Ap'd Ga.)


Born Oct. 14, 1874.​a

Military History. — Cadet at the U. S. M. A., from June 21, 1893 to June 11, 1897, when he was graduated and promoted in the army to

(Add. Second Lieut., Corps of Engineers, June 11, 1897)

(Second Lieut., Corps of Engineers, July 5, 1898)

Served: At Savannah, Ga., as Assistant to Captain Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Gillette, Corps of Engineers, Sept., 1897 until

Drowned Aug. 31, 1898, in Tybee Roads, Ga., while endeavoring to rescue the crew of the wrecked bark Noe: Aged 24.​b

See Annual Association of Graduates, U. S. M. A., 1899, for an obituary notice.

Buried, Sunset Hill Cemetery, Valdosta, GA.

Thayer's Notes:

a The birthdate is from his tombstone, q.v.

[decorative delimiter]

b The AOG "obituary" is uninformative, consisting merely of a bare three-line statement of his death, with place and date; the following, however, is found in Assembly (the magazine of the Association of Graduates, U. S. M. A.), XII.1, April 1953, p182:

Regarding our classmate, Henry S. Morgan, the Army Register for 1899, p296, has the brief note "2d Lieutenant, Corps of Engineers, drowned in Tyler Roads, Georgia, August 31, 1898." Morgan was in charge of fortification work at Fort Screven, Georgia. During a hurricane, a Norwegian bark was sinking off the fort. Morgan volunteered to go in a small boat to try to rescue the crew. The boat was capsized and Morgan was drowned. Efforts to recover his body were not success­ful until fifteen years later. A man from Valdosta, Georgia, Morgan's home town, was hunting on Warsaw Island when a negro told him that some months after the great hurricane of August 31, 1898, the body of "a very tall man" was washed ashore there and buried. Morgan was over six feet four inches. The body was exhumed and identified by West Point buttons on a rain coat, and was buried in the family lot at Valdosta.

The class put up a monument to Morgan at Fort Screven. That reservation was recently sold to civilians, and Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Altstaetter found that the monument was being neglected. Through his efforts the Savannah Post, Society of American Military Engineers, arranged for the removal of the monument to Fort Pulaski, which is retained as a National Monument under the National Park Service.

A suitable dedicatory ceremony was held in May 1940, at which Altstaetter made an address. It should be noted that our class president personally reimbursed the Savannah Post for the expenses incident to the removal of the monument.

The monument consists of a bronze plaque on a boulder. According to the Historical Marker Database (HMD) — which identifies the bark in peril as the Noe, Italian rather than Norwegian — Lt. Morgan's classmates erected a first memorial plaque at West Point in Memorial Hall (no longer extant, apparently), then a copy on Tybee Island, which was moved a few years later to Fort Screven, then again, as noted above, to Fort Pulaski; but in 1994, moved yet again, back to the Fort Screven location. The HMD page has photographs and other material related to Lt. Morgan.

[image ALT: Valid HTML 4.01.]

Page updated: 11 Jun 21