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Henry Harrison High,
22 June 1842 - 12 April 1931

Henry Harrison High was born in Somerville, Fayette County, Tennessee, 22 June 1842. He moved to Texas with his family parents [Samuel A. High and Permelia High] and eight other children in an ox drawn wagon in 1852. Henry H. High was the seventh of ten children. He would have been about 10 years of age. Only the last child was born in Texas.

The High Family first settled about four miles northwest of Wills Point, Texas. In the spring of 1853 Samuel High bought and settles on 1,400 acres of land five miles west of Canton, which became known as the High Community. The cost was 50 cents an acre and Samuel High paid for it in gold pieces brought from Tennessee. Henry H. High grew up in the High Community of Van Zandt County, Texas

Henry H. High and Sarah Elizabeth Norman were married 16 June 1861 and built their home near the High Community school building and cemetery. As each of Samuel's sons married, he was given 160 acres of land. Thus, all the High sons settled around the home site.

Henry H. High enlisted as a 2nd Corporal in the Confederate Army on 29 March 1862 and was assigned to the Company I [Captain James E. Moore's Company], 15th Texas Calvary. He was sworn in at Canton, Texas, by his father-in-law, Alex Norman, and was sent to Clarksville, Texas. Records show that he took with him for duty a horse valued at $175 and a pistol valued at $20. The pistol was an Eclipse, bought from a mail order firm in Illinois and was still in the family in February 1970.

The 15th Regiment Texas Cavalry [also known as the 2nd Regiment Johnson's Brigade Texas Mounted Volunteers] was organized 10 March 1862. The regiment was reorganized on 20 May 1862 because of depleted ranks associated with the [Confederate] Conscription Act of April 1862. All soldiers under the age 18 or over the age 35 were discharged. This left many vacancies in the ranks; Henry H. High was reduced to ranks [Private].

The 15th Regiment Texas Cavalry was dismounted 24 July 1862, by Special Order No. 64, Headquarters Army of the West. [ This was typical for Texas Cavalry regiments; to wit, the CSA Army had
  • no difficulty raising Texas Cavalry regiment
  • difficulty raising Texas Infantry regiment
    The Confederate government solved this problem by allowing Texas Cavalry regiments to be raised and then to order them dismounted. Needless to say, the loss of their horses galled the ex-cavalry men.]

    From Clarksville, Texas, High's company marched toward Corinth, Mississippi. The unit never reached Corinth, but was engaged in the battle of Cotton Plant and Batesville, Arkansas. These engagements were parts of the general battle of Arkansas Post, Ark., 09 - 11 January 1863. At the time of the battle of Arkansas Post, a measles epidemic raged and some 1,200 Confederate soldiers died of the disease.

    Henry H. High was captured on 11 January 1863 with the surrender of Fort Hindman, Arkansas Post. After being captured, High was moved to Camp Douglas [Chicago], Illinois; a camp where many soldiers froze to death.
    [As a lad telling this story, I always added that it would be deemed "cruel and unusual punishment" for a Texan to be held prisoner of war in Chicago in the winter.]

    Henry H. High was paroled at Camp Douglas, Illinois, 03 Apri l1863 and delivered at City Point, Va., 10 April 1863, and exchanged. Henry H. High was then sent to Camp Lee at Richmond, Virginia, via Petersburg.

    Henry High took part in the following skirmishes and battles in sequence:
  • Arkansas Post [Fort Hindman], Ark., 09 - 11 Jan 1863
  • Pollack's Mill Creek, Virg., 29 April - 02 May 1863
  • McLemore Cove, Ga., 11 September 1863
  • Tunnel Hill, Ga., 11 September 1863
  • Ringgold Gap, Ga., 11 September 1863
  • Chickamauga, Ga., 19 - 20 September 1863
  • Missionary Ridge, Tenn., 24 - 25 November 1863
  • New Hope Church, Ga., 25 May - 05 June 1864
  • Kennesaw Mountain, Ga., 10 June 10 - July 2 1864
  • Peach Tree Creek, Ga., 20 July 1864
  • Decatur, Ga., 20 - 21 July 1864
  • Atlanta, Ga., 22 July 1864
  • Jonesboro, Ga., 31 August 1864
  • Franklin, Tenn., 30 November 1864
  • Nashville, Tenn., 15 - 16 December 1864

    Of these skirmishes and battles, the following are regarded as significant in that they had a direct impact on the course of the war and / or a decisive influence on a campaign:
  • Chickamauga, Ga.,19 - 20 September 1863
  • Chattanooga_III, Tenn., 23 - 25 November 1863
  • Atlanta, Ga., 22 July 1864
  • Jonesborough, Ga., 31 August - 01 September 1864
  • Franklin_II, Tenn., 30 November 1864
  • Nashville, Tenn., 15 - 16 December 1864

    It is believed that Henry H. High was wounded at Nashville, Tennessee, and moved with the army to Tupelo, Mississippi. From that point he was taken with other wounded soldiers to a Mobile, Alabama, hospital for treatment. He went home on furlough 20 March 1865, and never returned to duty. He "was at home on furlough at time of surrender"; the surrender of General Lee and his army was on 09 April 1865.

    Henry H. High applied for a pension 05 July 1909; State of Texas Confederate Pension Application number 16875. The pension was approved 31 August 1909. His application states in part that he:
  • was at home on furlough at the time of the surrender
  • was born in Fayette County, Tennessee
  • had resided in Texas 58 years
  • resided in Van Zandt County continually for 58 years on Texas Route 1
  • was a farmer by occupation
  • served in Company I, 15th Texas Cavalry, CSA, from 1862 to the close of the War
  • was never transferred to another command

    Henry H. High and his wife Sarah, lived in the High Community until 1912 when they moved to Myrtle Springs, Texas, to be near their son, Robert E. High, and their daughter, Mrs. Herbert (Hubbard) Vinson. R.E. High and Vinson operated general mercantile stores in Myrtle Springs at that time and for many years after.

    Sarah Elizabeth [nee Norman] High died 15 Jan 1930 in Mrytle Springs, Van Zandt Co., Texas, and is buried in the High Cemetery, High Community, a half miles southeast of Canton, Van Zandt County, Texas. She was born 01 MAY 1842 in Lincoln Co., Tenn.

    Henry Harrison High died 12April1931. Henry H. High and 29 other persons surnamed High are buried in the High Cemetery, High Community, a half miles southeast of Canton, Van Zandt County, Texas. All of Henry H. High sibling had predeceased him.

    Following is an excerpt from an article printed in the Dallas Morning News:
    "H. H. High (Uncle Henry) died at his home in Myrtle Springs, Texas, Sunday, April 12, at the ripe age of 89 years, 9 months and 10 days, having been born in Somerville, Tennessee, June 22, 1842. His passing ended the earthly career of one of Van Zandt County's most widely known and highly respected citizens and one of its oldest pioneers."
  • Notes regarding Henry H. and Sarah Elizabeth [nee Norman] High include:
    Henry H. High told his family of the following incident. He was shot in the posterior by a Union [aka, Yankee] sharpshooter [sniper] while taking shoes from the saddle of a dead Union soldier [aka, Yankee]. That was the only wound he received during the Civil War.
    Sarah E. High kept her sugar hidden from the Yankee soldiers during the Civil War by burying if a short distance from her house. One memorable day she took her sugar bowl and started out to the hiding place. When someone called to her that Henry, her husband, was coming down the road (she had been expecting him) she threw her sugar bowl away and ran to meet him. The sugar bowl was owned by a granddaughter in 1970.
    Henry H. and Sarah E. High reared a family of ten children whose names and dates of birth follow:
  • Susan H., 14 April 1862
  • Martha, 20 December 1865
  • Robert E., 27 January 1868
  • Samuel Alex, 21 January 1870
  • Cynthia Annette, 31 October 1871
  • Mollie Elizabeth, 01 November 1873
  • Maggie Mahalia, 11 January 1876
  • Gertrude Theodocia, 04 June 1878
  • Gordia Oselman, 21 November 1880
  • Sallie Harrison, 09 October 1882

    Additionally, they reared a Jim High, a nephew.
  • Henry H. High inherited the house built by his father, Samuel High, who died in 1894. The house was located at what later became the crossroads leading to Canton, Wallace, Myrtle Springs, High Cemetery and the school house. Many years later, the house was sold it to his son-in-law, Tom F. Hoskins. Hoskins later sold the house to Joe Norman, a relative of the family.

    Sarah Elizabeth Norman became Henry H. High's wife.

    The Henry H. High apparently did not live in this house.
    The following quote is an excerpt from an item in the Semi-weekly Farm News in the early 1900's, written by John Hubbard [this branch of the Hubbards moved to Texas in 1856 and settled in Tundra Community, later marrying into the Norman family. They are related to the High family via Henry H. High's wife, Sarah Elizabeth (nee Norman) High]:

    "People now don't realize what hard times are. In the year 1857 there came a freeze in April that killed all the vegetation and no more moisture fell until the 21st of September. A group of settlers from several communities went up to the Red River and bought corn for bread. My father and four other men went to Shreveport in wagons and bought flour, paying $22 a barrel for it. We lived on dried beef, venison, wild turkey and rabbits. There was lots of game in those days such as deer, turkey, bear, panther and wolves by the hundreds. One could hardly raise food for the deer. It took strong men like the early settlers to endure. The Blassingame's January's, Norman's, High's, Smith's, and the Hubbard's being among those early ones."
    It can be said truthfully that high kept abreast of the times. Upon his return from the Civil War in 1865, he built the home in which he lived until 1912 and in which he reared 10 children and a nephew (Jim High). He neither bought an ear of corn nor a pound of meat, but he often had plenty of both to sell. He never gave a mortgage or signed a note in this entire life. Uncle Henry, as he was endearingly called, was the last of a family of ten children, all others preceding him in death.
    He was buried in the High Cemetery with services conducted by his pastor, Rev. Jones. High was a consecrated member of the Baptist church, having joined the Old Cana Baptist Church in 1868 and serving as a deacon for more than 50 years.
    The children of
  • Samuel A. High
    and
  • Permelia Cureton or Permelia Caruthers or Permellia Carington
    are as listed below:
    -   John Walter; b. 1829
    -   Sarah Elizabeth; b. 1830
    -   Nancy Jane; b. 1833
    -   William Dickson; b. 1835
    -   James Jackson; b. 1837
    -   Rufus Morgan; b. 1838
    -   Henry Harrison; b. 1842
    -   Robert Elbert; b. 1845
    -   Thomas Jefferson; b. 1847
    -   Samuel Houston; b. 1855
  • Sources:
  • This Band of Heroes, Granbury's Texas Brigade, C.S.A., James M. McCaffrey, Texas A&M Press, 1996
  • Compendium of the Confederate Armies, Texas, Stewart Sifakis, 1995 Facts on File Books
  • HIGH FAMILY HISTORY, compiled by Alf A. Allen, personally published 1970
  • NPS CWSSS Regimental Histories
  • Texas State Archive, Confederate Pension File number 16875
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