Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Vermonter In The Deep South

Charles Henry Sheldon a Union Captain and future Governor of South Dakota joined Company E of the 7th Vermont Infantry November 23rd 1861.

Charles Henry Sheldon was the son of Gresham and Mary [Brown] Sheldon, and was born September 12th 1840 in Johnson, Lamoille County, Vermont. His father died when he was young and he went to work at 12 as labor on a farm, and a store clerk to help support his family. Sheldon was active in the local abolitionist movement.

With the coming of the Civil War Sheldon volunteered and joined the 7th Vermont Infantry on November 23rd 1861. The 7th Vermont took parts in Battles for Baton Rouge, Mobile, and many other action in the deep south. He was mustered out of service at Brownsville, Texas as a Captain July 13th 1866.

Following the war he lived in Pope County Illinois and worked in a store. He took a government land grant and settled in Groton, Brown County, Dakota, taking up farming. He entered politics in 1886 representing Day, Roberts, Grant and Codington Counties in the Territorial Legislature. In 1892 Sheldon was nominated by the Republican convention for Governor, becoming the second governor of the state of South Dakota. He served two terms. He retired from politics in 1897 and went back to farming. Sheldon went on a speaking tour in support of the Republican party during the 1898 election. After giving a speech at Deadwood, Lawrence County, South Dakota on October 15th 1898, he developed pneumonia and died five day latter. He is buried in the Pierpont Cemetery, in Pierpont South Dakota.

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