Monday, March 28, 2011
A Vermonter In Montana
Henry Dana Washburn was born March 28th 1832 in Windsor, Vermont. His family moved west shortly after his birth. He received his early education in local common schools, before becoming a tanner. He then attended and graduated from the New York State and National Law School, joining the bar in 1853. Washburn took up a practice in Newport, Indiana.
Washburn enlisted in the Union Army on August 16th 1861. He served with the 18th Indiana Infantry, as their Lieutenant Colonel. He received a promotion to Colonel with the Regiment July 15th 1862. Washburn and the 18th Indiana took part in the Siege of Vicksburg, and were with General Philip H Sheridan during the Shenandoah Valley Campaign. Washburn received a brevet on July 26th 1865 to Major General, and mustered out of service August 26th 1865.
Washburn returned to his law practice after the war ended, and he took up politics. He ran as a Republican, and served in Congress from 1866 to 1869. He took an appointment in 1869 as the Surveyor General of Montana. He was the head of the Washburn - Langford - Doane Expedition which explored what would become Yellowstone National Park. Washburn returned to his home in Clinton, Indiana. He died there January 26th 1871 and is buried in the Riverside Cemetery there.