Henry Baxter was born September 8th 1821 in Sidney Plains, Delaware, New York. His family moved to Jonesville, Michigan in 1831. When gold fever struck in 1849 Baxter went to California along with 30 other men from the Jonesville area to hunt for the metal. He returned to Jonesville in 1852 were he settled in and became a miller. Baxter organized and commanded a militia unit known as the Jonesville Light Guards after moving back.
When the Civil War started Baxter was elected Captain of Company C of the 7th Michigan Infantry. He was wounded during the Seven Days Battle. By the Battle of Antietam, Baxter was a Lieutenant Colonel. During this battle he was wounded in the leg when Major General John Sedgwick’s division; of which Baxter was a part, was ambushed. Baxter recuperated in Michigan. He returned with the command of a regiment in time for the Battle of Fredericksburg. At Fredericksburg Baxter’s regiment made an amphibious assault, driving Confederate sharpshooters out of the town. Baxter was wounded again, this time in the left shoulder. He received an appointment to Brigadier General March 12th 1863, and the command of a brigade. At the Battle of Gettysburg Baxter’s men held the right flank of the Union First Corps on the first day of the battle, his troops wiping out most of Confederate Colonel Alfred Iverson’s men. When the Army of the Potomac was reorganized in March 1864 Baxter kept the command of his brigade, and was assigned to the 2nd Division of the V Corps. While fighting at the Battle of the Wilderness he was shot in the left leg; the bullet passing through the leg and killing his horse. After recuperating this time he led a brigade in the 3rd Division of the V Corps during the Siege of Petersburg. Baxter mustered out of service August 24th 1865.
After the war ended the United Senate awarded Baxter the brevet rank of Major General. He worked as the Register of Deeds for the State of Michigan before being appointed by President Ulysses S Grant in 1869 to Minister of Honduras. He returned to Michigan in 1872 and worked in the lumber business until his death on December 30th 1873 from pneumonia. He is buried in the Sunset View Cemetery, Jonesville, Michigan.
A good web site to find more is Henry J. Baxter (1821 – 1873)