Henry Van Ness Boynton (June 22, 1835 – June 3, 1905) was a Union Army officer during the American Civil War and a recipient of America's highest military decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his actions at the Battle of Missionary Ridge. Returning to duty in 1898 during the Spanish–American War, Boynton was promoted to brigadier general.

Henry Van Ness Boynton
A white man with a scraggly beard and wearing a suit, sitting in a chair with his arms crossed.
Boynton in the 1870s
Born(1835-06-22)June 22, 1835
West Stockbridge, Massachusetts
DiedJune 3, 1905(1905-06-03) (aged 69)
Atlantic City, New Jersey
Place of burial
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branchUnited States Army
Union Army
Years of service1861–1864, 1898–1899
RankUnion Army brigadier general rank insignia.svg Brigadier General
Commands held35th Ohio Infantry
Battles/warsAmerican Civil War
*Battle of Chickamauga
*Battle of Missionary Ridge Spanish–American War
AwardsMedal of Honor

Early lifeEdit

Boynton was born in West Stockbridge, Massachusetts but was raised in Ohio where he graduated in 1854 from Woodward College, in Cincinnati, and subsequently from the Kentucky Military Institute in 1859. While there, he joined the Phi Delta Theta fraternity.

Civil WarEdit

Boynton's former residence, located in the Logan Circle neighborhood of Washington, D.C.

From July 1861 until September 1864, Boynton served as a commissioned officer in the 35th Ohio Infantry. He was elected as the regiment's first major, but quickly rose up the ranks to become the commanding officer of the regiment and was promoted to lieutenant colonel. He led the 35th in the Battle of Chickamauga and Missionary Ridge, where he earned the Medal of Honor for his actions on November 25, 1863.

After the warEdit

After the war he resumed civilian life. He married Helen Augusta Mason in 1871 and became a newspaper correspondent in Washington, D.C. Boynton also became the chairman of the committee that oversaw the development of the Chattanooga National Military Park. In June 1898, he returned to active military service as a brigadier general during the Spanish–American War. He was discharged in April 1899.

Boynton died in 1905 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.[1] His funeral service on June 3, was attended by President Theodore Roosevelt and a delegation representing his old comrades in the Army of the Cumberland.[2] He was buried on June 7, 1905, at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia Plot: Section 2, Lot 1096.[3]

Medal of Honor citationEdit

Rank and Organization:

Lieutenant Colonel, 35th Ohio Infantry.

Place and date: At Missionary Ridge, Tenn., November 25, 1863. Entered service at: Ohio. Born: July 22, 1835, West Stockbridge, Mass. Date of issue: November 15, 1893.


Led his regiment in the face of a severe fire of the enemy; was severely wounded.[4][5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Boynton prepared to die" (PDF). New York Times. 1905-06-05. Retrieved 2007-11-29.
  2. ^ "Will honor Gen. Boynton, President promises to attend the funeral" (PDF). New York Times. 1905-06-06. Retrieved 2007-11-29.
  3. ^ "Henry V. Boynton". Claim to Fame: Medal of Honor recipients. Find a Grave. Retrieved 2007-11-29.
  4. ^ ""Civil War Medal of Honor citations" (A-B): Boynton, Henry V." AmericanCivilWar.com. Retrieved 2007-11-29.
  5. ^ "Medal of Honor website (A-L): Boynton, Henry V." United States Army Center of Military History. Retrieved 2007-11-29.

External linksEdit