Henry H. Magoon was born on August 26, 1841 or 1842 , in Hinckley, Medina County, Ohio, the son of Thomas (1796-1877) and Patty (Connant, b. 1806).
New Hampshire native Thomas married New York-born Patty in 1826 in Hinckley, Ohio and they resided in Ohio for some years. Sometime after 1842 they left Ohio and moved westward, eventually settling in western Michigan by 1860 when Henry was a shingle maker living with his family in Algoma, Kent County. Next door lived the Hamblin brothers, three of whom would serve in the Third Michigan during the war – and who would all die during the war. On the other side of the Hamblins lived Highland Warner and his mother. Highland too would serve in the Third Michigan.
He stood 5’8” with brown hair and a light complexion and was 20 years old and living in or near Rockford, Kent County, or in Plainfield, Kent County when he enlisted in Company F on May 13, 1861. Henry was reported absent on picket duty on October 31, 1861, and again on February 28, 1862. He suffered a rupture on May 30, 1862, near Fair Oaks, Virginia. Job Brewer of Company F recalled many years later that “in an assault we made through the woods, while charging over a rail fence [Magoon] climbed on to the fence and fell down the fence giving way. It breached him in the groin. He suffered from the injury more or less during the service.” Charles Scaddin, also of Company F, confirmed Brewer’s story. “When he [Magoon] jumped onto it [the fence] it gave way and he fell forward and he fell onto a post or broken rail which caused the . . . rupture.”
Henry nevertheless remained with the Regiment, and was shot in the right hand and taken prisoner on May 3, 1863, at Chancellorsville, Virginia. He was confined at Richmond, Virginia on May 9, and admitted to prison hospital no. 21 at Richmond on May 10 suffering from vulvus sclopeticum (wounds). He was paroled at Richmond on May 13, admitted to the Division no. 1 hospital in Annapolis, Maryland, on May 17, and was treated for a fracture of the right arm caused by a minie ball. He remained in the hospital until June 26 when he allegedly deserted, presumably from the hospital.
He supposedly returned to the Regiment on October 3, 1863, and was transferred to Company K on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia. On December 27 Henry was again hospitalized for having reopened his old wound, and at some point he was returned to duty. But his wounds failed to heal properly and on February 1, 1864, he was suffering from “contracted flexor muscles of right hand from old wound.” He was absent in the hospital from March 12 to May 4 (he may have been sent back to Company F on March 20, 1864, at Camp Bullock Virginia). He was mustered out on June 20, 1864, at Detroit at Detroit.
Following his discharge from the army Henry returned to Algoma where on September 24, 1864, he married Elizabeth Ann Botruff (1842-1912), sister of Isaac Botruff who had enlisted in Company C. They had at least seven children: Sarah Catharine (1865-1905), Rhoda Ann (b. 1869), Peter B. (1872-1937), an infant (b. 1873), Francis Henry (b. 1876), Samuel J. (1877-1954) and Willis L. (b. 1880).
By 1870 Henry was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Algoma, next door to his parents. By 1880 Henry was working as a laborer and living with three of his children in Algoma. For many years Henry lived in Cedar Springs where he worked as a farmer, and was reportedly living in Cedar Springs in 1888, 1890 and 1894.
He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, and in 1863 he applied for and received pension no. 71,856.
Henry was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 5879) on November 3, 1910, and dropped at his own request on November 18, 1911. By 1915 he was living in Levering, Emmet County. He was readmitted to the Home on July 11, 1916, and dropped on April 16, 1917.
Henry became seriously ill about July 5, 1918, and was a widower when he died of apoplexy at his son Peter’s home at 1350 Broadway Street in Grand Rapids on July 27, 1918. He was buried in Algoma cemetery: 53-11. (His wife is apparently buried in Cedar Springs cemetery.)