A Stoyestown Soldier Boy.
Brief Biography of Col. H. H. Kuhn.
From the Pittsburg Chronicle-Telegraph.
Col. Henry H. Kuhn, Aide de-camp on the staff of Governor D.H. Hastings, of Pennsylvania, was born at Ligioner, Westmoreland County, and when an infant moved with his parents to Stoyestown. At an early age he was sent to Washington, Pa., to attend the Public Schools at that place, after which he returned to Stoyestown and worked on a farm for two years. At the age of fourteen he went to Johnstown and was employed as a clerk in a confectionery store, but after two years returned once more to his home, and apprenticed himself to a blacksmith. At the age of nineteen he became a journeyman blacksmith. He abandoned the forge and anvil in the fall of 1860, and taught school during the winter of 1860 and 1861 at Southampton Mills, Somerset County. Just at the close of his school term, Ft. Sumter was fired on, and he immediately journeyed to the town of Somerset, and on the 18th of April, 1861, enlisted in a company of volunteers then being formed at that place, and which subsequently became Company A, Tenth Regiment, Pennsylvania Reserve Corps.
During his service with this company he was promoted to Corporal October 9, 1861, and became a Sergeant June 23, 1863. He participated in the battles of Drainsville, Va., December 20, 1861; Mechanicsville, Va., June 26, 1862; Gaines’ Mill, Va., June 27, 1862; Charles City Cross Roads, Va., June 30, 1862; Malvern Hill, Va., July 1, 1862; Bull Run, Va., August 28, 29, 20, and 31, 1862; Chantilly, Va., September 2, 1862; South Mountain, Md., September 14, 1862; Antietam, Md., September 17, 1862; Fredericksburg, Va., December 13, 1862; Williamsport, Md., July 12, 1863; Cub Run, Va., October 11, 1863; Rappahannock Station, Va., November 18, 1863; Mine Run, Va., November 29, and 30, 1863. In these engagements he was twice wounded. He received a gunshot wound in the left side at Charles City Cross Roads June 30, 1863; and a gunshot wound through his right thigh at Fredericksburg December 13, 1862. On April 4, 1864, he was honorably discharged by the Secretary of War to accept a commission as First Lieutenant in the Twenty-third Regiment United States colored troops: He served in that regiment during General Grant’s Campaign with the army of the Potomac from the Wilderness to Petersburg, Va, participating in the following engagements: Wilderness, Va,. May 6,7,8, and 9, 1864; Cold Harbor, Va., June 1, 1864, and the mine explosion in front of Petersburg, Va, July 30, 1864. He sustained a gunshot wound in the left foot at Wilderness on May 9th. He received a gunshot wound through his left thigh at the mine explosion in front of Petersburg on July 30, 1864.
On November 22, 1864, he was honorably discharged by the Secretary of War on account of physical disability caused by wounds received in battle. On January 5, 1865, he was commissioned Second Lientenant in the Eighth Regiment, Veteran Reserve Corps, and was assigned to duty by the Secretary of War at Camp Douglas, Chicago, Ill., which was then a prison camp for the detention of fifteen thousand Rebel prisoners of War. Colonel Kuhn was retained in the Volunteer Service of the United States after the close of the War, and was assigned to duty in the Freedman’s Bureau, in the State of Florida under command of General Foster. He resigned his commission December 1, 1866, and was appointed to a clerkship in the Second Auditor’s office in the Treasury Department at Washington. Shortly after assuming his duties in this position he was tendered a commission in the Forty-second Regiment, United States Infantry, by the Secretary of War, for gallant and meritorious conduct in the Battle of the Mine Explosion, in front of Petersburg. He accepted and was assigned to duty as Post Quartermaster and Post Commissary at Hart’s Island, New York Harbor. He subsequently served with his regiment at Sackett’s Harbor, N.Y., along the Canadian frontier. In 1869 his regiment was consolidated with the Sixth Regiment, United States Infantry, and he was transferred to the waiting order list.
Afterward he was assigned to staff duty with General Howard, who was then in charge of the Freedmen’s Bureau. In September, 1870, he was ordered to report to a Retiring Board at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., for examination. The Board found him incapacitated for field service on account of physical disability caused by wounds received in battle. The finding of the Board was confirmed by President U.S Grant, who promoted him to the rank of Captain on the retired list.
On January 25, 1885, Gov. D.H. Hastings appointed Colonel Kuhn as Senior Aide-de-Camp on his staff, with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.
After his retirement from the United States Army he located in Johnstown, and on March 4, 1873, he was admitted to practice as an attorney-at-law in the Courts of Cambria County.
Colonel Kuhn was elected and served as City Solicitor of Johnstown from 1875 to 1889, with the exception of the year 1878. He is a member of Pennsylvania Commandery of the Loyal Legion of the United States; also a member of Emory Fisher Post No. 30, G.A.R., at Johnstown.
On June 4th succeeding the disastrous Flood of May 31, 1889, when James B. Scott assumed charge of affairs at Johnstown, Colonel Kuhn was placed in charge of the Commissary Department, and charged with the duty of receiving, storing and distributing the supplies of food and clothing sent to the stricken people of the Conemaugh Valley.
On July 2d following, when the State authorities relinquished control of affairs in the valley, at the instance of General Hastings and the State Flood Commission, and at the request of the local Citizens’ Committee, the department was retransferred to his custody, and he conducted it until October 5, 1889, at which date he closed the affairs of the department.
Beside his civil and military honors Colonel Kuhn stands high in Masonry in every branch, and is prominently connected with various secret societies.
Brendon is a history buff who loves American History, especially the American Civil War. He is also a direct descendant of William H. Wagner of the 10th Pennsylvania Reserves. Member of the 9th Pennsylvania Reserves Co. A (Reenacting Unit). Creator of The Blue & Gray Historian on Instagram. He is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.