Cpl., 11th Illinois Cavalry
GAR – Samuel Rice Post 6, Iowa
The family of Henry Wallace emigrated from Ireland in the early 1840’s where he grew to manhood in the rural frontier village of Northampton in Peoria County, Illinois. Henry volunteered for the newly formed 11th Illinois Cavalry Volunteers in September and was mustered in at Camp Lyon in Peoria on December 20 as a member of Company M.
His regiment disembarked on April 1, 1862 at Pittsburgh Landing and was assigned to General Benjamin Prentiss’ division. It was said of the quiet Saturday night of April 5, “Thousands… that night slept their last night on earth.” Before dawn broke the next morning the Confederate Army burst from the forest around Grant’s troops and the two-day Battle of Shiloh began. Henry survived to ride through five more years of war.
By early 1863 the regiment was greatly depleted down to 300 effective men and 200 horses and needed time to replenish. Now encamped at Hebron’s Plantation, twelve miles east of Vicksburg, their skirmishing and raids concentrated on the Rebel guerrillas and railroads in central Mississippi and Tennessee until the regiment was mustered out in Memphis, September 30, 1865.
Henry moved with his family to Cass County, Iowa to farm and there he met and married Rebecca. They raised seven children. During the long and frigid winter of 1911 Henry fell ill of pneumonia and died at home six days later. He is buried in the rural Union Cemetery in Fontanelle, Iowa, where he lies surrounded by cornfields.