Henry Armstrong (38th USCT)

Henry Armstrong was born in Albemarle County, Virginia, around 1834. He enlisted in the Union army as a private on July 30, 1864, in Norfolk, Virginia. While little is known about Armstrong's life before the war, we do know that Henry stood 5 feet, 4 inches tall, with black hair and eyes and a "dark" complexion. According to his service record, Armstrong gave his occupation as fisherman and farmer. Armstrong served in Company G of the 38th USCT Infantry Regiment and worked as the company cook. His regiment took part in many key campaigns during the war, including the operations against Petersburg and Richmond and the Battle of Deep Bottom, where Armstrong took a saber blow to the head. Armstrong continued on with his regiment up through the very end of the war, mustering out of the army on January 25, 1867, in Indianola, Texas.

Following the war, Armstrong moved briefly to Norfolk, Virginia, but he eventually ended up in Gloucester County. On August 2, 1868, Henry Armstrong married Lucinda Jarley (Armstrong) in Mathews Court House. According to testimonial from Lucinda's neighbors, Lucinda had been married to a man in Maryland previously, although none of her neighbors knew the man. On May 31, 1869, Lucinda gave birth to their son Robert, their only surviving child. In 1890, a Dr. James P. Weight confirmed the saber blow Armstrong received at the Battle of Deep Bottom, claiming Armstrong was "almost totally incapacitated for manual labor." Henry Armstrong began receiving $10 a month in 1891, but his pension was reduced to $6 a month in 1895 because the War Department lacked records for his wound. In 1895, a doctor diagnosed Armstrong with "vertigo" as a result of the saber cut, but another doctor in 1897 declared Armstrong's scar superficial and insufficient to cause brain damage. Henry Armstrong died in Gloucester County, Virginia, on November 12, 1899, of unknown causes. His wife Lucinda applied for a widow's pension, apparently due to a supposed illness, but the War Department denied her application due to insufficient material in her file. 


Henry Armstrong Wound Testimony vs. Medical Diagnosis

Name:Armstrong, Henry
Alternative names:
  • Soldier
38th Regiment Infantry U.S. Colored TroopsG
Branch of service:Army
Muster In1864-07-30Norfolk, VA
Enlistment1864-07-30Norfolk, VAaccepted30Unknown
Muster Out1867-01-25Indianola, TXMustered Out
Residence at enlistment:
Rank In:Private
Rank Out:Private
Highest rank achieved:Private
Person 1Person 2NumberRelation Type
Armstrong, HenryArmstrong, Henry913315application-invalid
Armstrong, Henrynoneapplication-minor
Armstrong, Henrynoneapplication-parent
Armstrong, HenryArmstrong, Lucinda711219application-widow
Armstrong, HenryArmstrong, Henry687472certificate-invalid
Birth date:1834
Birth date certainty:About
Birth place:Albemarle County, VA
Death date:1899-11-12
Death place:Gloucester County, VA
Causes of death:
Occupations:Farmer, Fisherman
Person 1Relation TypePerson 2
Armstrong, Henryparent ofArmstrong, Robert
Armstrong, Lucindawife ofArmstrong, Henry

Compiled Service Records for Henry Armstrong, RG 94, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Washington, D.C.; Pension Records for Henry Armstrong, RG 15, NARA, Washington, D.C.