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Lt . Henry Johnson McCormick

Lt. Henry Johnson McCormick
Company O, Infantry Battalion

Henry Johnson McCormick is the large man on the left of this photo. The identity of the other individual is unknown as is the date of the photo. Since he appears to have both feet in this picture I originally thought that the photo dated to the spring of 1862 when he was a newly minted 2nd Lt in Company O. The fact that his artificial foot is displayed in the UDC room at Roselawn museum in Cartersville, Ga opens the possibility that this photo may have been taken later in the war (with him wearing the artificial foot). Photo courtesy of Ms. Margaret Ragsdale.

Henry Johnson McCormick was born February 10th 1838 (or 1839) in Abbeville District, South Carolina to Isaiah and Matilda Sproull McCormick. Henry spent his early years in South Carolina until moving with his parents to what later became Bartow County, Ga. in 1854. He completed his education at Stilesboro Institute and farmed during the years just prior to the Civil War. As ominous clouds gathered, Henry joined a local militia unit which was called the Etowah Guards. When hostilities broke out this company was mustered into Confederate service as Company E of the 1st Georgia Battalion on March 12th, 1861. Henry signed on as a private for a one year term of service. Joining him was his uncle, Thomas K Sproull, who would serve as a Lieutenant. Sent to Pensacola, Florida, the unit served without seeing any major combat until November when it was expanded with the addition of Florida and Mississippi companies. In January they were redesignated as the 1st Confederate Infantry. Reaching the expiration of their service in March of 1862, Henry and his Uncle Thomas Sproull mustered out and returned home to Bartow County.

Shortly thereafter Henry enlisted as a 2nd Lt. in the newly formed Company O of the Phillips Legion's Infantry Battalion. His Uncle Thomas became Captain of the new company which was made up of men from Bartow and Cobb counties. Sent to join the Legion at Hardeeville, SC, the new company was mustered into Confederate service on May 6th 1862. The veteran Legion had been sent back to the South Carolina coast to rest and recruit following a brutal late fall campaign in the mountains of western Virginia. They were given the assignment of guarding the vital Charleston & Savannah Railroad from Federal raiders operating from Port Royal. In addition a steady stream of new companies began arriving in March and these new men had to be trained. Not too long after arriving at Hardeeville, Lt Johnson joined his still fairly green company in a march to Pocataligo, SC to assist southern cavalry in repelling a Federal raid. Although it appears that the southern infantry was not actively engaged, a nervous soldier in Henry's company O discharged his 69 calibre smoothbore musket and its three buckshot and large ball struck Henry in the left ankle. The doctors quickly determined the ankle to be shattered beyond repair, and Henry's lower left leg was amputated above the ankle. The June muster roll shows him "sick at private house, foot taken off".

When well enough to move he returned to Georgia and the November 1862 roll shows him on indefinite furlough in Marietta. While absent, Henry received a promotion to 1st Lt on October 17th 1862. The January/February 1863 roll shows him on detached duty as an enrolling officer in Bartow County. On March 12th 1863, Lt McCormick was married to Miss Josephine Hawkins. When his Uncle Thomas Sproull resigned the captaincy of Company O due to health reasons in April 1863, Henry was promoted to Captain. An entry in his record dated December 28th 1864 shows him on duty as a conscript officer in Augusta, Ga and notes that he had applied for retirement. A January entry indicates that he is assigned to the Commissary Dept. A final entry shows his resignation effective February 24th 1865 with reassignment to the Invalid Corps.

Following the war, Captain McCormick resumed farming, worked as a Civil Engineer and taught school. He was elected County Surveyor in 1873 and served until 1881. Reelected to this same post in 1886, he served until 1892. He was also the president of the Bartow County Veterans Association and secretary of the Phillips Legion Survivors. Captain McCormick lived a long and useful life, passing away on November 17th 1930. He is buried in the McCormick/Hawkins family cemetery at Taylorsville, Bartow County, Ga.

Written by:Kurt Graham

Phillip's Georgia Legion
Texans in the Civil War