Robert Miller Henderson (1827-1906)

Robert Miller Henderson (1827-1906)

Birth: March 11, 1827; North Middleton, Pennsylvania

Death: January 26, 1906 (age 78); Carlisle, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania

Military Service: USA, 1861-65

Unit: Company A, 7th Pennsylvania Reserve Infantry "Carlisle Fencibles"

Alma Mater: Dickinson College, B.A. (Class of 1845)

Robert Miller Henderson was born in North Middleton near Carlisle, Pennsylvania on March 11, 1827 to William Miller and Elizabeth Parker Henderson. He was prepared at Carlisle High School and entered Dickinson College in 1841. He was an active member of the Belles Lettres Society and graduated with the class of 1845. He studied law with Judge Reed and was admitted to the Carlisle bar on August 25, 1847 though only twenty years old. He served two terms between 1851 and 1853 as an equally youthful Whig state legislator in the Pennsylvania house of representatives.

When the Civil War broke out, Henderson helped raise the "Carlisle Fencibles" which became Company A of the Seventh Pennsylvania Reserve Infantry. Elected to the rank of captain and commissioned in that company on April 21, 1861. He was wounded at Gaines Mill but was promoted to lieutenant colonel of volunteers after the 7th sustained heavy losses in July 1862 and he was cited for his "brilliant gallantry." At the Second Battle of Bull Run at Manassas, he commanded the 7th in Meade's first brigade of General Reynolds' Division and fought with distinction, suffering serious wounds on August 29, 1862 when he was shot through the body with a minie ball. In April 1863, Henderson gave up his field commission when he was named as Provost Marshal of the Fifteenth District of Pennsylvania, which included Cumberland County. Here he served until the end of the war, when in March 1865 he was named as a brevet Brigadier General of Volunteers in recognition of his services and his gallant conduct at Bull Run.

After the war, Henderson returned to his practice and remained active in the community, serving as president of the Soldier's Monument Association of Carlisle which erected the memorial on the town square. He also was president of the Carlisle Deposit Bank. In 1872, he began ten years of tenure as judge of the 12th Judicial District of Pennsylvania, rising to president judge in 1882. He resigned soon after and returned to private practice.

He had married Margaret Webster of Baltimore, Maryland, and they had six children. In 1896, Dickinson College conferred on him an honorary degree. Robert Miller Henderson died on January 26, 1906 and buried at Meeting House Springs Cemetery, Carlisle, Cumberland County. He was seventy-eight years old.

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