Pvt. Henry Kyle
MO Vol Inf, Co. C, 13th Reg.
Henry Kyle was born March 15, 1824, in Jefferson County, near House Springs, Missouri. His father may have been John Kyle, a farmer from Kentucky. It is also possible that henry had two brothers, Daniel and Charles, who enlisted in the Confederate Army.
Henry married Elizabeth McDaniel on April 5, 1849. Henry made his living as a farmer. Their first born son, John, arrived Sept. 21, 1850. Michael, their second son, was born in 1856. Their last child and son, James Kyle, my great-grandfather, was born July 20, 1860.
The Civil War began April 15, 1861. Even though it was a slave state, Missouri chose to remain neutral. Many Missourians had strong family ties to Kentucky, Virginia, and the Carolinas and were sympathetic to the Southern Cause.
Family tradition tells of Henry guarding the Vineland trestle at the Vineland Cut. the wooden trestle was partially destroyed by fire in a Confederate raid in October, 1861. Henry left Jefferson County and journeyed to St. Louis, Missouri to enlist in the newly organized 13th Regiment Missouri Infantry. He mustered in as a Private in Co. C at Benton Barracks, November 5, 1861 for three years under the command of Captain Benjamin Wright. He was 36 years old, 5 foot 7 inches tall. His complexion was fair, his eyes dark brown and his hair dark.
The 13th Regiment was formed from August 9th to November 5th, 1861. The 13th was ordered to Cairo, Illinois on January 26, 1862. It is unknown if Henry accompanied his unit to Cairo, since he was reported absent due to measles and was in a hospital in St. Louis, MO.
Meanwhile, the 13th was involved in an exploratory military survey, marching from Smithland, Kentucky to Fort Henry, Tennessee from January 31st to February 2nd. On February 6th, they were involved in the capture of Fort Henry. The 13th Regiment marched on capturing Fort Donelson, Tennessee, February 11th to 16th, moving on to Clarksville and Nashville, Tennessee, during February 22nd to March 6th of 1862.
In March, Henry was absent from duty. He was reported sick in a hospital in Paducah, Kentucky. On March 9, 1862, Captain Benjamin Wright, being stationed in Clarksville, Tennessee, commented that Henry had been discharged from the hospital in St. Louis before being compleyely well. He had caught cold and had not been fit for duty since, being constantly either in the hospital or on the sick list. An application for a medical discharge had been filed. The 13th was traveling to Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee during March 14th to 17th.
March 31, 1862, the surgeon at Pittsburg Landing, examined Henry and found him incapable of performing the duties of a soldier because of Phthisis Pulmenalis, a wasting away of the lungs. He may have had bronchitis resulting from the measles or tuberculosis. Henry was granted a medical discharge.
When Henry returned to Jefferson County, MO in May of 1862, he was reported by neighbors to be suffering with a swollen right eye and a cough. He was unable to make a living by manual labor.
In 1895, Henry was re-evaluated for his disability. He was considered to be in a general debilitated condition. He continued to suffer from bronchitis plagued with a deep hollow cough. His right eye had a chronic infection of the conjunctiva and cornea. He was totally blind in that eye and was unable to porperly close his eye lids. Henry received a pension of $12 a month. Henry Kyle died March 20, 1897.