|Birth: ||Aug. 19, 1844|
|Death: ||Jan. 7, 1863|
Civil War Union soldier and young pioneer farmer from Illinois. He was a Private in Company E, 97th Illinois Infantry, which was Captain Jonathan D. Denman's Company. He was born on Aug. 19, 1844 in Hidalgo, Jasper County, Illinois. He was the son of Nelson Brooks and Mary Hackney. Before he left home to fight in the Civil War, he worked for his father as a farmer. When he enlisted at 18 years of age, he was described as five feet and nine inches tall, with a fair complexion, blue eyes, and light hair.
He enlisted as a Private at Camp Butler on Aug. 1, 1862. He did not survive the war. Sergeant John Davison gave this account of Henry's death:
I served in the same company with Henry C. Brooks as Private. Sometime during the month of November, Henry incurred measles while in the line of duty. He never got well but remained weak. On or about the 7th day of January 1863, while on board the steamer Robert Campbell on the Mississippi River somewhere between Memphis, Tennessee and Vicksburg, Mississippi, he died. I was with him when he died. He was a brave soldier and had served in the company since its organization until he died. He is buried at Gaines Landing, Mississippi. - Henry C. Brooks Pension File, National Archives
The exact location of his burial is unknown; Gaines Landing, Mississippi now only exists historically. His Compiled Military Service Record from the National Archives states in multiple documents that he died near Gaines Landing, Arkansas. Gaines Landing was a point on the Mississippi River, but the actual land is in Chicot County, Arkansas.
In August 1865, Colonel Victor Fivquain addressed the men of the 97th for the final time:
"Farewell men of the 97th Illinois! ...My last words to you are most affecting to my heart. To think that I never more will see you in line of battle with the Stars and Stripes waving their glorious folds over you; to think that the 97th will never more be together on the march, in camp or in battle; to think that I will never more have the right to say; 'Fall in 97th;' to think that I never more will have the honor to lead you in battle, is for me a very sad thought...I am grieved to part with you, and still I am happy to return to your Prairie State four hundred of the nine hundred braves who left their homes and all that was dear to them to fight the battles of their country.
Only four hundred! Five hundred comrades left behind, sleeping the sleep that knows no waking. Dear friends! Gallant soldiers! Glorious martyrs! Fitting sacrifices offered upon the altar of their country!
May their memory grow green with the years and flourish with the lapse of ages."
-Biography by C. K. Coffin
-Farewell Address to the 97th Illinois Volunteers by Victor Fivquain, Colonel 87th Ill., August 1865, Springfield, Ill. Contributed by Mary Lou (Guyette) Wardlaw; full speech online at:
Nelson Brooks (1822 - 1883)
Mary Hackney Brooks (1824 - 1903)
Specifically: Buried at Gaines Landing, MS, during the Civil War
Created by: Cindy K. Coffin
Record added: Jan 11, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 32831281