Henry William Spradley

Winchester City, Virginia, USA
Death 8 Apr 1897 (aged 63–64)
Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, USA
Burial Carlisle, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, USA
Memorial ID 130193369 · View Source
Suggest Edits

aka Henry Williams

Born into slavery as "Henry W. Spradley," he married Virginia-born Jemima "Mima" Williams and fathered Elizabeth (b. @1858), William Samuel (b. @1860), Hattie (b. @1861), Charles Henry (b. @1863), Amelia (b. ?), and Shirley (b. @1874). A farmer by trade, he stood 5' 9" tall and had black hair, black eyes, and a dark complexion.

A Civil War veteran, he enlisted as "Henry W. Williams," explaining cryptically that he did so because "the draft was coming." His wife later explained that two white friends had advised him to change his name to hide his slave status if captured. He mustered into federal service at Harrisburg March 6, 1865, as a private with Co. G, 24th U.S. Colored Troops, and honorably discharged with his company October 1, 1865. At discharge, he purchased his Springfield rifle and accoutrements for $6.00.

Jemima recalled her approximate marriage date because, she said, it was the year James Buchanan was elected president. She also claimed she (and presumably Henry) came to Franklin County in 1863 but added contradictorily that it was the year Abraham Lincoln was elected. Henry and Jemima may have fled north during the first half of 1863 with Union forces in flight from Winchester. Post-war, he was the janitor at Dickinson College and, according to his physician, a well respected man. Jemima claimed that he maintained "Williams" in all correspondence regarding military service but otherwise was known as "Spradley."


Company G, 24th USCT



  • Maintained by: Dennis Brandt
  • Originally Created by: Family Tree Climber
  • Added: 22 May 2014
  • Find a Grave Memorial 130193369
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Henry William Spradley (1833–8 Apr 1897), Find a Grave Memorial no. 130193369, citing Lincoln Cemetery Memorial Park, Carlisle, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by Dennis Brandt (contributor 47232334) .