Henry Z Pollard born 1843

Henry Z Pollard With Medals

Henry Zeb Pollard was born about April, 1843, in Athol, NY.  I have not found a birth record for him.  However, a death record for his sister, Olivia Pollard Sargent, lists her parents as James C Pollard and Amyrrillis Sawyer.  The marriage record of his daughter Etta names his birth place as Athol, which matches his sister’s information.

The earliest record I have for Henry is the 1850 census, with his mother “Amarilla” Pollard, 36, and Olivia, 10.  They lived in Ludlow, in Windsor County, Vermont.  Amarilla had no occupation listed, and no value for real estate.  It appears that Henry’s parents had divorced, as James C is listed in the 1850 census in Athol with an apparent second wife and her children (last name Pendell).

In 1860, Henry was living with the Asa Burnham family in Reading VT, working as a farm laborer.  Asa was apparently a very successful farmer, as his real estate was valued at $11,000, and his person property at $3000.  Besides Henry, he employed three other live-in farm laborers. 

On 15 October 1861, Henry Z Pollard of Ludlow enlisted in Company E, Vermont 6th Infantry Regiment.  It appears that he was wounded at the Battle of Lee’s Mills, on 16 April, 1862.  A history of his regiment says:  It was, however, subjected to no loss, and it was not until the 16th of April, at Lee’s Mills, that it received its “baptism of fire.” On that day the right wing crossed Warwick Creek, through water up to the waist, under a severe and galling fire, and attacked the enemy’s works. At the moment of success it was decided to abandon the attack and they were ordered to retire. The loss of the regiment in this battle was 23 killed and mortally wounded, and 57 wounded, the bulk of the loss being from the right wing. Thereafter the regiment remained in sight of the enemy, doing picket duty, during the remainder of the month of April, with no incident worthy of note, except that on the 29th it made a reconnaissance resulting in a slight skirmish. Lieut. A. M. Nevins of company G was mortally wounded, and a man in company K wounded.

On the night of the 3d of May the enemy abandoned their line across the Peninsula, and on the morning of the 4th the regiment crossed Warwick Creek and occupied the entrenchments which they had assaulted so gallantly on the 16th of April. When the enemy moved out of these works they left behind them evidence of an utter disregard of the rules of civilized warfare. There were found scores of loaded shells buried in the ground near the surface, to each of which was attached a fuse surmounted by a percussion cap just at the surface. These were thus planted for the purpose of killing our men when they stepped upon the percussion cap and exploded the shell. Several explosions took place, killing a few and maiming others, upon which a search was made and the remaining shells unearthed. This is no camp rumor, but an absolute truth, for the writer saw scores of these shells dug up and carried away.

On 3 May, 1862, the New York Daily Tribune published a story entitled The Wounded Vermont Soldiers.  The article reported that 114 soldiers of Vermont regiments, most of the wounded in the late skirmish at Lee’s Mills, arrived in NYC on the steamer “Richard Willing”.  Someone in Philadelphia wrote to Dexter H Hawkins, Esq., of NYC complaining about the “want of proper treatment of the soldiers on the Welling”.  A reporter for the NY Daily Tribune visited with some of the wounded soldiers, but none complained about their care.  The most seriously wounded of the group were dispersed between two hospitals in NY.  Most of the rest stayed on the steamer which would take them to Troy, and then they would proceed by railroad to Vermont.  Henry Z Pollard (Co A, 6th Reg) was listed among that group.  He was “discharged for wounds” on 31 October 1862.  During the period from 1861 to 1865, this group had 191 soldiers killed, and 212 who died of disease or accident.

Henry is listed in the Civil War registration records from Vermont. The record indicated that he was a veteran of the 6th regiment, and that he had been discharged in November and was drawing a pension.  He was a farmer, unmarried, and a resident of Plymouth VT.

On 22 July, 1863, Henry was drafted back into Company D, Vermont 3rd Infantry Regiment, from Plymouth VT.  During the period of 1861-1865, this group lost 201 killed, and 164 who died of disease or accident.  This group was at Gettysburg, but that battle was three weeks before Henry was drafted.  He received a disability discharge on 17 January 1864.  His pension application number was 5836, and his certificate number was 30401. 

After the war on 3 December 1865, in Plymouth VT, Henry married Betsey Belinda White, daughter of Ira A White and Patience Taylor.  She was 21, and this was the first marriage for both.  Occupations were not listed in the marriage record, and Thomas Baldwin, minister, performed the ceremony. 

Henry and Betsey’s first two children were Mary, born in 1867, and Adeline Maria, born 22 March 1869, both in Plymouth.  The family was counted in the 1870 census in Plymouth, where Henry was a farmer.  His real estate was valued at $700, and his personal property at $500.  Daughter Etta was born later that year, on 22 August 1870.

Years later Etta told her niece of the family’s trip to Kansas.  In the early 1870’s, Henry and Betsey took their two daughters Addie and Etta west to Kansas.  They were going to join friends who had moved out there and told them that life was great.  The older daughter Mary was not mentioned in Etta’s story, but she was still living, and perhaps stayed with other relatives if she didn’t go to Kansas.  The family travelled in a wagon pulled by oxen.  Etta didn’t remember how long the trip took, but did remember that food was scarce.  In Kansas, they lived in a dug-out, with a blanket hung at the door.  Henry had a job, and returned one day in 1872  to find that his son Harry D had been born, and Betsey was up and getting his supper. I did not find Henry in the 1875 Kansas census, and do not know exactly where they lived.  I did not find a record of a homestead in Kansas.   Apparently life was not great for the Pollard family, and they returned to Vermont. 

Henry and his family were listed in the 1880 Federal Census in Reading, VT.  Henry did not have an occupation listed, nor any property value listed.  The household consisted of the four children – Mary, Maria, Etta, and Harry.  Son Albert was born 10 November 1880, and his birth record provided the towns of birth for both his parents (Athol NY and Sherburne VT.)  Albert died at age 23 days from pneumonia.  A playmate of Harry was Calvin Coolidge, later 30th president of the US. 

Henry is listed in the 1883 Gazetter and Business Directory for Windsor County.  His address was South Reading post office, and he lived on road 34.  He was a farmer, leasing 160 acres from David E Burnham.  He was also named in a list of area pensioners, living in South Reading.  His disability was a gun shot wound to his left thigh, and his pension was $8 per month.

Reported in the Vermont Watchman (Montpelier) 29 December 1886 – Henry Pollard of Bridgewater corners thought a few days ago tht he did not care to live longer and took three ounces of laudanum, but the attempt at suicide was not a success. 

Henry is listed in the 1890 Veterans Schedule from Plymouth, with his post office listed as Tyson, VT.  The record says his disability was a gunshot wound to the thigh, and chronic something that begins with a D – probably diarrhea.

Reported in the Vermont Watchman (Montpelier) on 2 September 1896, Pensions recently granted to Vermont veterans:  Additional, Henry Z Pollard of Plymouth; (and others.)

The 1900 census lists Henry and Betsey living in Plymouth VT.   He was a farmer, owning his own property.  The record says that Betsey had six children, with three still living.  Addie (now Mrs. Hiram Baker) was still alive.  Etta was in the census with them, working as a weaver.  Harry was still living.  Albert had died in 1880, Mary had married Milan L Willis in 1883, and must have died before 1900.  I am missing one child.  The first four children were all spaced at about two years, and then there is an eight year gap between Harry born in Kansas, and Albert born in Vermont.  Perhaps another child was born and died in that gap, either in Kansas or Vermont. 

Henry’s granddaughter remembered that at one point, Henry, Betsey, and Etta moved to New York.  They ran out of money and the people there took up a collection go get them back home.  The granddaughter also remembered that Betsey seemed to be the harder worker.  For example, she would work the plow while Henry led the horse.  She would pitch the hay onto the wagon while Henry placed it more carefully onto the stack on the wagon.  She knew that Henry had served in the Civil War, and was missing a finger which she thought was shot off, and she thought he got a pension of some kind. 

The 1910 census lists Henry and Betsey in Plymouth.  He is a farmer, on a general farm.  The household included John Hickory, age 13, listed as hired hand.  This record confirms that Betsey had six children, but now only two are still living, as daughter Addie Pollard Baker died in 1901.  Addie’s daughter remembered her Grampa Pollard as a big man with a mustache who wheezed a lot, probably due to asthma.

Soon after the census, Henry sold his farm, and moved with Betsey, Etta, and John Hickory to Virginia.  The family later speculated that Henry remembered Virginia from his Civil War days, and thought life would be better there.  Johnny was described as a “young crippled boy” with a tumor on his hip who Etta had taken into her home and cared for.

Henry and Johnny both died in Virginia and are buried there, although at this time I do not know the exact date or place.  I do know that Betsey applied for the widow’s pension on 22 July 1912, and I expect that he did not die much before that, as his pension, at any amount, was probably needed by the family. 

Betsey and Etta returned to Vermont, probably before or by 1916, when Etta married her third husband.  In 1920, Betsey lived with Etta and Charles in Bridgewater, VT.  She died 8 July 1924 in Bridgewater. 

There is a headstone for Henry at Baker Hill Cemetery in Bridgewater which says he died in 1912, but the headstone says he was “burried” in Virginia.  Just where in Virginia remains a mystery, but I suspect there are clues to be found in his pension and Betsey’s widow’s pension at the National Archives.  He shares the headstone with his wife, Betsey (1844-1924).


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