US GenWeb

This biography is from HEROES OF ALBANY, by Rufus W. Clark, D. D.

Edward Augustus Higham

In the first regiment that left this city for the seat of war, as early as April, 1861, was Edward Augustus Higham, a young man just twenty years of age; the son of Lindley and Caroline Higham. He had for several years been a professed disciple ofChrist, and at the time he enlisted as a soldier in defence of his country, he was engaged in a profitable and honorable business. Nothing but high motives of patriotism led him to exchange the quiet life of a man of business, for the trials and perils of a soldier.

During the three months of his enlistment he was mostly engaged with his regiment (the Twenty-fifth) in perfecting the defences of Washington, and in building that fort which was subsequently called by the name of his native city.

Returning to his home about the middle of July in the same year, Mr. Higham felt that he had not yet fully discharged his whole duty to his country. Indeed as her necessities had rather increased than lessened, and her perils had only been augmented by the lapse of time, he felt that he must again engage in her defence. And how pure and patriotic his motives were in the second enlistment, may be judged of by the fact, that when assured by friends that he might re-enter the army as a commissioned officer, his reply was, "No, the Government does not need officers; it needs privates." It was therefore as a common soldier that Mr. Higham again entered the army, July 22, 1862. His connection was now with Co. H, in the Eightieth Regiment of New York Volunteers; and after passing with it safely through the battles of Norman's Ford, White Sulphur Springs and Gainsville, was severely wounded August 30, in the battle of Bull Run.

For two days and nights our young soldier remained on the field without assistance or nourishment; and doubtless suffered physical agony that no one can describe. Upon the third day he was picked up by one of our ambulances, and conveyed to the hospial at Alexandria. There, though every attention was paid him, both by the medieal authorities and by his mother, who had the melancholy pleasure of being with her son in his last hours, he died October 10th, 1862.

We subjoin a brief extract from a letter written by the Chaplain of the hospital to the parents, a few days after their severe bereavement:

"Your son was a noble young man, patient and uncomplaining in every trouble and annoyance. He was a sincere and humble Christian, and felt that he had no trust but in the mercy of his Redeemer."

Send comments or suggestions to:
Debby Masterson

Go Back to Albany County Biographies
Go Back to Home Page