December 4: Henry Eveleth Maynadier (1868)

Henry Eveleth Maynadier was a 19th Century U.S. Army officer. Towards the end of the Civil War, Maynadier was made a brevet Brigadier General “for gallant and meritorious services during the rebellion, particularly during operations upon rebel forts on the Mississippi River” and a brevet Major General “for distinguished services on the frontier while operating against hostile Indians, and accomplishing much toward bringing about a peace with late hostile tribes.” In an 1866 report to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs in Washington, D.C., the following account is made of Maynadier’s efforts. “Col. Henry E. Maynadier commanded the Fifth U.S. Volunteers headquartered at Fort Laramie.  One of a small number of officers who empathized with the Indians, Maynadier was a good choice to accomplish the mission of bringing peace to the northern plains.  He knew the land—this was his sixth assignment in the West and his third in Sioux country (then called Idaho Territory, today Wyoming), which he had explored and surveyed for the Army before the Civil War.  He knew the Lakota people and had cultivated a good relationship with [Chief] Spotted Tail and his young daughter.  When the chief’s messenger arrived requesting burial at the fort for his daughter, Maynadier understood what was at stake.  Spotted Tail, he reported to his Washington superiors, ‘would never have confined the remains of his child to the care of one but those with whom he intended to be friends always.’”

Henry Maynadier was a native of Norfolk, Virginia and an 1851 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.  He was the oldest child of William Murray Maynadier, U.S. Army Chief of Ordnance, who was stationed in Washington, D.C. most of his career. The elder Maynadier was an early lay leader at the Church of the Epiphany. Henry was associated with the church during the times he was stationed in Washington. The baptisms of his last two sons occurred at the church during the Civil War years. Henry was confirmed at the church following the war. A year and a half later, his funeral took place at Epiphany prior to his interment at Oak Hill Cemetery. A cross and crown adorns his headstone.

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