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Youngstown Ohio
Januart 5, 1916

General Henry L. Burnett of New York, soldier and jurist, born in Youngstown Dec. 26, 1838, died Tuesday morning at 8:30 at his home here after an illness extending over a period of several months. H.K. xick of this city who was with General Burnett several days ago says that although a prey to illness and old age, his mind even then was clear and strong.

Henry L. Burnett was a direct descendant of William Burnett who was colonial governor of New York and New Jersey from 1720 to 1728 and afterward of Massachusetts and New Hampshire. His grandfather was a native of New Jersey and a prominent supporter of the Revolution who like Robert Morris became bankrupt in the struggle for independence. Another member of the family, William Burnett was a member of the Continental congress, serving from 1776 until the close of the war as surgeon-general of the army for the eastern district of the Union.

In the grandfather's time, the family, suffering from ill fortune following the war, came to northern Ohio, where the father of General Burnett engaged in farming. This fact caused the first important contest in the boy's life, his father wishing him to become a farmer and he aspiring to a profession. At last, when 15 years old he took the matter into his own hands, stealing away one night to travel a hundred miles on foot to Chester academy where James A. Garfield was then a student. There he worked his way, afterward becoming a student under similar circumstances in Western Reserve Institute, afterward Harvard college, where Garfield became his teacher.

Leaving this school he entered Ohio State and National Law school from which he was graduated in 1859. Admitted to the bar in 1860 he began the profession of law in Warren.

Scarcely had this been done than the firing on Fort Sumpter roused to fever heat the Revolutionary blood which coursed in his veins, and he enlisted in the first cavalry authorized in Ohio. Each man took his own horse for which he was to receive pay. When the recruits were assembled in Warren and were told they were to receive government certificates instead of cash for their horses, there was great dissatisfaction, so that many were for returning home. Leaping upon a fence at this juncture Lawyer Burnett called upon those, who went into the war to fight for the cause and not to sell horses; to follow him "into a nearby yard."

Mounting his horse, he dashed through the gate. The effect was electric and one after another rode after him. The troop was afterward commissioned as Company C, Second Ohio cavalry, with Mr. Burnett as its captain.

From time to time in the fortunes of war Mr. Burnett was promoted, reaching the rank of brigadier general. In July 1863, General Burnside appointed him judge-advocate of the Department of the Ohio. His jurisdiction was later extended to the Northern Department. The responsibiliites of this office were such that he soon became a national figure and presided at some memorable cases, one being when he secured the conviction of the conspirators and exposed the connivance of high Confederate officials in the attempt to murder the chiefs of the federal government at the time Lincoln was assassinated.

Resigning from the army in December, 1865, General Burnett associated himself in Cinncinnati with Judge T.W. Bartley. Afterward he formed a partnership with ex-Governor J.D. Cox and Hon. John F. Follett of Cinncinnatti which continued until 1872 when he moved to New York. A year later he was appointed associate attorney and counsel of the Erie railroad. Three years later, he resumed the general practice of law with Hon. B.H. Bristow, William Peet and W.S. Opdycke. Later he became associated with ex-Judge Emott and, at his death, with Edward D. Whitney.

General Burnett was United States district attorney under President William McKinley.

General Burnett was a member of many clubs. He was a former president of the Ohio society of New York and was also one of the New Reform Directors of the Northern Pacific Railroad company. His wife, a woman of literary culture and high social position was Miss Agnes Suffern Tailer, descended from Governor Tailer of the colony of Massachusetts.

With the widow there survive two sons, Edward of California and Henry of New York and two daughters, Kate of New York and the Barness Victor von Oertzen of Germany. [Actually three daughters. The General's 2nd wife, Sarah Burnett, was the daughter of General Henry Livingston Lansing. The couple's son Lansing died, but their daughter Catharine Burnett married and had two children.] General Burnett was a brother of Mrs. William Hultz who makes her home with her daughter, Mrs. Charles R. Clegg of Madison Avenue, John Burnett of Glenwood Avenue, Achnet Burnett of Oklahoma and Mrs. Harriet Marr, wife of Dr. Marr of Atlanta, Ga. The funeral will be held in New York, probably on Thursday.


Henry L. Burnett
Map to Gen. Burnett Pages
Gen. Burnett's Will
Gen. Burnett's Grave
Gen. Burnett's Promotions
Biography of Gen. Burnett
Gen. Burnett's Military Career

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