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The Second Mass and Its Fighting Californians

A Reference site of images, articles, artifacts of the Second Massachusetts Cavalry including the Cal 100 and the Cal Battalion.

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Henry H. Fillebrown

Henry H. Fillebrown was born in 1843 in Waltham, Massachusetts. He enlisted in Company A of the 2nd Massachusetts Cavalry on Oct. 28, 1862, in San Francisco. According to Ortonís Records of California Men in the War of the Rebellion, he was the first man to sign up with Capt. J. Sewall Reed and the Company. The records indicate he stood 5 feet, 8 ľ inches tall, had a light complexion, blue eyes and brown hair, and was a "vacquero." Before he shipped out, he had a photograph taken at Higgins and Johnston at the corner of Clay and Kearney Streets in San Francisco.

His service records indicate that Pvt. Fillebrown was absent from the regiment in September 1863 when he was sent to Washington with prisoners. He served as an orderly to Lt. Col. (later Col.) Casper Crowninshield from June 15, 1864 through May 1865. Pvt. Fillebrown was mustered out at Fairfax Court House, Virginia, on July 20, 1865. At that time, he was owed $40.69 in back pay, and a $75 enlistment bounty.

Bio and image courtesy of Julie Rach

Henry died Jan 26, 1867 in San Francisco.  His obituary reads: 

Death of One of the California Hundred 

Mr. Henry Fillebrown, one of the California Hundred, died in this city on Saturday, a few minutes before two o'clock. Mr Fillebrown had been unwell for a number of months, but did not take to his bed until Thursday last, and only then at the urgent request of his family and physician. He was a brave young man, and served his country faithfully, saying the day before his death, that he 'should rather have died on the field of battle'. All honor to his name. His funeral will take place to-day, at two o'clock, from his residence on Tehama street, between Fifth and Sixth.