Henry Welton
Historical Figure
Nationality: United States
Date of Birth: 1827
Date of Death: 1899
Cause of Death: Heart attack
Occupation: Soldier
Spouse: Lucy Buckingham (d. 1887)
Children: Fannie, Hattie (d. 1862)
Military Branch: Union Army (American Civil War)
Turtledove Appearances:
Southern Victory
POD: September 10, 1862
Appearance(s): How Few Remain
Type of Appearance: Direct
Military Branch: US Army (War of Secession,
Second Mexican War)
Henry Samuel Welton (July 8, 1827 – October 18, 1899) was born at Waterbury, Connecticut. He later moved to Virginia. At the start of the American Civil War, he was appointed a brevet Captain in the volunteer 4th Virginia Infantry (US) from June 7 to August 31, 1861. From August 5th, he joined the United States Army, and was attached to the Army of the Potomac, where he commanded the 19th US infantry: Company H, and was appointed to General George McClellan's General Headquarters during the Battle of Antietam in 1862. Later, he joined the Army of Cumberland in the spring of 1863, and retired from the army all together later that year on November 25. After the war, he moved to Springfield, Illinois. He was one of the special Indian agents appointed by President Grover Cleveland to work in the Northwest. He died suddenly of heart disease at the Milwaukee depot at Portage, Wisconsin, when he was en route to Chicago.

Henry Welton in Southern VictoryEdit

Henry Welton had been living in Virginia when the War of Secession began in 1861. He joined the volunteer forces, but later transferred to the regular army as a Captain. He had been attached to General George McClellan's General HQ during the disastrous Battle of Camp Hill, where he lost the last two joints of his right middle finger. When the war ended, Captain Welton stayed on in the army.

By 1881, Welton was a Lieutenant Colonel in command of the 7th US Infantry stationed at Fort Benton, Montana Territory, when the Second Mexican War began. Despite being right on the Canadian border, the US Army had no plans for dealing with their northern neighbor and volunteers were not accepted to fill out their ranks. Realizing the danger he was in, Welton accepted Theodore Roosevelt's volunteer Unauthorized Regiment into the US Army, grateful for the reinforcements. After accepting Roosevelt's volunteers into his force, the War Department bestowed upon Welton the brevet rank of Colonel, in order to insure that he remained the senior rank in the territory.

When the British invaders finally crossed the border from Canada into Montana, Welton was relieved of overall command in the Territory by Brigadier General George Armstrong Custer, though he continued to command his regiment of infantry. Welton initially got along well with Custer, whom he'd known during the War of Secession when both were attached to George McClellan's staff. However, their relationship soured when Welton, ordered to form a defensive line on the Teton River, placed the eight Gatling guns Custer had brought at the front line. Roosevelt sided with Welton and Custer gave way. This proved decisive and lead to the estrangement between Custer and Welton.

After the defeat of the British force under Charles George Gordon, Welton was forced to watch as Custer's and Roosevelt's heroics eclipsed his own, though Welton had served no less bravely nor ably than either man in the campaign. During a conversation with Roosevelt, Welton told the brevet Colonel that he took solace in the man stealing the limelight from Custer, preventing him from having it all to himself. To Roosevelt's credit, he did remember Welton, and reminded Custer of Welton's role during an argument in 1917.

See also Inconsistencies in Turtledove's Work#Inconsistencies in Southern Victory