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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Annals of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania published in 1905 by The Genealogical Publishing Company.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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RICHARD PARKER HENDERSON, son of Col. William M. and Elizabeth (Parker) Henderson, was born at “Oakland,” the family homestead near Carlisle, Oct. 5, 1838, and all his lifetime knew no other home. His youth was spent upon the farm, and his education was obtained in the public schools of Carlisle and in Dickinson College. Upon reaching manhood he engaged at farming and milling with his father and brother, and was entering upon a successful business career when the war of the Rebellion broke out. Upon the commencement of hostilities he enlisted. April 21, 1861, becoming a private under his brother, Capt. R. M. Henderson, in Company A, 36th Pennsylvania Infantry (7th Reserves). Soon after the organization of the company he was made corporal; subsequently he was promoted to second lieutenant and later to first lieutenant, which rank he held June 16, 1864, when he was mustered out of service. On March 13, 1865, he was brevetted first lieutenant, United States Volunteers, “for gallant conduct at the battle of Gettysburg.” On the same date he was brevetted captain “for gallant conduct at the battles of the Wilderness and Spottsylvania Court House,” and major “for gallantry at Bethesda Church, Virginia.” On Jan. 11, 1882, he was elected a member of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, in Class I, Insignia 2290, and his record as a companion of that order discloses the services which earned for him the brevets awarded to him. The records of the 7th Regiment, Pennsylvania Reserve Corps, disclose his loyal service until promotion awarded him with a commission, and his merit advanced him to a position on the staff of his division commander. Henceforward the battles he engaged in brought him honor, marked by promotion and by brevets. His commander, Major Gen. S. H. Crawford, wrote that he with another was “among the foremost” when Round Top, the strategical point in the battle line of Gettysburg, was seized for the Union troops, and that Capt. Livingston and he were “deserving of especial commendation for the prompt and fearless conveyance of orders entrusted to them on the 3d under the immediate fire of the enemy battery.” [See Official Records of the Rebellion, Series I, Vol. XXVII. Part I. page 656.]

After the war Major Henderson returned to his home and quietly resumed the business, which was interrupted four years before by his prompt response to his country’s call. He assisted his father in the milling branch of his business, then in the grain and forwarding business, and after his father’s death, in 1886, took upon himself the milling and forwarding business, and managed it successfully until he died. He was of a modest and retiring disposition, but much esteemed for his integrity, good business qualities and excellent judgment in matters generally. For twenty years he was a director in the Carlisle Deposit Bank, and the confidence his neighbors had in his progressive ideas and sense of fairness carried him into the school board of his township, where the political party to which he belonged had but a meager minority of votes. He was a member of Post No. 201, G. A. R., and a regular attendant at its meetings.

Major Henderson never asked for position and those that came to him came unsought. He was content to walk in quiet paths, to manage his business quietly and carefully, and to enjoy the companionship of his friends, his comrades and his family. He won the respect and confidence of all he met, and his honor and integrity in civil life were as conspicuous and unsullied as his courage on the field of battle. His death occurred at “Oakland” Feb. 10, 1901, and his remains are interred upon the Henderson family plat in the Meeting House Springs graveyard, near Carlisle. He was never married.

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This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in the Biographical Annals of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania published in 1905 by The Genealogical Publishing Company. 

View additional Cumberland County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Cumberland County, Pennsylvania Biographies

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