1862 — Kentucky
Paul Henson and his brother William were the best of pals. The boys belonged to a close knit family and did everything together. When the Civil War began, the brothers waited a year and six months before they enlisted. On the 4th Oct. 1862 Paul and William went to Whitesburg, Kentucky. There they enlisted in company D of the 13th Kentucky Cavalry Regiment of the Confederate States of America. Col. Benjamin E Caudill led the regiment in the Kentucky campaign.
William was granted a leave of absence shortly after enlistment. The date of leave is not known but on the 21st of Oct 1862 he deserted. Eight days later Paul deserted on the 28th. The reason the brothers deserted is not known. Paul rejoined the regiment on the 30th of April 1863. Paul was captured and taken prisoner on the 11th of Dec. 1863 in Pike County Kentucky, near or at his home. He was taken to the Federal Prison in Louisville Kentucky on the 23rd of Dec 1863. Paul lied to his captures about which regiment he belong to. Paul stated he belonged to the 39th VA Inf. He may have lied for fear of what would happen to him and his family. It is known from the civillian attacks made by his regiment, some of his comrades and their famlies were targeted and brutely beaten or murdered. Paul was transferred on the 27th Dec 1863 to the newly built Federal Prison at Rock Island, Illinois.
While a prisoner of war at Rock Island Prison, President Abraham Lincoln permitted confederate prisoners to enlist in the Union Army. This was the answer to Lincoln’s Indian problem out west. For the confederate prisoner of war, enlistment promiced escape from the hardships and horrors of prison life. Paul swore an oath of allegiance to the union and enlisted for Federal Service on the 13th Oct 1864 at Rock Island Prison. The U.S. Volunteers were six regiments formed from the confederate prisoners who had taken the oath of allegiance to the United States. As these men were released from the prison pen, their confederate comrades began calling them Galvanized Yankees and other names. They were not released from prison, but just moved to different barracks within the prison. Paul served in Company A of the 3rd U. S. Volunteers infantry. They were assigined to duty at Ft Kearney to protect the Overland mail and action against the American Indians. Paul’s regiment left Rock Island in late Feb of 1865. While enroute to Ft Kearney the 17th of March 1865, Paul became ill and was left on the road ordered to return to the hospital in Ft. Leavenworth. Paul died from typhus fever on the 16th of April 1865 at the Indiana House in Mount Tarance Kansas, near Ft. Leavenworth. It is not known where his body is buried.