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Henry Heth is Born

Today in Masonic History Henry Heth is born in 1825.

Henry Heth was an American solider who served in the United States Army and Confederate Army.

Heth was born in Virgina the son of a Naval officer and Mary L. Pickett. Heth's cousin was George Pickett famous for Pickett's Charge in the Battle of Gettysburg.

Heth graduated at the bottom of his class from West Point in 1847. Prior to the American Civil War Heth served mostly in the western territories, most as a quartermaster. This included a brief time in the Utah Territories. During that time he participated in several battles with native American tribes in the region.

After the Civil War broke out Heth resigned his commission with the United States Army and joined the Confederate Army. One of his first duties was working with General Robert E. Lee. Lee saw something in Heth and would through out the war put in command of units.

Heth's biggest claim to fame is at the Battle of Gettysburg. In 1863 as he approached Gettysburg he sent to brigades ahead as an expeditionary force. Heth wrote of doing this in his memoirs saying he sent the men ahead looking for shoes, although most historians feel this is a made up story to cover the mistake he was making. As the two brigades moved toward Gettysburg they encountered Union Cavalry. A battle ensued and this was the start of the Battle of Gettysburg. Unfortunately for Heth, Lee had not gotten his army into position yet.

In 1865 Heth would lead his men in retreat from the Appomattox Campaign and would be by Lee's side when he surrendered at Appomattox Courthouse.

Heth was a member of Rocky Mountain Lodge #205 in Utah.