Skip to content

Byron S. Kenyon ( abt. 1842-1865)

Byron S. Kenyon (courtesy of Pierce County Historical Association)¹

Byron S. Kenyon (courtesy of Pierce County Historical Association)¹

Byron Smith Kenyon was born about 1842 to James and Elizabeth Kenyon in Humphrey, Cattaraugus County, New York.  Byron had two siblings, Melbourne J. and Dudley Kenyon.  By the 1860 federal census the family was living in Osceola, Polk County, Wisconsin.

Both Byron and Melbourne served in the Civil War, having joined the Polk County Rifles early in the War.  At a meeting of the Polk  County Rifles on May 17, 1861 (held in Kenyon’s Hall in Osceola), the brothers were among a small group who asked to be discharged from the Rifles so that they could join the Hudson City Guards, who were “hourly expecting a call from the Governor for immediate service.”  Three days later, on May 20, 1861, in Hudson, the brothers enlisted in the Hudson City Guards.  The Guards left Hudson for “basic training” in Racine on June 14, 1861, and the entire company mustered into federal service on  July 2, 1861, in Racine, as Company G of the 4th Wisconsin Infantry.  (The 4th was “mounted” in August of 1863 and was officially changed to the 4th Wisconsin Cavalry on September 1, 1863.)

In that initial muster roll, Byron is listed as a single, 19-year-old lumberman from Osceola.  He was born in Humphrey, New York, had blue eyes, light hair, and a fair complexion, and was 5 feet 10 inches tall.  The only notes for Byron say that he was a Veteran Volunteer and from June 10, 1864, to June 8, 1865, he was a “special scout.”  Nothing about what that meant is listed.  He mustered out with the rest of Company G on June 8, 1865.  For the full regimental history of the 4th, see Chapter 14 in E. B. Quiner’s Military History of Wisconsin (available in the UWRF Archives E 537 .Q56 1866; or digitally on the Wisconsin Historical Society’s website).

Rather than returning to Wisconsin, Byron stayed in the New Orleans, Louisiana, area.  He died from yellow fever in August of 1865 in New Orleans, and was buried in Greenwood Cemetery in New Orleans on November 11, 1865.

1.  The photograph is from a collection of Civil War soldier photos at the Pierce County Historical Association (PCHA), which loaned them to the UWRF Archives for use on this blog. For a copy, contact the PCHA at:

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: