Private 124th Illinois Vols. (Infantry), August II, 1862; died at Vicksburg, Miss., September 26, 1864, of disease contracted in the service.
Henry Hill Downes was born at Boston, November 24, 1830. He was the son of Commodore John Downes, U. S. N., and Maria Gertrude (Hoffman) Downes. Not long after his birth, his parents removed to Charlestown, Massachusetts, where he resided till he graduated at Harvard. He was fitted for college at the Chauncey Hall School, in Boston, with the exception of a few months previous to his admission, which were passed under the instruction of George P. Sanger, Esq. He entered Harvard in the year 1849, joining the Class of 1852 in the second term of its Freshman year. Here those social qualities, courteous manners, and that kindly disposition, which had secured him so many friends while at school, still continued to make him popular. After leaving college he decided to fit himself for the profession of the law, and for this purpose entered the office of Charles B. Goodrich, Esq. He was admitted to the bar of Suffolk County, and began to practise in 1855. He did not, however, long remain in Boston, but finding advancement rather slow, sought a more promising field for the exercise of his talents at Detroit, Michigan. There he remained but a year, and in 1857 removed to Grand Rapids, in the same State, where he continued to practise his profession till the winter of 1859-60, when he again changed his residence to Davenport, Iowa. He was there appointed Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas, and held this office till his removal to Quincy, Illinois, where he was living at the time of his enlistment in the Union army, August II, 1862. He joined the One Hundred and Twenty-fourth Illinois Volunteers as a private, and continued to perform his military duties in the army of Major-General Grant till his last sickness.