The Day We knew Henry Left Us
"The News Hit Us Like A Sledge Hammer"

It was a day like any day in the Civil War chat room. The day had just begun and the posts were starting. Then it came, the news hit us like a sledge hammer! Don't read this unless you are fully prepared to cry. Only a few non relevant posts have been edited. As you will see, it was a very sad day.

guest at [Jun 11 09:14:31]: Hello, I have only posted here a couple of times and some may remember me I am Henry's Mom. Some of you may recall that my son was a regular on this board for a few months back last fall and winter...HENRY. After fighting cancer for two years Henry passed away 2 weeks ago from complications. Obviously I am too sad to fully express my feelings regarding this loss. But I did want to post here and thank you all for contributing so much to the happiness of my son during the final few months of his life. You where all so kind and friendly to him that he anxiously awaited every day for his daily 4 hour stint on the computer. Of course I can not even begin to tell you how much your friendliness and acceptance of him meant. For the last two months Henry could not type but he did come in to the room on a daily basis and spent hours reading SHOTGUN'S great page. One member in particular took such an interest in Henry and was so supportive I know he single handedly extended my son's life by many precious months. Of course you all know that the individual that I speak of is AoT. So many of the rest of you were so kind I just had to come on and thank you. I know AoT will be mad at me for singling him out in front of this crowd. Be rest assured I have thanked him by phone and his presence at the funeral was so sweet and it might so much to me. Once again 'SAM' Henry's Tennessee Hound Dog 'pard' and I thank each and every one of you from the bottom of our hearts, God Bless each and every one of you. Henry's Mom

shotgun at [Jun 11 09:38:09]: Henry's mom, I have you tell you that I am having a very difficult time typing right now with all the tears in my eyes. As a combat vet I have seen my share of death. But when one so young is taken from us the pain is far beyond what this old warrior can bear. I know that feelings will be expressed throughout the day and night in here and I intend to copy every one of them. Henry was very special to me. May the good lord bless and keep you ,in this, your time of trial. Henry will have his own page on ole Shotgun's website very soon.

Coy at [Jun 11 09:39:04]: Henry's Mom...please accept my most heartfelt condolences. God Bless you.

PALady at [Jun 11 09:57:27]: My sympathies to you and to all of Henry's family. God bless.

AoT at [Jun 11 09:57:32]: Well try as I must I do not know what to say. First I apologize to all the regulars for not having told you of Henry's death. I truly did not know how to tell you. Stacey, Henry was a very special person. He gave far more to me than I to him. I do not know why bad things happen to good people.

3rdLa at [Jun 11 10:13:31]: Yes, I remember Henry, and he was indeed a regular in the camp for a while, very polite he was. He fit in very well and was certainly one of the pards. I can assure you that all of the regulars feel the loss of Henry. This forum or camp as we like to say, is very special to us, and each person that becomes a part of our camp, is so very special. The camp seems to attract the best of the cyber crowd, and Henry was such a person. Henry's mom, your thanks to the camp is well taken, but looking back now, We realize that Henry was the giver, and the camp was the one that received the blessing of Henry's company. Our prayers are with you, may Henry be an inspiration to us all in being gracious to our fellow members, for we know not what cross they bear. Thanks for letting us know, we understand how difficult it must have been.

guest at [Jun 11 10:18:30]: Henry, How great will your glory and happiness be, to be allowed to see God, to be honored with sharing the joy of salvation and eternal light with your Lord and God,...to delight in the joy of immortality in the Kingdom of heaven with the righteous and God's friends.

ks at [Jun 11 10:19:07]: Stacey, I am so sorry to learn of your loss. Henry was such a sweet and a special young man. Of course my experience of him was limited to those times we spent here in the forum, but each time I met him I was so impressed with not only his maturity and politeness, but also with his apparent zest for life which came across on this screen loud and clear. I'd often think of my own 13 year old son while chatting with Henry. Be assured of this family's prayers as well. He touched and positively affected some lives in Southeast Kansas.

Crazybet at [Jun 11 10:34:42]: For my own feelings at the loss of Henry I can only turn to John Donne:

"no man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main; if a Clod be washed away by the Sea, Europe is the less...Henry's passing diminishes me..."

ColStoughton at [Jun 11 10:59:31]: I often looked forward to talking with Henry, as he was the most mature and level-headed of the younger members in here. He was a wonderful example of young maturity and determination, and it strikes a blow upon my heart to learn that this was because of such a terrible disease. We all take our youth for granted, either growing up to fast or not at all, and it isn't until something terrible happens that we ever really mature. I think that Henry had a great lesson to teach us all, and that we should all follow his example that life is too short to waste on petty squabbles, and that the positive parts of the day should be the ones focused on, not the negatives. He was a good friend and I will miss him dearly with every fiber of my being.

shotgun at [Jun 11 11:18:54]: Got the mail AoT. I know this is hard for you, but you gotta believe it ain't the easiest time I have gone through either. I'm walking around here all red eyed trying to conduct business and not being very successful at it. God what a loss!!

Jim at [Jun 11 12:11:42]: Longtime lunchtime lurker. Very sorry to hear about Henry, he was such a nice young fellow. I am deeply saddened.

Lurker at [Jun 11 12:17:23]: ditto. Lurker

shotgun at [Jun 11 12:40:59]: I know there are a lot of folks that just come in to see what's going on and seldom speak. I am personally grateful for even that. It just makes me feel good to know that folks would take time out just to come in and listen. However, if nobody speaks other folks think that no one is around. A few of us old timers know better. That's why I try to put data posts up when I can. I know that there are those that read the things even though they don't comment. It is times like these that brings us all, the regulars, the not so regulars, and just the passers by a little closer. For those of you that might like to know, I will try to have a page for Henry up on my website sometime this weekend. To make a one of these pages takes a little longer than usual because I can't sit and read the posts for long periods of time. It just hurts too much. Anyway I will put up the address when it is ready. Thanks to you all for your great messages, I'm sure Henry's Mom will cherish them for many years to come.

Coy at [Jun 11 12:54:42]: Friends, I cannot begin to tell you the emotions that I felt when I first read the message from Henry's Mom. It was overwhelming to say the least. I have come to regard all of you as an integral part of me. When Webamerica first began it changes and I did not have the ability to 'chat' with you I was missing something in my life. When we lost our good friend Irish, something was lost in me. Now we have lost another good friend, an example to us all, Henry. Another part of me is gone. I hope and pray that I have but a small portion of the courage that he and his family have shown us all. May God bless all you fine people in this chatroom. Jed Hotchkiss of Stonewall Jackson's staff said after Jackson's death, "He is gone and sleeps in the Valley he loved so much. We miss him all the time and a void is made here which time can hardly fill." A void now exists in this room that can never be filled. My thoughts and prayers go out to Henry and his family.

Buford at [Jun 11 13:14:44]: I am afraid that I didn't really have the pleasure of chatting much with Henry, but I always enjoyed his contributions. I am most sorry to hear of his passing. My condolences and best wishes go out to his family.

John Brown at [Jun 11 15:48:54]: I wanted to say how sorry I was to read the news of young Henry's death. Although I post very rarely I am a frequent visitor here and sometimes what I post rub people the wrong way. I remember a lengthy chat I had with Henry back before Christmas. After a debate that lasted several hours I was shocked when Henry told me his age. He was a very articulate and thoughtful young person. The world truly loses when it loses such young people as Henry.

lee23 at [Jun 11 16:02:32]: Even though I never met Henry, I can see the love this room had for him. I was not present when the bad news came, but from the knowledge of what it is like to lose a loved one, I extend my prayers to Henry, his mother, and all those who he touched.

Vader at [Jun 11 19:09:43]: I was scrolling back and noticed the message about Henry's death. I remember seeing him in here and talking to him on a couple of occasions. My thoughts are with his family and to all of his friends.

Korky at [Jun 11 19:28:24]: Henry's Mom. I am so sorry to hear that Henry lost his fight with cancer. I still remember that day when he posted his and your picture. He was so proud of you! I truly admired his passion for studying the Civil War and was pleased that we shared a common interest in Ulysses S. Grant. I greatly enjoyed our conversations. I was pleased to know that Henry drew great enjoyment in talking about a subject he was so well versed on despite his young age. I will miss him. I will say a prayer for him and you. Take Care of yourself and please continue to come into this room as there are friends here!

CG at [Jun 11 19:32:29]: Friends, I read the back posts when I noticed a member of our camp had passed away. I do not remember talking to Henry because my absence from the camp was at the same time Henry made his presence felt but I found myself wet-eyed and brushing away tears at the sadness of losing one so young, one that you all note was such a good example for other young people to follow, who was mature in manner beyond his years and one I had never gotten the opportunity to meet. The loss of anyone is a shock to those still living, we can never prepare ourselves, we can only go on - missing them - time will heal our wounds.

When we lose someone, from our "camp" of friends, it is in a way just like the war we all focus on, when families lost loved ones and soldiers lost their best friends on the battlefield and in the hospitals. I guess after all is said and done, this is why the era has such a draw for many of us. It was personal because we knew each other! No matter what side, no matter that a son, husband or father went to war and their families checked the lists posted regularly, no matter if you were a private or an officer, death was at each doorstep and everyone experienced it in some profound way. Our friend Henry passed on before his time as did those men of long ago and I mourn him with you as if he was a young man on the battlefield lost to his friends.

My deepest and heartfelt condolences go to Henry's family and friends, death of one so young is hard to accept. By the messages from his friends here, he will be missed and his passing makes life seem all the more precious.

shotgun at [Jun 11 19:50:32]:

Camp at Herndon, Va
June 11, 1998

All My Civil War Friends:

FOLKS: For those of you may be coming on line for the first time today and are just now reading the posts, it is my sad duty to report the loss of one of our own. Our young friend Henry passed away on June 1. He had not yet seen his 12th birthday.

He came to us slightly less than a year ago during his almost 9 month stay at St. Jude's hospital in Memphis where he was undergoing treatment for cancer. It was during his stay there that our friend AoT encouraged him to join our chatroom. At first he was very reluctant to speak but when he finally decided to join in he did it with a gusto seldom seen in anyone, much less someone so young. His great love was U.S. Grant. He and Korky had some fine discussions on the general.

My friends I have stood Honor Guard for many a fallen comrade, so death is a face I have seen many times. However, losing first Irish and now Henry is almost more than I can bear. I'm sure all that knew him feel the same way.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Shotgun

PROVOST at [Jun 11 19:59:55]: FRIENDS,,,WE ARE SORRY TO HEAR OF THE PASSING OF ONE OF OUR PARDS,,,NOW HE IS WITH THE BIGGEST OF GENERALS,,,TO HIS FAMILY WE SEND OUR BEST,,,GOD BLESS.

MAP at [Jun 11 20:37:23]: Shotgun, Kindly check your E mail. I have sent you a post about our young friend Henry's passing that I would appreciate your adding to his memorial page on your site. It was lengthy, and I chose not to post it here for that reason. I am deeply saddened to learn he is gone from us. His presence will be missed by this forum. He taught us all a great deal about life and courage as well as the Civil War. Sincerest condolences to his friends and family at this time.

MAP at [Jun 11 20:42:43]: Didn't need to hear news like this of Henry's passing though today. So very sad!! He was a wonderful young man.

Coy at [Jun 11 20:45:14]: MAP...I am amazed at the closeness I feel about all the people that come in here. When I read the message from Henry's mom I had to walk away from the computer to compose myself.

MAP at [Jun 11 20:48:35]: Been through most all of a box of Kleenex on this end myself today. I'm sure of all of us, this has been most hard on AoT. Even people who go to chatrooms frequently cannot understand what I mean when I say I feel I have a special feeling for this campfire. It seems to be a most unique bonding we all have for one another. I for one have said before that I consider it one of my life's blessings to have been welcomed here.

PHP at [Jun 11 23:07:57]: Good evenin,...anyone around the campfire?

PALady at [Jun 11 23:09:01]: Howdy PHP!

PHP at [Jun 11 23:11:34]: PALady,...I just scrolled back and found out about Henry. I am at a loss for words. Be back later.

PHP at [Jun 11 23:23:33]: Okay,...I said my prayer for Henry and I'm back now and doing better. Thank the Lord for special people like Henry, that put everything in perspective.

57oh at [Jun 11 23:33:18]: PHP just coming thru again. I don't believe I've talked with Henry, unless that is his name and not his Handle. However I am sorry one of us has gone!

PHP at [Jun 11 23:34:29]: Hi 57oh,...I remember when Henry first came on. Really good person.

57oh at [Jun 11 23:59:54]: Got you e-mail Crazy, thank you!

Crazybet at [Jun 12 00:01:31]: Could you make sense of it, 57oh? Shotgun is going to put up a page for Henry just as he did for Irish. Such sad news to hear this morning, making for a very emotional day for me. Henry always posted with such exuberance it was a joy to read and converse with him.

57oh at [Jun 12 00:04:43]: Printed it out Crazy. Faith read it and cried. She had no idea who we were talking about.

Xan at [Jun 12 00:18:53]: Evenin' all...sorry not to have been around but like many folks I took Henry's departure from us very hard indeed. They beat that vile disease so often any more, especially in kids, that I figured he wasn't around camp because he was catching up on childhood. Damn, damn damn. Sorry, I shall go wipe my eyes for the upteenth time since midafternoon and then say no more about it, except to offer my condolences to Henry's mom and the others who loved him.

Charlie at [Jun 12 00:20:43]: Good evening Xan. I'm sorry about Henry.

29mo at [Jun 12 01:11:40]: I must be out of the loop. Henry?

29mo at [Jun 12 01:13:08]: Could that have been AoT's little friend Henry at St. Jude's Hospital in Memphis? Don't tell me.

29mo at [Jun 12 01:19:19]: I remember Henry. It is a damned shame. I must leave. See you guys later.

Xan at [Jun 12 01:28:06]: 29mo, we need an electronic Group Hug here. Saying farewell to an old comrade like Irish is one thing, who lived a long happy life and did much. To say goodbye to Henry so soon tears my heart out and I could not read Henry's Mom's post again without taking a break myself.

TJ at [Jun 12 01:42:30]: Just surfing through. Saw you ladies and thought I'd say hi.

ks at [Jun 12 02:11:27]: I remember your first visit...and explaining to you the cyberwink. ;) Seems like forever and a long time ago. I'm really hopeful about the room now TJ. As I said a lot of people have found their way back and we've picked up some new ones.

TJ at [Jun 12 02:11:58]: Well, I'm glad to hear that you're confident about the room. I've just about given up for it--lost my urge to even visit and scroll. Ever since the big change earlier in the year the room has gone downhill. It would be nice to have it more accessible, that's for sure. Get a good mix of old and new blood in here.

ks at [Jun 12 02:15:33]: Confident? I'll stick to "hopeful". :) Past couple of days have seen a lot more traffic and information exchange. BTW, if you've not scrolled back I'd suggest doing so. We had some very sad news today. Henry (AoT's friend at St. Jude's in Memphis) passed away.

TJ at [Jun 12 02:17:56]: I didn't know that, ks. That sure is terrible news. I remember him, though not all too well. If memory serves, he was a Grant fan.

ks at [Jun 12 02:20:32]: You remember correctly TJ. A Grant fan and a very polite and enthusiastic young man--mature beyond his years. It was always a pleasure to see Henry involved here.

TJ at [Jun 12 02:22:19]: How old was he?

ks at [Jun 12 02:26:36]: I'd thought he was a bit older but earlier it was posted that he'd not yet seen his 12th birthday. Do you remember when he posted the pics of his Mom? He was normally so into the CW chat but he sure loved showing off his "Beautiful MOM!" I recall thinking how that must have pleased her to have her son be so proud of her---"slavedriver" though she was (he said that too when she kept him on task). ;)

TJ at [Jun 12 02:28:37]: Yes, I do recall him posting pictures. I had no idea he was sick or so young. Well, on that depressing note, I think I'll retire. Perhaps I'll try to make an appearance for the trivia on Sunday.

ks at [Jun 12 02:45:17]: *to no one in particular and everyone who this way passes* It has been a difficult day here in the chatroom. Difficult to deal with one's own sense of loss as well as to see that loss affect friends. I'm once again struck by the great value I place on this camp and its people...its very, very real people. The words which are part of a song by Gregory Norbet keep coming to mind:

There is an energy in us
which makes things happen
when the paths of other persons
touch ours
and we have to be there
and let it happen.

When the time
of our particular sunset comes
our thing, our accomplishment
won't really matter a great deal.

But the clarity and care
with which we have loved others
will speak with vitality
of the great gift of life
we have been for each other.

With clarity, care and vitality Henry's life was a gift...as is the friendship of so very many who share this space. Thank you all.
Good night all you friends in CW Land...

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