Henry Lawyer was born in 1846 in Grand Rapids, Kent County, Michigan, the son of New Yorker Peter Lawyer (1820-1863) and Michigan native Lydia Laraway (1828-1881).
Sometime before 1842 Peter moved to Kent County, Michigan, where he married Lydia Laraway (1828-1881), on December 5, 1842. (Lydia had been born in Michigan and was the sister of John Laraway who would also enlist in Company A.) By 1850 Henry was living with his family in Grand Rapids, and by 1860 Henry was attending school in Grand Rapids Township and living with his family.
He stood 5’6” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was a 15-year-old farmer probably living with his family in Grand Rapids Township when he enlisted in Company A on February 18, 1862, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Grand Rapids, and was mustered the same day. (He had very likely been recruited by his father Peter, also of Company A, who was home in Michigan recruiting for the Regiment during the winter of 1861-62.)
Henry joined the Regiment on or about March 1. (Writing home on March 27, 1862, George Miller of Company A, told his parents that they had recently acquired 37 new recruits, among them Peter Lawyer’s son, Henry.) Henry was sick in the hospital in August and September of 1862. On February 18, 1864, he reenlisted for 3 years near Culpeper, Virginia, was mustered on February 20 and absent on veteran’s furlough in March, probably at his family home in Grand Rapids.
Henry returned to the Regiment around the end of March or first of April and was killed in action on May 6, 1864, at the Wilderness, Virginia. He was presumably buried among the unknown soldiers interred on the battlefield at the Wilderness. (His name is carved into the family stone in Fulton cemetery, Grand Rapids.)
His mother was living in Grand Rapids in 1870 (she received a pension through his father’s service in the Old Third).