Henry Jackson Hunt was born in Detroit on September 14, 1819, the son of Lieut. Samuel Hunt (3rd Infantry).
Henry's grandfather, Col. Thomas Hunt (1754 - 1809), had been the commander of the 1st Infantry.
Following in his family's military tradition, Henry Hunt enrolled in the U.S.M.A. and following his graduation in 1839, he was appointed a Brevet 2nd Lieutenant in the 2nd Regiment of Artillery.
During the Mexican War, he was breveted for gallantry and twice wounded.
Beginning in 1856 Hunt was detailed, along with William F. Barry and William H. French, to rewrite the artillery manual of the United States Army.
At the beginning of the Civil War, Hunt held the rank of Major, and was present at 1st Bull Run. After General McClellan assumed command of the Army of the Potomac, he had Hunt promoted to Colonel (September 28, 1861) and assigned to command of the army's artillery reserve.
A year later, he was appointed as Chief of Artillery for the Army of the Potomac and made a Brigadier General of Volunteers.
Under his leadership, the army's artillery was completely reorganized. Hunt instituted the system of massing the artillery into corp-level brigades, rather than assigning batteries piecemeal to divisions.
At Fredricksburg, it was Hunt who proposed using pontoon boats to ferry troops over into the town, and at Gettysburg, his improved organizational structure proved its merrit. See Battle of Gettysburg Information.
In 1864, Hunt was made a Major General of Volunteers, and after the war he served as Colonel of the 5th Regiment of Artillery. He retired in 1883 and died on Februrary 11, 1889.
Image from the Library of Congress.