Henry Lippincott

Dr. Henry Lippincott
Dr. Henry Lippincott

NPS Photo

Henry Lippincott was born in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, on September 22, 1839. After completing his studies in medicine, he entered the U.S. Army in 1863 as an acting medical cadet. The following year, he was assigned to the 6th California Volunteers as regimental surgeon. In 1866, Dr. Lippincott was appointed first lieutenant and he served as assistant surgeon of the 7th U.S. Cavalry from March to November of 1867.

In October 1868, he was attached to the 7th Cavalry for the winter campaign. At the Battle of the Washita, Lippincott was affected by snow blindness, which in some degree affected his ability to administer to the wounded. Lippincott returned to the Washita Battlefield with General Phillip Sheridan and Lieutenant Colonel George A. Custer on December 10th. He examined by firelight the frozen bodies of Major Joel H. Elliott and his detachment, and wrote graphic descriptions of the multiple wounds suffered by each man.

Dr. Lippincott also accompanied Colonel Custer into the Staked Plains of the Texas panhandle when white captives Anna Morgan and Sarah White were liberated at Sweetwater. He served with the 7th Cavalry until March 1871, then continued with the Medical Department, assigned as the first chief surgeon of the Pacific and the 8th Army Corps, as well as in Manila. He rose to the rank of colonel and assistant surgeon general before retiring in 1903. Dr. Lippincott died in Brooklyn, New York, on January 24, 1908.


Greene, Jerome A. Washita: The U.S. Army and the Southern Cheyennes, 1867-1869.
Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2004. (pgs 93, 113, 122, 135-36, 174-75, 251)

Hardoff, Richard. Washita memories: eyewitness views of Custer's attack on Black Kettle's village.
Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2008. (pgs 69-70, 99, 103, 131, 141, 153, 262, 278, 377, 383)

Last updated: February 5, 2018

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