Colonel Henry Heinmiller, chief engineer of the Columbus fire department, was born in that city June 11, 1842, and is the second son of Conrad and Elizabeth (Bottomfeldt) Heinmiller, both natives of Germany, but who were married in Columbus, to which place the elder Heinmiller emigrated about 1835. Henry received some education in the public schools of the city, but when scarcely more than thirteen began work in a book-bindery, which he entered two years afterwards as a regular apprentice. The opening of the war of the Rebellion found him still in his apprenticeship, and, in 1862, he decided to abandon it temporarily for the service of his country. On the fifth of August he enlisted as a private in the One Hundred and Eighth Ohio volunteer infantry, but was made second sergeant upon the full organization of his company in October; first
or orderly sergeant six months afterwards, and received a commission October 2, 1864, as first lieutenant. His earlier service in the field was with the army of Kentucky, commanded by General Gordon Granger. Moving into Tennessee, he was captured, with the regiment, by the rebel general, John Morgan, at Hartsville, December 7, 1862, paroled four days after, and sent into the Federal lines just before the battle of Stone River. The regiment returned to Camp Chase to reorganize and await exchange, which was effected on the third of Match, 1863. It was then kept on detached-service at various points in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama, until about the middle of October, when it joined the Second division of the Fourteenth army corps, then at Moccasin Point, in front of Lookout Mountain. With it young Heinmiller took part in the action at Mission Ridge, near Chattanooga; marched with it to the relief of Knoxville, against Longstreet, getting within sixteen miles of that place, when the relieving force was ordered back to Chattanooga, and remained there quietly in camp until the grand movement of Sherman on Atlanta began, in April, 1864, He then took part in the battles, or skirmishes, at Rocky Face Ridge, Resaca, Dallas Woods, Ackworth, Big Shanty, and Kenesaw Mountain, and was in the flank movement whereby Rome was captured. After Kenesaw, the regiment, which had become greatly depleted by the casualties of war, was ordered back to Chattanooga and assigned to duty as railway train guards. Lieutenant Heinmiller was in command of the train, bound for Atlanta, which was stopped near Big Shanty by the nearness of the rebel force, under General Hood, when that redoubtable fighter made his way to Sherman's rear. Lieutenant Heinmiller ran back to Allatoona pass, saving his train, and afterwards brought up reinforcements to the aid of General Corse, who was making the famous defence at the Pass. Had not the train been delayed by an accident, it is believed the relief would have arrived in time to capture a large part of the attacking force. Lieutenant Heinmiller was also in charge of the last train that entered Atlanta before that city was evacuated by General Sherman, and remained there many hours after the main body of the army had gone. He then shared the. glories of the march to the sea, and the great raid through the Carolinas, taking Part in the affairs at Black River, Averysboro, and Bentonville, in the last of which, the final fight of Sherman's army, March 19, 1865, he was wounded by a musket shot across the left hip—a flesh wound only, but quite enough to disable him from further service. After some time in hospitals, he returned home on furlough, and was honorably discharged under the general order of the war department, May 15, 1865. He now re-entered the book bindery, for six months, to complete his apprenticeship, and afterwards labored as a journeyman in the bindery, until 1869, when he was elected by the people of Columbus, chief engineer of the fire department, to which the next year, under a different system, he was appointed and confirmed, retaining the place ever since by successive appointments—even now, although a Democrat, under a Republican city administration, a fact which speaks loudly in favor of the efficiency and fidelity of his service. His military experience, together with some native qualifications, give him eminent ability to organize and direct a force like that now in his charge, whose service is acknowledged to be among the very best in the country. His military excellences were also recognized in 1877, by a unanimous election to the colonelcy of the Fourteenth regiment of the Ohio national guard—which, however, he resigned after thirteen days' Service, finding its duties would too seriously interfere with his more important public affairs. He is also the drill-master of the Columbus lodge of Knights of Pythias, which, by virtue of his thorough training, carried off the national prize at the competition drill in Cleveland, in 1875, and has also won four State prizes. Besides this organization, he is a prominent member of the Free and Accepted masons, and also of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He is now in the prime of health and vigor, and has still an eminent and useful career before him.
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