Ralph Carroll Henshaw

                                                         ┌── Josiah Isaac Henshaw
                                                         │    1858-1946 
                         ┌── Charles Robinson Henshaw ───┤
                         │    1899-1984                  │
                         │                               └── Mary Jane Robinson
                         │                                    1859-1944 
Ralph Carroll Henshaw ───┤
B: 1929                  │                               ┌── Louis Miller Brown
                         │                               │
                         └── Mildred Chamberlain Brown ──┤
                              1904-2001                  │
                                                         └── Ethel V. Peart
M: Mildred Gloria Willis
   ├── Wayne Milton Henshaw (1951-) 1
   ├── Fred Carroll Henshaw  1
   ├── Ralph Charles Henshaw  1
   └── Kenneth Lawrence Henshaw  1

Ralph Carroll Henshaw     [ID 02683] Click here to switch to Ahnentafel view: Ahnentafel View

Born 1929, Massachusetts.2  

He married Mildred Gloria Willis.1  Mildred, daughter of Bernard Willis & Blanche E. Sherman, was born 1931.3,4  

In 1999 Ralph and Mildred offered their farm for a Civil War reenactment, as noted in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, Massachusetts) on Mar 29 1999:5


TEMPLETON - Using an advantage Civil War commanders never had, Union officers Norm Harbinson and Bruce Barnett surveyed the ground where they will battle Confederate troops seven weeks from now in "The Incident at Henshaw Farm."  

Harbinson, of Kingston, and Barnett, of Boston, joined Deborah A. Henshaw and her son, Luther, 11, Saturday to walk the fields of the Henshaw Farm on Henshaw Road, to plan how they and up to 150 reenactors will fight the battle.  

The battle will be staged May 22 and 23 to raise money to support the Narragansett Historical Society.  The farm, owned by Ralph C. and Mildred G. Henshaw, offers an almost authentic setting for the battle.  

Although there are power lines along the road, and a couple of mail boxes are visible, spectators could make themselves believe they were back in the 19th century.  


Owned by the Henshaw family for 113 years, the old farmhouse and barn are surrounded by fields where the two armies can operate out of sight of each other.  There are many stone walls to hide troops behind and plenty of open area to lead charges through.  

Harbinson and Barnett were both in Union uniforms during the walk-through, as was Luther Henshaw, giving the day's exercise the feel of real Civil War battle preparations.  Luther is a reenactor himself, having performed in battles as a camp musician or runner.  

Barnett also had his two dogs, Duffy and Maggie, with him, and he posed for a photograph at the battlefield.  

At the reenactment, organizers will say the farm is in Virginia at an important crossroads that the Union is hoping to defend.  

Deborah Henshaw, the only person in civilian clothes Saturday, is a reenactor and is organizing the event for the Historical Society.  She said more than 80 reenactors have signed up, and she hopes to get 125 to 150 taking part.  


"What we're doing here is we're looking at the lay of the land," Harbinson said.  "We can do battle anywhere but we're looking to set up the camps out of sight of each other."  

Harbinson said the planners also want to be able to maneuver the troops in a way spectators won't notice them until they suddenly appear on the battlefield.  

Little appears to be beyond the abilities of the reenactors.  When Deborah Henshaw said one area has running water most of the year, she was told it was no problem.  

"We'll build a bridge," Harbinson said.  

When it was suggested there were too many trees along one stone wall, he said he would send a couple of soldiers out with axes.  

The exact details of the battle are still being worked out, but the Union is expected to encamp in a field southeast of the farmhouse, and the Confederate army will camp on a hill to the west of the house.  

As they went along, the planners decided to name areas after reenactors, similar to the custom after Civil War battles.  

"This could be Luther's hill," Harbinson said.  

Along with determining where the camps are going to be, he and Barnett decided where to erect a field hospital and place cannons, flags, snipers, members of the signal corps and other troops.  

Harbinson said if someone had a white hot-air balloon, that person could play the part of an observer up in the air watching for Confederate troops.  

Harbinson said final plans for the battle will be completed the weekend of the event, when he walks the property with the Confederate commander.


  1. Storm database: http://www.geocities.com/~roots_searcher.
  2. 1930 census, Templeton, Worcester County, Massachusetts; roll T626-966, ED 282, page 6A, line #36, dwelling #128, family #136.
  3. Boston Globe obituaries, courtesy of Marcia Payne via NewsBank InfoWeb ().
  4. Contribution from Wayne Milton Henshaw.
  5. Massachusetts newspaper articles, courtesy of Marcia Payne via NewsBank InfoWeb ().

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