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Folsom A to Z: Henry Hopkins Sibley

By: Rachel Zirin, Senior Reporter
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Editor’s note: Folsom A to Z is an intermittent series in the Telegraph where readers can learn facts and history about Folsom. Each week, the Telegraph will select a landmark, place, historical figure and major historical event that start with the next letter of the alphabet. This week we continue with “S.”

  • Henry Hopkins Sibley was born May 25, 1816, a year before Joseph Folsom. 
  • After his father’s death when he was 7 years old, he was sent to Missouri to live with his paternal uncle. 
  • At 17 years old, Sibley was admitted to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York. 
  • Sibley graduated in 1838 and was commissioned as second lieutenant in the 2nd U.S. Dragoons, a mounted infantry.
  • He remained a career officer in the United States Army and commanded a Confederate Cavalry Brigade in the Civil War.
  • In 1862, Sibley attempted to forge a supply-route from California, in defiance of the Union Blockade of the Atlantic and Gulf ports, while also aiming to appropriate the Colorado gold mines to replenish the Confederate treasury.
  • Sibley was a member of the February 1851 Vigilance Committee in San Francisco along with Captain Folsom. 
  • He was also quarter-master general of the mounted San Francisco volunteers in 1851, raised by Governor Burnett to help quell Indian disturbances at San Diego.
  • As an associate of Folsom’s in the military establishment, he chose to honor him by naming Sibley Street after him.  
  • Sibley died on August 23, 1886 in Fredericksburg, VA.