LAZELLE, HENRY MARTYN (ca. 1833–1917). Henry Martyn Lazelle, military officer, was born about 1833, probably in Massachusetts. He was appointed from Worcester, Massachusetts, to the United States Military Academy in July 1850 and graduated on July 1, 1855. From 1856 to 1858 and in 1860–61 he was stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas, where he was the first commanding officer. He survived two severe chest wounds from fighting Mescalero Apaches in 1859. During the Civil War he was captured by Confederate troops on May 8, 1861, and was not exchanged until July 28, 1862. He was promoted to first lieutenant in April 1861 and to captain in June 1861. From mid-1862 to September 1863 he was assistant commissary general of prisoners at Washington, D.C. He was brevetted major in 1864. On October 19, 1864, he resigned his volunteer commission. His book One Law in Nature was published in 1872. He was placed in charge of the publication of the official records of the Civil War in 1887. As colonel of the Eighteenth Infantry, he was again in Texas, as commander at Fort Clark, from 1889 to 1894. He retired from active service because of disability in November 1894 and began farming in Virginia. His book Matter, Force, and Spirit or Scientific Evidence of a Supreme Intelligence was published in 1895. After 1898 Lazelle lived alternately in Canada and in Massachusetts and devoted himself to writing. He wrote on such military subjects as evolution in warfare and military life in India, as well as religious and scientific subjects. In April 1904 he retired as a brigadier general. He died at Georgeville, Quebec, Canada, on July 21, 1917.

George W. Cullum, Biographical Register of the Officers and Graduates of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York (8 vols., New York [etc.]: D. Van Nostrand [etc.], 1868–1940).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, "LAZELLE, HENRY MARTYN," accessed October 23, 2018,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Get this week's most popular Handbook of Texas articles delivered straight to your inbox