Munro Gladding was born on Christmas Eve, 1828, to Rebecca Munro Gladding and George Washington Gladding. His father had founded Gladding Dry Goods of Providence, located at 35 Cheapside (southern end of N. Main Street) with Matthew Watson in 1805, a prominent store that operated through the end of the 19 th century, though under different ownership in later years.
Munro H. Gladding enlisted on April 17, 1861, as a Private in the RI 1st Infantry. He was mustered out on August 2, 1861 and took a few months off before enlisting again, this time in the RI 5th Heavy Artillery, where he served as 1st Lieutenant and Quartermaster. He was on sick leave beginning October 15, 1862, and died at Beaufort Hospital in Beaufort, North Carolina on November 2, 1862. According to Lt. Col. Job Arnold, whose testimony was recorded in Gladding's pension records, the fever had been brought on by hard work in his official duties. Munro's mother, Rebecca Gladding, claimed in 1864 that since her husband had died in 1839 and her son in the war, she was unable to support the family. The pension was granted, for $14 per month, and later increased to $17 per month. However, the pension office eventually discovered that Rebecca had lied about her husband's death; George Gladding died in 1873, almost a decade after her application. Immediate repayment for the false and fraudulent claim was required and one of Rebecca's other sons repaid the full $1802.63.