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Bill Thayer

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The text that follows is reproduced from (the report of the) Thirtieth Annual Reunion of the Association of the Graduates of the United States Military Academy, June 7th, 1899.

 p42  Joseph Numa Augustina
No. 3660. Class of 1895.
Killed July 1, 1898,b at Santiago, Cuba, aged 24.

Joseph Numa Augustin, Jr., was born in New Orleans February 21st, 1874. His father, the Hon. J. Numa Augustin, ex‑Senator and leading member of the New Orleans Bar, is a son of Colonel J. Numa Augustin, who served with distinction on the staff of General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.G. T. Beauregard during the civil war.

His great grandfather, Jean Augustin, was a native of France, and came to this country in the early part of this century, settling in New Orleans. His mother is a member of the illustrious  p43 Creole family of Dolhonde. Her maiden name was Miss Delphine Dolhonde. The family of Augustin is well known throughout the State of Louisiana, there being many branches whose members have and are holding offices of trust and importance throughout the State.

J. Numa Augustin, Jr., received his first education of the Jesuit College in his native town; thence he was sent to Spring Hill College, Louisiana, where, at the age of 16, he was graduated.

He was appointed a cadet at the Military Academy June 17th, 1891. As a cadet he was a bright and happy boy, being only 17 years of age when he entered. His happy disposition made him known and liked by all his classmates and those of other classes as well. He was especially gifted as an entertainer, and was the promoter and leader in nearly all the entertainments given by the corps during the four years he spent at the Academy.

He graduated June 12th, 1895, standing 44th in a class of 52. He received his commission as Second Lieutenant Twenty-fourth Infantry the day he graduated, and reported for duty at Fort Bayard, N. M., October 1st, 1895. During the remainder of his life he saw service at the following posts: Fort Huachuca, Ariz., December, 1895, and January and February, 1896; at Fort Grant, Ariz., March to June, 1896; Fort Bayard, N. M., July to August, 1896; Fort Douglas, Utah, October, 1896, to April 20th, 1898.

He was married to Miss Alice Palmer, daughter of Captain A. M. Palmer, Q. M. Dept. U. S. A., at Washington, D. C., July 1st, 1896. He was a member of the Santiago expedition and was wounded in action while charging Fort San Juan, Cuba, July 1st, 1898. From the effects of these wounds he died in the hospital July 2d, 1898.

To those who knew him his memory will always remain as that of a young and happy soldier. He was even a boy, in thought and action. His first impulse he invariably acted upon and thus he was frankness itself.

 p44  When the sadness of his death was sent to his family, the whole city of New Orleans mourned. When his body was brought home it was placed in state in the city hall, where his boyhood's friends in sorrow paid their tribute to his memory.

As a token of love and esteem the civil and military bodies of his native city attended his burial, and all the people with flags at half mast, and houses draped in black, mourned the loss of their friend.

His father and mother have nothing left save a memory, but friends have shown how that memory is honored by all.

Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.H. H. S.

Thayer's Notes:

a Lieutenant Augustin's family name is given thruout as Augustine, but that's incorrect. Both his father and his grandfather were also Joseph Numa Augustin, so that he himself is not "Jr." — that was his father — but "III".

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b But note that in the body of the obituary, the date of his death is more correctly stated.

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Page updated: 16 Oct 13