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 [decorative delimiter] Class of 1877

Vol. III
p272
2646

(Born Pa.)

William B. Gordon

(Ap'd Pa.)

6

Military History. — Cadet at the Military Academy, July 1, 1873, to June 14, 1877, when he was graduated and promoted in the Army to

Second Lieut., 4th Artillery, June 15, 1877.

Served: at the Military Academy as Assistant Instructor of Artillery Tactics, July 5 to Aug. 29, 1877 (leave of absence and awaiting orders, June 15 to Dec. 24, 1877); on frontier duty at Ft. Townsend, Wash.,º Dec. 24, 1877, to June 20, 1878 — and on Bannock Campaign to Sep. 16, 1878; in garrison at Ft. Point, Cal., Sep. 16, 1878 (Rifle Competition, July 23 to Oct. 8, 1879), to Mar. 9, 1880, — and Fort Monroe, Va. (Artillery School  p273 for Practice), to Nov. 13, 1881; as Assistant at Frankford Arsenal, Pa.,

(First Lieut., Ordnance, Nov. 4, 1881)

Nov. 19, 1881 (leave of absence, July 6 to Oct. 6, 1882), to Nov. 13, 1882, — and at Watervliet Arsenal, N. Y., to Aug. 26, 1884; at the Military Academy as Assistant Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy, Aug. 28, 1884, to Aug. 28, 1886, and as Principal Assistant Professor, to Aug. 28, 1888; and as Assistant at Watervliet Arsenal, N. Y., and Member of Board on the Army Gun Factory, Oct. 2, 1888, to –––––.

Vol. IV
p277
[Supplement, Vol. IV: 1890‑1900]

Military History. — Served: At Watervliet Arsenal, N. Y., Oct. 2, 1888

(Captain, Ordnance, June 15, 1891)

to Aug., 1892; Inspector of Ordnance at West Point Foundry, Cold Spring, N. Y., to Aug. 20, 1894; Assistant Professor of Philosophy at U. S. M. A., West Point, N. Y., to July, 1898. — Inventor of the United States 12‑inch mortar carriage, model of 1896. — At Watertown Arsenal, Mas., July 7, 1898 to ––––

[Erratum in Cullum's Register, Vol. III, No. 2646 for Fort Canby read Fort Townsend.]

Vol. V
p253
[Supplement, Vol. V: 1900‑1910]

Military History. — Served: At Watertown Arsenal, Mass., July 7, 1898 to ––––

(Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy,
U. S. Military Academy, Mar. 27, 1901)

to May 1, 1901; at U. S. M. A., West Point, N. Y., May 2, 1901, to –––––; author of Sound and Light, a text-book for the course in Philosophy at the Military Academy, 1906.

Vol. VI
p226
[Supplement, Vol. VI: 1910‑1920]

(William Brandon Gordon, Born June 15, 1853.)

Military History. —

Captain, Ordnance Department, June 15, 1891.

Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy,
U. S. Military Academy, March 27, 1901.

At West Point, New York, May 2, 1901, to May 7, 1917.

Colonel, U. S. A., Retired, May 7, 1917,
By Operation of Law.

Author of Sound and Light, and of Mechanics, text-books for the use of students at the Military Academy.

Offered his services to the U. S. for the War, through the Adjutant General, May 8, 1917; detailed to active service as member of the Ordnance Board at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., October, 1918; served there Oct. 21 to Dec. 21, 1918; relieved from active duty, Dec. 29, 1918.

Vol. VII
p138
[Supplement, Vol. VII: 1920‑1930]

Military History: —

Colonel, U. S. A., Retired, May 7, 1917,
By Operation of Law.

Author of "Sound and Light," and of "Mechanics," text-books for the use of students at the Military Academy.a

Vol. VIII
p53
[Supplement, Vol. VIII: 1930‑1940]

Military History: —

Col., Ret., May 7, 1917.

Died, Jan. 11, 1938, at Winter Haven, Fla.: Aged 84.

Buried, West Point Cemetery, West Point, NY.


Thayer's Note:

a Col. Gordon also took time out to write poetry, a volume of which he had privately printed at West Point, most of it being light verse, and some of it humorous. It is online as a photocopy at Archive.Org.

A few of the poems relate to the Academy in one way or another. The first of the two I transcribe here (both having to do with the year 1875) will resonate with anyone who has known a West Point winter:

p38 Midnight, Dec. 31, 1875

The dear Old Year is dying,

The Winter wind is sighing,

A pure snow sheet is lying

Upon the cold, cold ground;

I watch the dead leaves quiver,

The ghostly old trees shiver,

The moonbeams on the river,

The mountains all snow-bound.

The winds are sighing for thee,

The trees are weeping o'er thee,

The grand old hills adore thee,

All love thee, dear Old Year.

Time, like a mighty river,

Flows on and ceases never.

But thou art gone forever,

And Nature drops a tear.

The next is somewhat curious because it is addressed to a Class other than his own — and in his printed volume, none is addressed to any other Class, including that of 1877 to which he belonged:

p72 The Class of '75, U. S. M. A.

Come fill your glasses to the brim,

Pour in the blood‑red wine.

In every drop, my noble lads,

A thousand rubies shine.

We'll pledge our love to old West Point, —

May all her inmates thrive;

But first of all we'll toast to‑night

The Class of Seventy-five.

Then lift your glasses high, my boys, —

All ready, — let her drive!

And long as life and wine shall last

We'll drink to Seventy-five.

p73 Our Alma Mater soon we'll leave

To don the Army Blue;

And may we still be worthy sons,

And to our country true.

So let us gay and happy be

And show we're all alive;

We'll laugh and sing, make glasses ring,

And drink to Seventy-five.

Then lift your glasses high, my boys, —

All ready, — let her drive!

And long as life and wine shall last

We'll drink to Seventy-five.


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