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Bill Thayer

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The text that follows is reproduced from (the report of the) Twenty-Sixth Annual Reunion of the Association of the Graduates of the United States Military Academy, June 10th, 1895.

 p122  John Archer
No. 453. Class of 1826.
Died, December 30, 1889, at Tilden, Texas, aged 84.

Captain John Archer, was born June 30, 1806, in Cecil County, Maryland. He was appointed Cadet from the same State in 1822, and graduated number twenty-five in 1826. He was assigned to the Seventh Infantry and served at Fort Gibson, Indian Territory; Jefferson Barracks, Mo.; Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and Fort Towson, Indian Territory, till March 31, 1834, when he resigned.

After leaving the Army he engaged in the lumber business at Port Deposit, Md., with his father-in‑law. The business did not prosper and the firm failed in 1845, Captain Archer going to Texas in 1846, where he lived till his death. At first he taught school near Corpus Christi; then he engaged in mercantile business and ranching till 1855, when he moved to Helena, engaging in the same occupation till 1860, when he moved to Goliad, Texas, where he was when the rebellion broke out. Being a warm personal friend of Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Jefferson Davis, he went to Montgomery, Ala., and offered his services to the newly organized Southern Confederacy. Mr. Davis appointed him Captain in the Regular Confederate Army; he served in Virginia till the summer of 1864. Poor health prevented active service in the field so he was kept on Court-Martial and other light duty, being at one time in command of Fort Winder, one of the defences of Richmond. In 1864, Capt. Archer was ordered to report to Gen. Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.E. Kirby Smith of the Trans-Mississippi Department. While crossing the Mississippi River he was seriously wounded and  p123 captured. He was exchanged in a short time, but was unable to do any further service during the war.

While still in the government service Capt. Archer studied law and in 1849, was elected Judge of the County Court. This position he held for several years. In 1877, he renewed his law studies and at the age of 70, he stood a public examination by a committee of lawyers. He passed a fine examination, for which he was highly complimented by the District Judge, and was soon after elected to the Judgeship. His administration of the office was so well regarded by his constituents, that he was re-elected for three successive terms. In 1884, he became almost blind and resigned his office and thereafter lived with his children. He left three sons and two daughters, all of the sons following his footsteps in the profession of law.

Captain Archer was an uncompromising secessionist and when the Southern Confederacy was no more, refused to accept the result of the conflict.

The above obituary is compiled from a letter sent to the Association by his son, Mr. Osceola Archer, of Austin, Texas.

Secretary of the Association.

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Page updated: 13 Nov 13