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Bill Thayer

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[image ALT: A head-and-shoulders photograph of a heavily-built man in civilian dress of the early 20c: suit jacket and small bow tie. He is quite bald, and sports a slightly drooping brush moustache. He is Jenifer H. Smallwood, a West Point graduate whose obituary is given on this webpage.]

Jenifer H. Smallwood

The preceding image, and the text that follows, are reproduced from (the report of the) Forty-first Annual Reunion of the Association of the Graduates of the United States Military Academy, June 14, 1910.

 p31  Jenifer H. Smallwood
No. 2300. Class of 1869.
Died, November 28, 1901, at Brooklyn, N. Y., aged 54.

He was born on December 27, 1847, in Florida, and appointed Cadet at the Military Academy, October 17, 1865, and graduated June 15, 1869, and appointed Second Lieutenant of the Second U. S. Cavalry. Transferred to the Ninth U. S. Infantry, March 17, 1873.

We called him, "Chips," because his name was Smallwood and because he was a good fellow. Smallwood was always bon comrade,º genial, good natured, jolly and with a happy faculty of brightening the often dreary hours of cadet life by his always even, cheery jollity and his hearty good fellow­ship. His dapper, active and generally natty, trim, little personality made him at once our main-stay as hop manager, usher, reception committeeman, or any other delicate situation, where a good-looker with savoir-faire, was needed to represent the class and make us all feel — "All is well, Smallwood's doing it."

His military career, after graduating, was brief but arduous and honorable. He served with his troop in the Second Cavalry on the northwestern frontier of Nebraska and the Dakotas in the stirring, active, out‑door life of the cavalry­man of those days, from the day he reported for troop duty, September 19, 1869, till he resigned his commission in 1873.

 p32  He served during the spring, summer and fall of 1873 in the arduous and notable Yellowstone Expedition and his service therein was creditable and soldierly. It was on this expedition that his classmate, Lieutenant Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Charles Braden, of the Seventh Cavalry, received his terrible and disabling wound in a fight with the Sioux Indians — and Smallwood was appropriately selected and assigned by General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Stanley, in charge of the detachment detailed for the delicate and humane task of getting the sorely wounded classmate back home. On this trip Braden was hauled in a specially designed conveyance by cavalry­men detailed for that purpose, over rough, unbroken country, hundreds of miles to the stockade at Glendive — and Smallwood's patient, ever watchful, loving care saved the sufferer many a wrench and pang of acute pain, as he carefully removed jolting stones from the trail of the sliding wheels and generally eased his way over the fords of the troublesome streams.

In December, 1873, Smallwood resigned his commission to engage in civil pursuits, and at the time of his death had built up a comfortable trade in the drug business in Brooklyn, New York.

The writer last saw Smallwood at the Twentieth Anniversary Class Reunion, June, 1889, at West Point. "Chips" was then no longer the graceful, slim, 110‑pound, active hop manager of the Class of '69, but had increased to the third power and was in the 300 class, but he was the same old, jovial "Chips," full of loving class feeling, good cheer and sunny reminiscence.

Peace be to his ashes.


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Page updated: 19 May 14