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Bill Thayer

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The text that follows is reproduced from (the report of the) Forty-Fifth Annual Reunion of the Association of the Graduates of the United States Military Academy, June 12th, 1914.

 p37  Micah J. Jenkins
No. 2790. Class of 1879.
Died, October 7, 1912, at Charleston, S. C., aged 55.

"Micah J. Jenkins.
Born in South Carolina.
Appointed Cadet, U. S. M. A., September 1, 1875.
Second Lieutenant, 4th Cavalry, June 3, 1879.
Resigned as First Lieutenant, 4th Cavalry, March 1, 1886.
Appointed Captain, 1st Volunteer Cavalry, May 21, 1898.
Major, Aug. 11, 1898.
Mustered out September 15, 1898.
Died in Charleston, South Carolina, October 17, 1912."

In such brief form, and barren of the stirring events which so often mark their lives, do we epitomize the span of life of our soldiers; and Jenkins was, by inheritance, natural instinct, training and, during his military life, always a gallant soldier. To those who knew him well, and the writer knew him from the day he reported at West Point to the date of his death, there were events in the life of this man which made him beloved by his classmates and friends and are worthy of remembrance and emulation by all in the Army.

The one pre‑eminent quality of Jenkins was his ability to make and keep friendships. This quality rested on the attractiveness of his looks and manner which, as acquaintance developed into intimacy and then into friendship, were found to be based upon the loyalty, honesty, courage and gentleness  p38 inherent in the man. These are the qualities necessary for the soldier and it is not to be wondered at that he was a sincere man, a loyal gentleman and a soldier faithful to his duties.

His services in the Fourth Cavalry were marked by all these characteristics and it was with a feeling of distinct loss that the regiment learned of Jenkins' resignation. Going to his home in South Carolina, he took up the life of a planter as all his forbears had been, and when, in 1898, the First Volunteer Cavalry was being organized for service in the War with Spain and officers for that regiment were being sought, Jenkins, though in civil life, was offered a Captain's commission. He won his majority by gallantry in action and on the regiment being mustered out, Jenkins returned to civil life, subsequently being appointed Collector of Internal Revenues for his State, which position he held until his death, which was the direct result of disease contracted in the discharge of his duties. The people of his State delighted in doing him honor, presenting him with a sword after the Spanish-American War, the presentation being made by the then President of the United States.

The son of a gallant soldier who fell at the head of his troops on one of the bloody battlefields of Virginia,​a Jenkins carried without stain this inherited reputation and was a gentle and courteous South Carolinian, upon whom danger acted as a stimulant; and the name of Micah Jenkins brings to us who knew him all that was brave and chivalrous. He was modest as he was brave. Peace to his ashes.

Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.James B. Erwin.

Thayer's Note:

a Confederate general Micah Jenkins, Sr., who fell at the Battle of the Wilderness.

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Page updated: 3 Dec 13