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Charles Scott Hall

The preceding image, and the text that follows, are reproduced from (the report of the) Sixty-Second Annual Reunion of the Association of the Graduates of the United States Military Academy, June 10th, 1931.

 p153  Charles Scott Hall
No. 2620 Class of 1876
Died May 2, 1929, at New Orleans, La.,
aged 77 years

Charles Scott Hall was born July 6, 1851, in Evansville, Indiana, where his family was among the best known of that section of the country.

He entered the Military Academy July 1, 1872, graduating June 14, 1876. An incident of his lasts year at West Point as published in the New York Herald is worthy of notice:

"Cadet C. S. Hall of Indiana was fatally injured at West Point while charging in Cavalry drill. His horse became unmanageable and ran against a tree which the cadet's head and shoulders struck. He was conveyed in an unconscious state to the hospital. An examination proved he was suffering from concussion of the brain and extravasation of blood and probably will not recover."

He lay in delirium for weeks but finally fully recovered.

Upon graduation, Lieut. Hall joined the 13th Infantry and served successively at Vicksburg, Miss., New Orleans, La., and Jackson Barracks, La. In October, 1878, Hall volunteered his services in connection with distribution of supplies at points infected by yellow fever.

The following article was written by Hon. R. C. Bell of Fort Wayne, Ind., concerning this service:

"For several months past there has been stationed at this city upon detached service as recruiting officer, Lieut. Chas. S. Hall, of the Thirteenth United States Infantry. He is a graduate of West Point and a worthy gentleman.

"He is an Indianian and was appointed to West Point from this state. More than six years' hard service in Indian campaigns in the west and southwest in which he displayed distinguished bravery  p154 entitled Lieut. Hall to a well earned rest, hence his appointment to the recruiting service.

"While all who have met him know him as a gentlemanly and accomplished army officer, few of our citizens know how great a real hero he is for the lieutenant is as modest as he is brave.

"It was by mere chance the writer learned the facts in the case. The story was as follows: —

" 'In the fall of 1878 the dread scourge of Yellow Fever had been raging in the South. Its ravages were especially severe upon the lower Mississippi. The infected regions were avoided by all. To add to the horror of the situation the gaunt spectre, Famine, stalked thru the streets of the stricken cities.

" 'At this juncture the steamboat, "John M. Chambers" was fitted out at St. Louis, to be sent down the river to the stricken cities. The War Department called for two officers to volunteer to take charge of the expedition. Here was a test of true bravery. Many a man was willing to face Death at the cannon's mouth, to die gloriously amidst the smoke of battle surrounded by the pomp and circumstances of glorious war, whose cheek blanched and heart failed when called upon for this duty. It was nothing to lead a forlorn hope when the danger could be seen, and death if it came would be such as the warrior courted.

" 'First Lieut. Hiram H. Benner of the 18th Infantry volunteered as one of the officers. Lieut. Hall was then second lieutenant and on leave of absence from his command. He also promptly stepped forward as second officer to take charge of this steamer upon this mission of mercy and relief.

" 'On Oct. 5, 1878, the vessel started on her journey freighted with provisions, medical supplies, blankets, mails for the infected district, etc. On she went distributing relief like a ministering angel. At Vicksburg the gallant and noble Lieut. Benner was stricken and died. He was buried with military honors followed to the grave by those who wore the Blue and the Gray and his grave bedewed by the tears of those to whose rescue he had so nobly come.

" 'The command of the vessel then devolved upon Lieut. Hall. Stricken as it was no wonder its men left the boat. The pilot deserted. His crew left him. Medical authorities advised him to  p155 do the same but he was made of sterner stuff. He got other pilots and crew and on he went, delivered the supplies to the suffering people and brought the boat back to quarantine at St. Louis again.

" 'He too was stricken with Yellow Fever, but careful nursing and a strong constitution saved his life.

" 'The newspapers of the day especially those of south were filled with well merited praise of the gallant officers, one of whom lost his life and the other risked and came so near losing his. They did not do it for glory but for the cause of humanity.' "

The above statement is verified by General Orders Number 8, Headquarters Thirteenth U. S. Infantry, Jackson Barracks, La., Feb. 1, 1879, which states:

"2nd Lieut. Charles S. Hall, 13th Infantry, having reported for duty with his company on his return from detached service, it affords great pleasure to the Colonel Commanding to welcome him back, and to congratulate him upon his noble conduct and important services last summer, during the disastrous epidemic which carried death and desolation along the Mississippi River.

"After tendering voluntarily his co‑operation to the dangerous undertaking of carrying supplies of all sorts on a steamboat chartered especially for that purpose — and of distributing them at the points where the yellow fever was most fatal and caused the greatest destitution and suffering — Lieutenant Hall by the death of Lieutenant Hiram H. Benner, 18th Infantry, found himself in command of the expedition with all its dangers and responsibilities. He faced both with a brave heart and an intelligent determination, and fulfilled his perilous mission in a manner worthy of praise and admiration.

"Such a noble achievement does great honor to this young officer, and reflects credit upon the Regiment to which he belongs. It deserves special acknowledgment which the Colonel Commanding is happy to tender to Second Lieut. Charles S. Hall, with his thanks and those of all the officers of the 13th U. S. Infantry. — R. DeTrobriand, Col. 13th Inf. Bvt. Brig. General, U. S. A."

Following this experience, Hall was stationed at Fort Cummings, N. M., commanding Indian Scouts in the field; Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; on frontier duty at Fort Bayard, N. M., commanding Indian Scouts in the "Geronimo Campaign," 1887‑88; at Fort Sill and Camp  p156 Wade, Okla.; Fort Wayne, Indiana; Fort Supply, Indian Territory; Fort Niagara and Fort Porter, New York. He resigned from the service February 15, 1897. In the Spanish-American War, he was appointed a captain in the Provisional Regiment of Illinois Infantry under Colonel Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Hugh T. Reed and later in the Provisional Regiment of Illinois Cavalry under Colonel Victor Durand.

Mr. Hall was seriously ill but a day, dying from a heart attack. A few minutes before dying he held his watch to his ear and, smiling, said "I hear death tick." Interment was held in Oakwood Cemetery, Chicago.

Mr. Hall never married but had a large circle of warm personal friends who admired his genial disposition and mature intelligence. He is survived by Mrs. J. B. Hall and Charles W. Hall of Chicago, Mrs. R. T. Porter of Cynwood,º Pa., and Royal Oak, Md., and Mrs. Arthur R. Dragon of Shreveport, La.

Secretary, Association of Graduates.

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Page updated: 23 Dec 14