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Bill Thayer

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The text that follows is reproduced from (the report of the) Seventh Annual Reunion of the Association of the Graduates of the United States Military Academy, June 15th, 1876.

 p85  Alexander S. Macomb
No. 810 — Class of 1835.
Died May 8th, 1876, at New York City, aged 62.

Major​a Alexander S. Macomb was born June 8th, 1814, at Belleville, New Jersey, the country residence of his father, then a Brigadier-General in the U. S. Army, and at that time engaged in the campaign which terminated in the glorious victory of Plattsburg, New York, September 11th, 1814, for which he was brevetted a Major-General, and received the thanks of Congress, with a gold medal "emblematic of this triumph."

Young Macomb at the age of sixteen was appointed a Cadet, and entered the U. S. Military Academy, July 1st, 1830. Upon graduation therefrom, July 1st, 1835, he was promoted in the army a Brevet Second Lieutenant, First Dragoons, and served at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, till 1837; in the meantime, October 6th, 1836, having been promoted to a First Lieutenancy in the Second Dragoons. From March 1st, to April 1st, 1837, he was the Adjutant of his Regiment, when he was appointed Aide-de‑Camp to his father, then General-in‑Chief of the U. S. Army. He became Captain in his regiment February 18th, 1840, and resigned from the military service January 31st, 1841.

He married the sister of the gallant General Philip Kearny, and after leaving the army lived a life of leisure, mostly in New York  p86 City, where all his material interests centered, occasionally going to Europe where he had many friends, and spending his summers in Newport, Rhode Island, in which city he was well known for his genial manners and generous hospitality.

Macomb was noted for his manly beauty, courtly bearing, gentle temper, kindly heart, and refined tastes. He rarely spoke a harsh word, and was always considerate for the feelings of others; hence he was much esteemed by all his intimates, and was a favorite in every circle in which he mingled.

He was fully aware of the precarious tenure of his life, but little did he anticipate that the hand of death would strike him down so soonº and so suddenly. On the afternoon of May 8th, while engaged in conversation at the Union Club, of which he was a very popular member, he complained of oppression, and endeavored to leave the Club, but he fell before he could reach the door — death, probably without suffering, following almost instantly from an aneurism of the aorta.

"Then with no throbs of fiery pain,

No cold gradations of decay,

Death broke at once the vital chain,

And free'd his soul the nearest way."

(Brevet Major-General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Geo. W. Cullum)

Thayer's Note:

a His highest rank recorded in Cullum's own Register is Captain.

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Page updated: 20 Aug 16