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Bill Thayer

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 [decorative delimiter] Class of 1842

Vol. II

(Born N. Y.)

Abner Doubleday​a

(Ap'd N. Y.)


Born June 26, 1819, Ballston Spa, NY.

Military History. — Cadet at the Military Academy, Sep. 1, 1838, to July 1, 1842, when he was graduated and promoted in the Army to

Bvt. Second Lieut., 3d Artillery, July 1, 1842.

Served: in garrison at Ft. Johnston, N. C., 1842‑44, — Ft. McHenry, Md., 1844, — Ft. Moultrie, S. C., 1844‑45, — and Ft. Preble, Me., 1845;

(Second Lieut., 1st Artillery, Feb. 24, 1845)

in Military Occupation of Texas, 1845‑46, at St. Joseph's Island; in War with Mexico, 1846‑48, being engaged in the Battle of Monterey,

(First Lieut., 1st Artillery, Mar. 3, 1847)

Sep. 21‑23, 1846, — and at the Rinconada Pass, during the Battle of Buena Vista, Feb. 22‑23, 1847; in garrison at Ft. Columbus, N. Y., 1848‑49; in conducting Recruits to Florida, 1849; in garrison at Ft.  p133 Columbus, N. Y., 1849‑50, — Ft. Hamilton, N. Y., 1850, — and Ft. McHenry, Md., 1850‑52; as Member of Commission to Investigate the "Gardiner Mine Fraud,"​a Oct. 11, 1852, to Feb. 27, 1853; on frontier duty at Ft. Duncan, Tex., 1854‑55; in garrison at Ft. Monroe, Va.,

(Captain, 1st Artillery, Mar. 3, 1855)

1855‑56; in Florida Hostilities against the Seminole Indians, 1856‑58; in garrison at Ft. Moultrie, S. C., 1858‑59; on leave of absence, 1859‑60; and in garrison at Ft. Moultrie, S. C., 1860‑61.

Served during the Rebellion of the Seceding States, 1861‑66: in Defense of Ft. Sumter, Charleston harbor, S. C., during its Bombardment, Apr. 12‑13, 1861, and upon its Surrender, Apr. 14, 1861, was transferred to the command of Ft. Hamilton, N. Y., Apr. 19 to June 3, 1861; in the

(Major, 17th Infantry, May 14, 1861)

Shenandoah Valley, Va., under command of Major-General Patterson, June to Aug., 1861; in the Defenses of Washington, D. C., Sep., 1861, to

(Brig.‑General, U. S. Volunteers, Feb. 3, 1862)

May, 1862; in command of Brigade on the Rappahannock, and in the Northern Virginia Campaign, May to Sep., 1862, being engaged in Cannonades on the Rappahannock, Va., Aug. 21‑26, 1862, — and Battle of Manassas, Aug. 29‑30, 1862; in the Maryland Campaign (Army of the Potomac), Sep. to Nov., 1862, being engaged in the Battle of South Mountain, Sep. 14, 1862, — Battle of Antietam, Sep. 17, 1862, — and March to Falmouth, Va., Oct.‑Nov., 1862; in the Rappahannock Campaign (Army of

(Major-General, U. S. Volunteers, Nov. 29, 1862)

the Potomac), Dec., 1862, to June, 1863, being engaged in the Battle of Fredericksburg, Dec. 13, 1862, — Demonstration against Port Conway, Apr. 20‑21, 1863, — Passage of the Rappahannock below Fredericksburg, Apr. 29 to May 1, 1863, — and Battle of Chancellorsville, May 2‑4, 1863; in the Pennsylvania Campaign, June‑July, 1863 (Army of the Potomac), being engaged in the Battle of Gettysburg, July 1‑3, 1863; on Courts

(Lieut.‑Colonel, 17th Infantry, Sep. 20, 1863)

Martial and Commissions, Dec., 1863, to Aug. 24, 1865, being in temporary

(Bvt. Colonel, Mar. 11, 1865)

command, July 12, 1865, of the Southeastern Defenses of Washington

(Bvt. Brig.‑General, and Bvt. Maj.‑General, U. S. Army, Mar. 13, 1865,
for Gallant and Meritorious Services during the rebellion)

when threatened by General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Early's Rebel Raiders; in waiting orders, Aug. 24, 1865, to May 19, 1866; and in reorganizing Detachment

(Mustered out of Volunteer Service, Jan. 15, 1866)

of 17th Infantry, at Hart Island, N. Y., May 19 to Oct. 30, 1866.

Served: in command of Galveston, Tex., Nov. 4 to Dec. 1, 1866; as Assistant Commissioner in the Freedmen's Bureau at Galveston, Tex., Nov. 20, 1866, to Aug. 1, 1867; sick and on leave of absence, Aug. 1,

(Colonel, 35th Infantry, Sep. 15, 1867)

1867, to Mar. 12, 1868; as Member of Retiring Board, New York city, Mar. 12 to Nov., 1868; on leave of absence, Nov., 1868, to May,

(Unassigned, Mar. 15, 1869)

1869; as Superintendent of General Recruiting Service, San Francisco, Cal., June 16, 1869, to Jan. 11, 1871; awaiting orders, Jan. 11 to

(Assigned to 24th Infantry, Dec. 15, 1870)

Apr. 7, 1871; in command of regiment at Ft. McKavett, Tex., Apr. 7,  p134 1871 to Aug. 6, 1872, and at Ft. Brown, Tex., Sep. 11, 1872, to June 13, 1873; and on leave of absence, June 13 to Dec. 11, 1873.

Retired from Active Service, Dec. 11, 1873,
on his own application after 30 Years of continuous Service.

Vol. IV
[Supplement, Vol. IV: 1890‑1900]

Military History. — Retired officer.

Died Jan. 26, 1893, at Mendham, N. J.: Aged 74.

Buried, Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA.

See Annual Association of Graduates, U. S. M. A., 1893, for an obituary notice.

Thayer's Notes:

a What almost every visitor to this page will be wanting to know above all: did Abner Doubleday invent baseball, as he is usually credited with doing?

Probably not, although among the candidates is another man by the same name: modern baseball is the fruit of a long evolution and has had many ancestors and many way-stations. J. H. B. Latrobe mentions playing baseball when he was a Cadet at West Point — in the year Doubleday was born (Reminiscences of West Point, p20 and my note there). At any rate the game is still evolving, and what we play in the 21c is pretty different from what Cadet Doubleday might have played in his spare time at the Point. Many websites delve into facets of the question, including the Arlington Cemetery page linked above.

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b A man named George A. Gardiner filed a claim against the government of Mexico under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, stating that he had been operating a silver mine at La Huasteca in the State of San Luis Potosí when he was forcibly expelled from it by the governor of the State in October 1846. In fact, he had been working as a dentist and a "pedlar in small wares", nowhere near the mine in question, but managed thru forgery, perjury, and influence peddling to have himself awarded $428,747 out of a U. S. Government fund for claims against Mexico: in those days, a huge sum. The high-profile case eventually wended its way thru several investigations and court proceedings; Gardiner was found guilty of fraud and sentenced to ten years imprisonment, and ultimately committed suicide. The Army was involved in part because Gardiner had worked as surgeon to our troops in Tampico in 1847.

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Page updated: 20 Feb 13