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Bill Thayer

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 [decorative delimiter] Class of 1846

Vol. II

(Born N. Y.)

Alfred Gibbs

(Ap'd N. Y.)


Born Apr. 22,​a1 1823, Sunswick, NY.

Military History. — Cadet at the Military Academy, July 1, 1842, to July 1, 1846, when he was graduated and promoted in the Army to

Bvt. Second Lieut., Mounted Rifles, July 1, 1846.

Served: in garrison at Jefferson Barracks, Mo., 1846; in the War with Mexico, 1846‑48, being engaged in the Siege of Vera Cruz, Mar. 9‑29, 1847, — Battle of Cerro Gordo, Apr. 17‑18, 1847, where he was wounded,

(Bvt. First Lieut., Apr. 18, 1847,
for Gallant and Meritorious Conduct in the Battle of Cerro Gordo, Mex.)

— Battle of Contreras, Aug. 19‑20, 1847, — Battle of Churubusco, and in Kearny's charge on the San Antonio Garita, Aug. 20, 1847, — Battle of Chapultepec, Sep. 13, 1847, — and Assault and Capture of the City of

(Bvt. Captain, Sep. 13, 1847, for Gallant Conduct at Garita de Belen, City of Mexico)

 p289  Mexico, Sep. 13‑14, 1847; as Aide-de‑Camp to Major-General P. F.

(Second Lieut., Mounted Rifles, Dec. 31, 1847)

Smith, Mar. 27, 1848, to July 1, 1856, — in Mexico, 1848, — en route to California, 1848‑49, — Pacific Division, 1849‑52, — and Department of Texas, 1852‑56; on frontier duty at Ft. Fillmore, N. M., 1856‑57, —

(First Lieut., Mounted Rifles, May 31, 1853)

Scouting, 1857, being engaged against Apache Indians in a Skirmish at Cooke'sº Spring, N. M., Mar. 8, 1857, where he was severely wounded, — Ft. Fillmore, N. M., 1857, — Ft. Union, N. M., 1857‑58, — and as Adjutant Mounted Rifles, Mar. 24 to Sep. 15, 1858; on Recruiting service, 1858‑60; and on frontier duty, conducting recruits to New Mexico, 1860, — Navajo Expedition, N. M., 1860, — Albuquerque, N. M., 1860‑61

(Bvt. Captain, Staff — Asst. Adjutant-General, May 11, 1861: Declined)

(Depot Commissary), — and on March to Ft. Fillmore, N. M., being captured

(Captain, Mounted Rifles, May 13, 1861: 3d Cavalry, Aug. 3, 1861)

by Texas Insurgents at San Agustin Springs, N. M., July 8, 1861, and paroled until exchanged, Aug. 27, 1862.

Served during the Rebellion of the Seceding States, 1862‑66: in command of Ft. Wayne, Mich., Dec., 1861, to Aug., 1862; in Operations

(Colonel, 130th N. Y. Volunteers, Sep. 6, 1862:
1st N. Y. Dragoons, July 28, 1863)

about Suffolk, Va., Sep. 15, 1862, to June 13, 1863, being engaged in the Action of "Deserted House," Jan. 29, 1863, — and Defense at Suffolk, May 11‑20, 1863; on Major-General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Keyes's Peninsular Expedition towards Richmond, June 13 to July 12, 1863; at the Headquarters of the Provost Marshal of the Army of the Potomac, July 19 to Aug. 1, 1863; in organizing Regiment as Cavalry, at Manassas Plains, and guarding Orange and Alexandria Railroad, Va., Aug. 1 to Nov. 26, 1863, being engaged in Skirmishes, Oct. 17, and Nov. 9, 1863; in command of Cavalry Reserve Brigade (Army of the Potomac), Nov. 26, 1863, to Apr. 1, 1864, being engaged in guarding supply train during Mine Run operations, Dec., 1863, — and in Attack at Barnet's Ford, Feb. 11, 1864; in the Richmond Campaign, commanding Cavalry Reserve Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division (Army of the Potomac), May 7 to Aug. 5, 1864, being engaged in the Combat of Todd's Tavern, May 7, 1864, — Capture of Spottsylvania C. H., May 8, 1864, — "Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Sheridan's First Raid" to Haxall's Landing, and returning to New Castle, May 9‑29, 1864, participating in the engagements at Beaver Dam, May 9‑10, Yellow Tavern, May 11, Meadow Bridge, May 12, Mechanicsville, May 12, Hanover Town, May 27, and Hawes's Shop, May 28, 1864, — Action of Old Church, May 30, 1864, — Combat of Cold Harbor, May 31 to June 1, 1864, — and "Sheridan's Second Raid" to Trevillian Station and Light-house Point, June 7‑28,

(Bvt. Major, June 11, 1864,
for Gallant and Meritorious Services at the Battle of Trevillian Station, Va.)

1864, participating in the engagements at Trevillian Station, June 12, Mallory's Ford, June 12, Tunstall's Station, June 21, and Darby Town, June 28, 1864; in the Shenandoah Campaign, commanding Regiment, Aug. 6 to Dec. 8, 1864, Cavalry Reserve Brigade, Dec. 12‑30, and Cavalry Division, Dec. 30, 1864, to Jan. 15, 1865, being engaged in Skirmishes at Newtown, Aug. 11, Cedarville, Aug. 16, Kearnysville, Aug. 25, Shepardstown, Aug. 25, Smithfield, Aug. 28, and Crossing of the Opequan, Aug. 29, 1864, — Battle of Opequan, Sep. 19, 1864, — Battle

 p290  (Bvt. Lieut.‑Col., Sep. 19, 1864,
for Gallant and Meritorious Services at the Battle of Winchester, Va.)

of Fisher's Hill, Sep. 22, 1864, — Skirmishes of Mount Jackson, Sep. 23, New Market, Sep. 25, Port Republic, Sep. 26, Cross Keys, Sep. 28, Tom's Run, Oct. 9, Woodstock Races, Oct. 9, and Strasburg, Oct. 14, 1864, — Battle of Cedar Creek, Oct. 19, 1864, — Skirmish of Middletown, Nov. 12,

(Brig.‑General, U. S. Volunteers, Oct. 19, 1864)

1864, — and commanding Raid on Gordonsville, Dec. 9‑29, 1864; on leave of absence, Jan. 18 to Feb. 5, 1865; in command of Reserve Cavalry Brigade on "Sheridan's Sixth Raid" on Virginia Central and Danville Railroads, and James River Canal, Feb. 27 to Mar. 20, 1865, being engaged in the Actions of the North and South Anna Bridges, Mar. 14‑15, 1865; in command of Cavalry Brigade in the final Attack and Pursuit of

(Bvt. Colonel, Mar. 13, 1865,
for Gallant and Meritorious Services at the Battle of Five Forks, Va.)

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

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

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

the Rebel Army of Northern Virginia, Mar. 29 to Apr. 9, 1865, being engaged in the Battle of Dinwiddie C. H., Mar. 31, 1865, — Battle of Five Forks, Apr. 1, 1865, — Battle of Sailor's Creek, Apr. 6, 1865, — Action of Appomattox Station, Apr. 8, 1865, — and Surrender of General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.R. E. Lee, at Appomattox C. H., Apr. 9, 1865; and in command of 1st Brigade Cavalry Forces (Military Division of the Gulf), Aug. 20 to Oct. 17, 1865, and of 1st Division, Oct. 17 to Dec. 15, 1865; and on

(Mustered out of Volunteer Service, Feb. 1, 1866)

leave of absence, Jan. 15 to Apr. 30, 1866.

Served: on Recruiting service, Apr. 30 to Sep. 30, 1866; on frontier

(Major, 7th Cavalry, July 28, 1866)

duty at Ft. Riley, Kan., Oct., 1866, to Jan. 4, 1867, — Ft. Harker, Kan., Jan. 4 to Apr. 1, 1867, — Ft. Riley, Kan., Apr., 1867, — Ft. Hays, Kan., May to July, 1867, — Ft. Harker, Kan., Sep. 15 to Nov. 6, 1867, — Ft. Leavenworth, Kan., Nov., 1867, to Sep. 5, 1868, — Fts. Dodge and Harker, Kan., to Nov. 30, 1868 — and at Ft. Leavenworth, Kan., to Dec. 26, 1868.

Died, Dec. 26, 1868, Ft. Leavenworth, Kan.: Aged 44.

Buried, St. Mary's Episcopal Churchyard, Portsmouth, RI.

Biographical Sketch.

Brevet Major-General Alfred Gibbs was born, Apr. 22,​a2 1823, at Sunswick, L. I., near Astoria, N. Y. After receiving a good preliminary education at White Plains, N. Y., and Dartmouth College, N. H., he went to the Military Academy, from which he was graduated and promoted to the Mounted Rifles, July 1, 1846. As a boy he gave promise of his success­ful after-career, being bright, active, and plucky, a good rider, and very fond of all out-door sports.

After a short term of garrison duty, Gibbs was ordered to Mexico, and participated in all the operations of Scott's campaign, from the Siege of Vera Cruz to the Capture of the City of Mexico, being wounded in the Battle of Cerro Gordo. For his "gallant and meritorious" conduct, he received the brevets of First Lieutenant and Captain. Becoming the Aide-de‑Camp of Major-General P. F. Smith, he served at his headquarters on the Pacific and in Texas till 1856. He then joined his troop, and was on frontier duty and scouting against the Apache Indians, being  p291 severely wounded in a skirmish at Cook'sº Spring, N. M., Mar. 8, 1857. In 1858 he became the Adjutant of his regiment, and was again ordered to New Mexico after a tour of recruiting service, 1858‑60. He declined the appointment of Assistant Adjutant-General, May 11, 1861, preferring his own branch of service, in which he shortly was promoted to be a Captain.

Upon the outbreak of the Rebellion, while Gibbs was on the march to Fort Fillmore, N. M., he was captured by Texas insurgents at San Agustin Springs, July 8, 1861, and paroled as a prisoner of war until exchanged, Aug. 27, 1862. As soon as released, he became Colonel of the 130th N. Y. Volunteers, and took an active part in the military operations about Suffolk, Va., joined General Keyes in his Peninsular expedition, June 11 to July 12, 1863, and then re-organized his regiment as cavalry, with which he guarded the Orange and Alexandria Railroad till Nov. 26, 1863, when he took command of the Cavalry Reserve Brigade (Army of the Potomac), guarding trains, till Apr. 1, 1864. In the Richmond campaign of 1864, his brigade became a part of the First Cavalry Division of the Army of the Potomac, which was almost daily engaged in battle and on daring raids till transferred to the Shenandoah Valley, where he accompanied General Sheridan, and participated in all the engagements of his brilliant campaign. Gibbs's gallantry and meritorious services gave him the promotion of Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers, Oct. 19, 1864, the date of the Battle of Cedar Creek. After a short leave of absence, he again took command of his cavalry brigade, with which he accompanied Sheridan on his sixth raid on the Virginia Central and Danville Railroads and James River Canal, and in the final Attack and Pursuit of the Rebel Army of Northern Virginia, which terminated in the surrender of General Lee and his entire forces, Apr. 9, 1865, at Appomattox C. H. For his constant services in the field, Gibbs received the brevets of Colonel, Brigadier-General, and Major-General, U. S. Army, and of Major-General, U. S. Volunteers.

After active hostilities terminated in the North, Gibbs commanded a cavalry force in the Division of the Gulf, and was mustered out of volunteer service, Feb. 1, 1866, after which, as Major of the Seventh Cavalry, he was on frontier duty in Kansas till he died, at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., Dec. 26, 1868.

General Sheridan, who fully appreciated a true cavalry soldier, characterized Gibbs as a thoroughly trained and equipped officer, for he knew him to be punctilious in the discharge of all his military duties, and requiring the same fidelity from all under him. Though exacting this rigid discipline, he was greatly beloved by his men because of his kindness and constant attention to their comfort and health. Yet he was a perfect martinet in every requirement of cleanliness of person and accoutrements, punctuality in the performance of duty, and soldierly bearing on drill and on the battlefield. Off duty he was very companionable, cheery, jocose, fond of music, attractive to all his fellows, and most affectionate in his home circle. Dying at the early age of forty-four,​b he was a signal loss to the military service.

Thayer's Notes:

a1 a2 His tombstone (q.v.) reads Apr. 23d.

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b I've been unable — in a quick survey of websites, without yet having gone to print sources — to discover what killed him so suddenly, although one website (not known for its reliability) suggests, none too affirmatively, a stroke.

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Page updated: 18 May 14