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Bill Thayer

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 [decorative delimiter] Class of 1851

Vol. II

(Born Me.)

George Thacherº Balch

(Ap'd O.)


Military History. — Cadet at the Military Academy, July 1, 1847, to July 1, 1851, when he was graduated and promoted in the Army to

Bvt. Second Lieut., Ordnance, July 1, 1851.

Served: as Assistant at Watervliet Arsenal, N. Y., 1851; at the Military Academy as Asst. Professor of Chemistry, Mineralogy, and Geology, Sep. 13, 1852, to Jan. 19, 1853; in command of Mount Vernon

(Second Lieut., Ordnance, Feb. 26, 1853)

Arsenal, Ala., 1853; as Asst. at Frankford Arsenal, Pa., 1853‑54, — and at Ordnance Depot, Governor's Island, N. Y., 1854‑55; as Chief of Ordnance

(First Lieut., Ordnance, July 1, 1854)

on Sioux Expedition, Apr. 16, 1855, to June 30, 1856; as Assistant at St. Louis Arsenal, Mo., 1856; on Inspection of the Armament of Fortifications of Pensacola Harbor, Fla., 1856‑57; on leave of absence, 1857; as Assistant at Ordnance Depot, Governor's Island, N. Y., 1857‑58, — to the Inspector of Arsenals, 1858, — at Ordnance Depot, Governor's Island, N. Y., 1858‑59, — and at Watervliet Arsenal, N. Y., 1859‑61; and as Member of Several Boards for testing Breech-loading and Rifled Ordnance, 1860‑61.

Served during the Rebellion of the Seceding States, 1861‑65: as Chief of Ordnance, Department of Florida, Apr. 16 to July 18, 1861; on Special duty in procuring supplies, at Springfield, Mas., Aug. 2, 1861, to

(Captain, Ordnance, Nov. 1, 1861)

Feb., 1862, — and in Ordnance Bureau at Washington, D. C., Feb., 1862, to Sep. 16, 1863; as Principal Assistant to the Chief of Ordnance, Sep. 16, 1863, to Sep. 14, 1864; at the Military Academy, as Instructor of Ordnance and Gunnery, Sep. 22, 1864, to July 12, 1865; in command of

(Bvt. Major, and Bvt. Lieut.‑Col., Mar. 13, 1865, for Faithful and Meritorious Services in the Ordnance Department during the Rebellion)

Charleston Arsenal, S. C., Aug. 21 to Oct. 7, 1865; on leave of absence, Oct. 7 to Dec. 1, 1865.

Resigned, Dec. 1, 1865.

Civil History. — General Manager and Treasurer of Remington Agricultural Works, at Ilion, N. J., 1866‑67. Paper Boat Builder, Troy, N. Y., 1868‑72. Employed by Erie Railroad Company in various capacities, 1872‑78. Author of a "General Classification of Railway Realties, Rights, and Plant," 1875; and of "Railway Rights, Realties,  p439 and Personalties," 1877. Unknown since 1878, nothing authentic having been received.

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

Civil History. — Auditor or member of the Board of Education of New York city.​a

 p81  Died April 15, 1894, at New York, N. Y.: Aged 66.

See Annual Association of Graduates, U. S. M. A., 1894, for an obituary notice.

Buried, Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA.

Thayer's Note:

a In 1885, George Balch penned the first known Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag:

"We give our heads and our hearts to God and our country; one country, one language, one flag."

The pledge was adopted by a few schools around the country but was soon found to need improvement: a very different wording was written in 1892, which with minor tweaks became the pledge familiar to generations of American school students. [I am indebted to Joe Martz for the heads‑up on this one.]

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Page updated: 3 Nov 19