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Bill Thayer

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 [decorative delimiter] Class of 1852

Vol. II

(Born N. Y.)

James Van Voast

(Ap'd N. Y.)


Born Sep. 19, 1827, Schenectady, NY.

Military History. — Cadet at the Military Academy, July 1, 1848, to July 1, 1852, when he was graduated and promoted in the Army to

Bvt. Second Lieut., 3d Artillery, July 1, 1852.

Served: in garrison at Ft. Independence, Mas., 1852‑53; on voyage to

(Second Lieut., 3d Artillery, Aug. 22, 1853)

California, 1853, but, being wrecked in the steamer San Francisco,​a returned, 1854; in garrison at Ft. Wood, N. Y., 1854, — Ft. Columbus, N. Y., 1854, — and Ft. Monroe, Va., 1854; on frontier duty at Ft. Reading, Cal., 1854‑55; in garrison at Ft. Monroe, Va., 1855; on Recruiting

(First Lieut., 9th Infantry, Mar. 3, 1855)

service, 1855; on frontier duty, as Quartermaster, 9th Infantry, July 4, 1855, to June 11, 1858, — at Ft. Vancouver, Wash., 1856, — Cascades, 1856, being engaged in Defense of the Post against hostile Indians, Mar. 27‑28, 1856, — on Yakima Expedition, 1856, — Ft. Vancouver, Wash., 1856, Ft. Walla Walla, Wash., 1856, — and Ft. Dalles, Or. 1856‑1858; on Recruiting service, 1858‑60; and on frontier duty at Ft. Colville, Wash., 1860‑61, — Ft. Dalles, Or., 1861, — Ft. Cascades, Wash.,

(Captain, 9th Infantry, Mar. 1, 1861)

Served during the Rebellion of the Seceding States, 1861‑66: as Provost

(Major, 18th Infantry, Dec. 29, 1863)

Marshal of San Francisco, Cal., Apr. 11 to Jan., 1865; as Superintendent of Regimental Recruiting Service, Feb. 11, 1865, to Mar. 19, 1866; and on leave of absence, Mar. 19 to June 13, 1866.

Served: in command of Ft. Laramie, Dak., June 13 to Dec., 1866, — Ft. Philip Kearny, Dak., Jan. 1 to Apr. 22, 1867; on frontier duty en route to and at Ft. Reno, I. T., to May, 1868, — and Ft. D. A. Russell, Wy., July 3, 1868, to Apr., 1869 (leave of absence, July to Dec., 1868); in garrison at Atlanta, Ga., Apr., 1869, — and Warrenton, Ga., to Aug., 1869; as Member of Board at St. Louis, Mo., to test system of Tactics  p478 and Small Arms, Sep., 1869, to Nov., 1870; in garrison at Columbia, S. C., Dec., 1870, to Apr., 1871, — and Chester, S. C., to Sep. 24, 1871;

(Lieut.‑Colonel, 16th Infantry, Aug. 16, 1871)

on leave of absence and under orders, to Dec., 1871; in garrison at Jackson, Mis., Dec. 5‑31, 1871, — Nashville, Ten. (commanding regiment), Jan. 2, 1872, to Oct. 27, 1873, — Frankfort, Ky., Oct. 29, 1873, to Oct. 21, 1874, — Newport, Ky. (on Inspection duty), Oct., 1874, to Dec. 8, 1876, — and New Orleans, La., Dec. 21, 1876, to June 7, 1877; on frontier duty at Ft. Wallace, Kan., Jan. 15, 1877 (leave of absence, Apr. 9 to May 21, 1878, and Member of Retiring Boards, Feb. 23 to Mar. 6, Apr. 19 to May, and May 26 to June 7, 1879), to Oct. 13, 1880; on leave of absence to Oct. 12, 1881; on frontier duty at Ft. McKavett, Tex., to Mar. 11,

(Colonel, 9th Infantry, Feb. 20, 1882)

1882; and on sick leave of absence to Apr. 2, 1883.

Retired from Active Service, Apr. 2, 1883, for Disability contracted in Line of duty.

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

Military History. — Retired officer.

Vol. V
[Supplement, Vol. V: 1900‑1910]

Military History. — Retired officer. — Residence, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Vol. VI
[Supplement, Vol. VI: 1910‑1920]

Military History. —

Colonel, 9th Infantry, Feb. 20, 1882.

Colonel, U. S. A., Retired, April 2, 1883, for Disability contracted in Line of Duty.

Brigadier-General, U. S. A., on Retired List, April 23, 1904,
Act of April 23, 1904.

Died, July 16, 1915, at Cincinnati, Ohio: Aged 88.

Buried, Evergreen Cemetery, Miamiville, OH.

Portrait and obituary in Annual Report, Association of Graduates, for 1916.

Thayer's Note:

a He was one of the lucky ones; this was a very bad wreck, and coverage of it filled the newspapers for weeks. Interesting accounts are given by several of the survivors in The New York Times, Jan. 16, 1854; in them, Lt. Van Voast receives the high praise of both his commanding officer Col. Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Gates and Mrs. Gates.

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Page updated: 4 Jan 14