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Bill Thayer

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 [decorative delimiter] Class of 1817

Vol. I

(Born Va.)

John M. Washington

(Ap'd Va.)

Military History. — Cadet of the Military Academy, Oct. 24, 1814, to July 17, 1817, when he was graduated and promoted in the Army to

Third Lieut., Corps of Artillery, July 17, 1817.

Served: in garrison at Charleston harbor, S. C., 1817‑18; as Battalion

(Second Lieut., Corps of Artillery, Mar. 20, 1818)

Quartermaster of Artillery, 1818‑20; on Florida Frontier, 1820‑21; in

(First Lieut., Corps of Artillery, May 23, 1820)

garrison at Savannah harbor, Ga., 1821‑22, — Ft. Moultrie, S. C., 1822‑24,

(First Lieut., 4th Artillery,
in Re-organization of Army, June 1, 1821)

 p180  — Augusta, Ga., 1824, — Ft. Monroe, Va. (Artillery School for Practice), 1824‑26, — and Ft. Marion, Fla., 1826‑27; on Ordnance duty, Jan. 31, 1827, to Jan. 1, 1833; in garrison at Ft. Monroe, Va., 1833; in Operations

(Bvt. Captain, May 23, 1830, For Faithful Service Ten Years in one Grade)

(Captain, 4th Artillery, May 30, 1832)

in Creek Nation, 1833‑34; in garrison at Ft. Macon, N. C., 1834, — and Ft. Monroe, Va., 1834‑36; in Operations in Creek Nation, 1836; in the Florida War, 1836‑38, being engaged against the Seminole Indians

(Capt., Staff — Asst. Quartermaster, July 7, 1838, to Apr. 11, 1839)

in the Combat of Locha-Hatchee, Jan. 24, 1838; in the Cherokee Nation, 1838, while transferring the Indians to the West; in the Florida War, 1838‑39; at the Camp of Instruction, near Trenton, N. J., 1839; on the Northern Frontier, during Canada Border disturbances, at Dearbornville, Mich., 1839‑40, — Detroit, Mich., 1840‑41, — and Buffalo, N. Y., 1841‑42; in garrison at Ft. McHenry, Md., 1842, — and Carlisle Barracks, Pa., 1842‑46; in the War with Mexico, 1846‑48, with Brig.‑General Wool's

(Major, 3d Artillery, Feb. 16, 1847)

column on the march from San Antonio, Tex., to Saltillo, Mex., 1846‑47, — in command of battery in the Battle of Buena Vista, Feb. 22‑23, 1847,

(Bvt. Lieut‑Col., Feb. 23, 1847,
for Gallant and Meritorious Conduct in the Battle of Buena Vista, Mex.)

— as Acting Governor of Saltillo, Mex., June 24 to Dec. 14, 1847, — and Chief of Artillery of Brig.‑General Wool's Division, Mar. 12 to Dec. 9, 1847, and of the "Army of Occupation," Dec. 9 to May 30, 1848; in command of Expedition to Santa Fé, N. M., 1848; as Civil and Military Governor of New Mexico, Oct., 1848, to Oct. 23, 1849; in garrison at Ft. Constitution, N. H., 1850‑52; and on voyage to California, 1853, in the Steamer San Francisco, from which he was washed overboard, Dec. 24, 1853, during a violent storm, by a heavy sea, which swept off four officers, 180 soldiers of the 3d Artillery, with several others, all of whom, save two, perished with him.​a

Drowned, Dec. 24, 1853, in the Gulf Stream, off the Capes of the Delaware.

Thayer's Note:

a Coverage of the wreck filled the newspapers for weeks. Interesting accounts are given by several of the survivors in The New York Times, Jan. 16, 1854.

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Page updated: 8 Jul 13