Short URL for this page:

[image ALT: Much of my site will be useless to you if you've got the images turned off!]
Bill Thayer

[image ALT: Cliccare qui per una pagina di aiuto in Italiano.]

[Link to a series of help pages]
[Link to the next level up]
[Link to my homepage]
This site is not affiliated with the US Military Academy.
[decorative delimiter]

 [decorative delimiter] Class of 1869

Vol. III

(Born Pa.)

John G. Bourke​a

(Ap'd at Large)


John Gregory Bourke: Born June 23, 1846, Philadelphia, PA.

Military History. — Cadet at the Military Academy, Oct. 17, 1865, to June 15, 1869, when he was graduated and promoted in the Army to

Second Lieut., 3d Cavalry, June 15, 1869.

Served: on frontier duty at Ft. Craig, N. M., Sep. 29, 1869, to Jan. 27, 1870, — Camp Grant, Ara., to Aug. 26, 1870, — Scouting in Arizona to Aug., 1871, being engaged in several Skirmishes, — and as Aide-de‑Camp to the Commanding Officer of the Department of Arizona, Aug. 30, 1871, to Aug., 1872; en route to San Francisco, Cal., Sep., 1872; on frontier duty as Aide-de‑Camp to Bvt. Major-General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Crook, Sep., 1872, to Mar. 3, 1883, being engaged in the Actions of Dec. 17 and 28, 1872, and Jan. and Feb., 1873, — Acting Engineer Officer of Department of Arizona, July 1, 1873, to Mar., 1875, — Exploring Expedition to Black Hills, Dak., May to July, 1875, — Big Horn and Yellowstone Expedition, and in the field, to May, 1877, being engaged in the Capture of Crazy Horse Village, Mon., Mar. 17, 1876, and Fights on Tongue River, Mon., June 9, 1876, Rosebud, Mon., June 17, 1876, Slim Buttes, Dak., Sep. 9, 1876, and Willow Creek, Wy., Nov. 25, 1876, — with Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Thornburg's command pursuing Cheyennes across Sand Hills of Nebraska and Dakota, Sep., 1878, — on General Merrit's March to rescue the survivors of Thornburg's command, Sep.‑Oct., 1879, — and Exploration of Yellowstone region, Aug. to Oct., 1880, — Recorder of the Poncas Indian Commission, Dec., 1880, to Feb., 1881, — investigating the Manners and Customs of

(Captain, 3d Cavalry, June 26, 1882)

 p132  the Pueblos, Navajoes, and Apache Indians, Apr., 1881, to June, 1882; as Acting Asst. Adjutant-General of Crook's Expedition into the Sierra Madre, Mexico, in pursuit of Apaches, Apr. 6 to June 26, 1883; on sick leave of absence, July 9, 1883, to Jan. 9, 1884; as Acting Aide-de‑Camp and Asst. Adjutant-General to Commander of Department of Arizona, Mar. 24, 1884, to June 25, 1885; on frontier duty at Ft. Rice, Dak.,º to Sep. 18, 1885; on Special duty in connection with Indians in Arizona and New Mexico, Oct. 6, 1885, to Mar. 31, 1886, and was present at the surrender of Geronimo and his band to Gen. Crook, in the Cañon de los Embudos, Sonora, Mexico, Mar. 26, 1886; on Special duty, War Department, to –––––, and under the orders of the Secretary of State, with the International American Conference, Sept. 28, 1889, to –––––.

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

(John Gregory Bourke)

Military History. — Served: Under orders of the Secretary of State, to April, 1891; at Fort McIntosh, Tex., to May, 1891; at Fort Ringgold, Tex. (quelling disorders on the Rio Grande frontier during the Garcia disturbances, Sept., 1891 to Feb., 1893), to March, 1893. — On duty with the World's Columbian Exposition in Department of Foreign Affairs, Chicago, March to Nov., 1893. — Commanding his troop at the Cavalry and Light Artillery School, Fort Riley, Kan., Nov., 1893 to July, 1894. — At Chicago, Ill., during the labor riots, to Sept., 1894; Fort Ethan Allen, Vt., to March, 1896, and on sick leave until he

Died June 8, 1896, at Philadelphia, Pa.: Aged 50.

Buried, Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA.

See Annual Association of Graduates, U. S. M. A., 1896, for an obituary notice, with a portrait.

Civil History. — President of the American Folk-lore Society. — Author of The Folk Food of the Rio Grande Valley and Northern Mexico; Notes on Some Arabic Survivals in the Language and Folk Usage of the Rio Grande Valley, etc.​b

Thayer's Notes:

a The Register inexplicably, and counter to its usual practice, omits Capt. Bourke's military career before he entered West Point: he fought for the Union as an enlisted man, and was awarded the Medal of Honor for gallantry in action at Stone River. An interesting and sympathetic summary of his life, well worth reading, is given at the Arlington National Cemetery site linked to above: it fleshes out the bare outlines given by Cullum.

[decorative delimiter]

b His many writings include a day-by‑day diary spanning eight years during his service under General Crook, various ethnological works on the Apaches and other Indians, and works on the ritual use of urine and feces in religion: the most important was Scatalogic Rites of All Nations. A Dissertation upon the Employment of Excrementicious Remedial Agents in Religion, Therapeutics, Divination, Witch-Craft, Love-Philters, etc. in all parts of the Globe. In his own time, however, he seems best to have been known for a magazine article entitled "Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Mackenzie's Last Fight With the Cheyennes".

[image ALT: Valid HTML 4.01.]

Page updated: 16 Jul 14