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Bill Thayer

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 [decorative delimiter] Class of 1871

Vol. III

(Born Ill.)

Alexander McC. Guard​1

(Ap'd at Large)


Born Oct. 2, 1849, Illinois Furnace, IL.​a

Military History. — Cadet at the Military Academy, July 1, 1866, to June 12, 1871, when he was graduated and promoted in the Army to

Second Lieut., 19th Infantry, June 12, 1871.

Served: in garrison at Little Rock, Ark., Feb. 12 to Dec. 23, 1872, — Baton Rouge, La., Dec. 31, 1872, to Nov. 20, 1873, — Greenwood, La., Nov. 26, 1873, to Jan. 21, 1874, — Jackson Barracks, La., Jan. 25 to Mar., 1874, — and New Orleans, La., to June, 1874; and on frontier duty, at Ft. Dodge, Kan., June 27, 1874, to July 1, 1875, — Camp Supply, I. T., July 5, 1875, to July 2, 1877, — Ft. Dodge, Kan., July 8 to Nov. 15, 1877 (sick leave of absence, to Nov. 1, 1878), and Nov. 1, 1878, to July 29, 1879, — Ft. Lyon, Col., to Oct. 28, 1879, — Ft. Garland, Col.,

(First Lieut., 19th Infantry, Mar. 20, 1879)

to May 17, 1880, — Scouting, to Nov. 8, 1880, — Ft. Leavenworth, Kan., to Oct. 31, 1881, — Ft. Brown, Tex., to Dec. 12, 1882, — Ft. Clark, Tex., to July 23, 1885, — Camp Del Rio, Tex., to June 20, 1886, — Ft. Clark, Tex., to Mar. 12, 1887, — Ft. Ringgold, Tex., to July 12, 1888, — Rifle Competition, to Sep., 1888 (leave of absence, to Jan., 1889), — and Ft. Clark, Tex., to Sep. 24, 1889; and in garrison at David's Island, N. Y., to –––––.

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

(Alexander McCook Guard)

Military History. — Served: At David's Island, N. Y., to March 26, 1890; at San Antonio, Tex., to May, 1890; at Fort Brady, Mich., to Oct., 1890; at Fort Wayne, Mich., to March, 1891;

(Captain of Infantry, 19th Infantry, Feb. 20, 1891)

at Fort Mackinac, Mich., to Nov., 1892; at Fort Brady, Mich.,º to Sept., 1896; at Fort Wayne, Mich., to April 19, 1898; at Mobile, Ala., and at Tampa, Fla., to July 23, 1898; in Puerto Rico, to March 29, 1899; on leave

(Transferred to 5th Infantry, Aug. 11, 1899)


Retired from Active Service, with the rank of Major,
for disability in the line of duty, Sept. 8, 1899.

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

Died July 19, 1905, at Sault St. Marie, Mich.: Aged 56.

Buried, Spring Grove Cemetery, Cincinnati, OH.​b

Thayer's Notes:

a Capt. Guard's birth data are uncertain, but very likely. The Official Register of the Officers and Cadets, June, 1866, in a list titled "Alphabetical List of Cadets Admitted July 1, 1866" gives his age at admission as "16 [Years] 9 [Mos.]", thus putting his birthdate around Oct. 1, 1849. A posting by Linda McCook at the Maggie_Ohio‑L Archives at RootsWeb, 26 Jan 2003, reads:

I am researching William Alexander McCook Guard (aka Alexander McCook Guard) born 2 October 1849 at Illinois Furnace, Hardin County, Illinois. Died at Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., July 19, 1905 and is buried at Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is the son of Timothy Guard (born abt. 1828) and Mary Jane McCook Guard (Mary born in Ohio — abt. 1832.) Alexander attended West Point Military Academy, 1866‑1871. On his cadet card it states — from circumstances of the parents (1842‑1874) entry: occupation: iron muster "moderate" circumstances, country dweller. Alexander McCook Guard's maternal grandfather was Maj. Daniel McCook who with his brother and their sons became known as the "fighting McCooks of Ohio" circa Civil War.

[citations of Vols. III and V of Cullum's Register]

I would be happy to share the information on Alexander McCook Guard with anyone interested.

In another post by the same writer on RootsWeb (IlRoots‑L Archives 20 Feb 2002) the name of Maj. Guard's birthplace is given as Franklin's Furnace. This page at IllinoisOzarks.com states:

In 1839, Timothy Guard, a former senator in the Illinois General Assembly, and General Leonard White, a delegate to the Illinois Constitutional Convention in 1816, entered the iron working business by building a blast furnace east of Elizabethtown along the banks of Big Creek.

[. . .]

The furnace changed hands in 1844. By 1846 Illinois Furnace, Illinois had its own post office. The furnace was "blown out" and ceased operations October 8, 1850. Under new owner­ship in 1856, the furnace was enlarged and rebuilt to operate by hot or cold blast. The furnace again produced pig iron until sometime in 1861.

[. . .]

The last iron from Illinois Furnace was produced the summer of 1880. The iron in Hardin County wasn't of a sufficient grade to make iron works profitable in the area. Today the Iron Furnace is preserved as a United States Forest Service site. You can walk along the grounds and see the reconstructed furnace. No trace of the small village remains.

In Legends and Lore of Southern Illinois (by John W. Allen, 1963), p141, we read that Illinois Furnace was established "near Hog Thief Creek, about four miles north of Rosiclare, in Hardin County, in 1837".

I've been unable to trace the source of any of the RootsWeb information, but it's clear our officer is the person in question, and nothing in it is a mismatch with what we otherwise know.

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b See my previous note.

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Page updated: 17 Dec 14