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Bill Thayer

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 [decorative delimiter] Class of 1877

Vol. III

(Born Min.)

William C. Brown

(Ap'd Min.)


Born Traverse des Sioux, MN.​a

Military History. — Cadet at the Military Academy, July 1, 1873, to June 14, 1877, when he was graduated and promoted in the Army to

Additional Second Lieut., 2d Cavalry, June 15, 1877.

Served: on leave of absence and awaiting orders, June 15 to Dec. 16,

(Second Lieut., 1st Cavalry, July 3, 1877)

1877; and on frontier duty at Ft. Walla Walla, Wash., Dec. 16, 1877, to May 26, 1878 (detached service, to July 5, 1878), — Bannock Campaign, July 5 to Oct. 11, 1878, being engaged in the Action of Birch Creek, Or., July 8, and Skirmish on North Fork of John Day River, Or., July 20, 1878, — and at Ft. Klamath, Or., Dec. 11, 1878, to May 2, 1879,  p284 — Escorting Indian Prisoners to Vancouver Barracks, Wash., and organizing company of Indian Scouts, and serving with them against hostile Sheepeaters in Middle Idaho, to Nov. 14, 1879, — Ft. Klamath, Or. (on detached service at Vancouver Barracks, Wash., and on Reconnoitering duty, June 5 to Sep. 26, 1880), to Nov. 25, 1880 (leave of absence, to Mar. 15, 1881), — constructing Telegraph Lines, Aug. 27 to Oct. 31, 1881, — detached service, Nov. 20 to Dec. 20, 1881, — Ft. Leavenworth, Kan. (Infantry and Cavalry School for Practice), Dec. 20, 1881, to June 30, 1883, and Instructor at the School, Aug. 29, 1883, to July 1,

(First Lieut., 1st Cavalry, Dec. 19, 1884)

1885; and Adjutant, U. S. Military Academy Aug. 1, 1885, to –––––.

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

(William Carey Brown)

Military History. —

(Brevet 1st Lieutenant, Feb. 27, 1890, for gallant services in action against Indians at Big Creek, Ida., Aug. 19, 1879; and in the reconnoissances of Aug. 17 and Sept. 25, 1879)

Served: Commanding Troop C, 1st Cavalry, and in Sept. and Oct., 1891, engaged in reconnoitering and mapping country northwest of St. Mary's Lakes, Mont. — Commanding troop in campaign against Sioux Indians during the winter of 1890‑91. — Fort Grant, Ariz., Sept. 19-Dec. 4, 1892. — On detached service in charge of survey of Navajo Indian Reservation ordered by the President (see Ex. Doc. No. 68, U. S. S., 52d Cong., 2d Sess.), June 9-Aug. 7. — On duty at World's Columbian Exposition, June 9 to Aug. 7, 1893. — Invented asbestos stovepipe-shield for  p286 tents, Pat. No. 511502, Nov. 20. — San Carlos, Ariz., Nov. 20, 1893 to Sept. 28, 1894. — On special service under orders of the Adjutant-General of the Army. — On leave of absence in Europe, Sept. 28, 1894 to Jan. 28, 1895. — Stationed at Fort Grant and San Carlos, Feb. to May, 1895. — Ordered to report to Adjutant-General for special service, May 6, 1895. — Recorder of Board convened by Secretary of War "to consider and recommend a proper ration for troops operating in emergencies." — On duty in Military Information Division, A. G. O., as Chief of Map and Frontiers Section, and later as Chief of Militia Section, May to Aug., 1896. — Aug. to Oct., 1896, superintending printing and assisting in correction of proofs of Cavalry Drill Regulations of 1896.

(Captain of Cavalry, 1st Cavalry, Nov. 6, 1896)

— Joined troop at Fort Sill, Okla., in Dec., 1896. — April 28-May 10, 1897, engaged in making practical field test of the emergency ration. — Participated in Spanish-American war. — In camp, Chickamauga, Ga., and Lakeland, Fla., and with expedition leaving Tampa in June, 1898, for Santiago de Cuba. — Recommended for Brevet of Major for gallantry in battle of Santiago de Cuba, July 1. — Participated in bombardment of Santiago, July 10 and 11. — In camp, Montauk Point, N. Y., Aug. and Sept., 1898. — Commanding Fort Washakie, Wyo., Oct. 14, 1898, to ––––

(Major, 45th U. S. Volunteer Infantry, Aug. 17, 1899)

(Transferred to 42d U. S. Volunteer Infantry, Sept. 14, 1899)

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

Military History. — Commanding Fort Washakie, Wyo., Oct. 14, 1898 to Aug. 25, 1899 and from Sept. 2, 1901 to Aug. 25, 1902.

 p262  (Major, 45th U. S. Volunteer Infantry, Aug. 17, 1899)

— Transferred to 42nd U. S. Volunteer Infantry, Sept. 14th, 1899; Fort Niagara, N. Y., Sept. and Oct., 1899, commanding 7 companies, 42d U. S. Volunteer Infantry; Assisting in organization of 42d U. S. Volunteer Infantry on U. S. C. T. Dalny Vostok, en route to Manila, Dec., 1899; participated in operations against Filipino insurgents during first half of 1900, commanding at various times stations of Taguig, Paete, Malabon and Pasig; Inspector-General, 4th (Funston's) District, Department Northern Luzon, July 30, 1900 to April 20, 1901, participating in actions at Santa Cruz, Oct. 13, 1900 and Malimba R., Jan. 25, 1901, where he killed the bandit, Lieutenant-Colonel Tomas Tagunton; mustering out officer in Manila and San Francisco and leave of absence in Japan, April 21, July 8, 1901; mustered out of volunteer service, June 27, 1901; R. Q. M., 1st U. S. Cavalry and Post Q. M. Batangas, P. I., from Oct. 5, 1902 to June 10, 1903, when he returned to the U. S. via China, Japan, Manchuria and Trans-Siberian route; at maneuvers, West Point, Ky., as Adjutant-General, 1st Brigade, and at Fort Riley, Kas., as Umpire and as Inspector-General of the Maneuver Division, Sept. 24 to Nov. 1st, 1903; joined regiment, Fort Clark, Texas, Nov. 23, 1903; conducting experimental firing to obtain exterior ballistic data U. S. Magazine Rifle, Model 1903, at Ordnance Range near Fort Clark, Texas, Feb. to July, 1903.

(Major, 3d Cavalry, July 28, 1904)

— Joined Fort Assinniboine, Montana, Nov. 21, 1904, and on garrison duty there until Dec. 15, when sailed with regiment for Philippines; on garrison duty, Camp Stotsenburg, P. I., Jan. 16 to Oct. 19, 1906; Oct. 20, 1906; Feb. 23, 1907; traveling in Australia, investigating feasibility of securing and (July 29, 1907 to April 15, 1908) engaged in purchasing 600 horses for cavalry in Philippines Division; returned to U. S. via Suez, traveling (May 12, July 16) on duty status in Java and India noting matters of military interest; reported at War Department, Aug. 24 and rejoined regiment at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, Sept. 27, 1908; changed station to and commanding Fort Wingate, N. M., Dec. 29, 1908 to –––––.

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

(William Carey Brown, Born Dec. 19, 1854.)

Military History. —

Major, 3d Cavalry, July 28, 1904.

At Fort Wingate, N. M., commanding post, Dec. 29, 1908, to Aug. 10, 1909; at Army War College, Washington, D. C., to Oct. 31, 1910, when he was graduated; on leave of absence and on duty in South America where he inspected various military activities in Peru, Chili, Argentine,  p238 Uruguay and Brazil, being the first American to go by rail from Montevideo to Rio de Janeiro, Nov. 1, 1910, to Jan. 24, 1911; associated with Colonel Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Hugh L. Scott during 1910 and 1911 in putting through Congress bill for readjustment of rank and relief of officers overslaughed in rank by the system of regimental promotion (see last paragraph, Army Appropriation Bill, 1911‑12);​b at Nogales, Arizona, commanding troops enforcing neutrality laws, Feb. 13 to March 9, 1911;

(Lieut.‑Colonel of Cavalry, March 11, 1911)

at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, with 3rd Cavalry, March 11, 1911; at San Antonio, Texas, commanding Provisional Cavalry Regiment in Maneuver Division, April 4 to June 13, 1911; during 1911 engaged in experimenting with range finders with view of selecting a suitable one for Infantry and Cavalry (see U. S. Cavalry Journal, November, 1911); took Field Officer's Course at Mounted Service School, April‑May, 1912; declined tender of post as Military Attaché to Legation at Buenos Aires, August, 1912; on duty in Eastern Department, Acting Inspector-General, Sept. 8, 1912, to

(Colonel of Cavalry, April 26, 1914)

Sept. 1, 1914; at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., commanding 10th Cavalry and post, Sept. 8, 1914, to March, 1916 (at Naco, Arizona, commanding 10th Cavalry and enforcing U. S. neutrality laws during siege of that place, having eight men of regiment wounded, and the conduct and discipline of the regiment while performing this duty receiving special commendation of the President and Chief of Staff, Oct. 7-Dec. 31, 1914; in command of troops at Nogales, Arizona, when Villistas were driven out of Nogales, Mexico, by General Obregon, Nov. 1, 1915); on Punitive Expedition into Mexico, commanding 10th Cavalry, March 16 to May 3, 1916, and participating in engagement with Beltran's band of Villistas at Aguas Calientes, April 1, 1916; sick in hospital and on sick leave, May 3 to Aug. 12, 1916; before Retiring Board July 23, 1916, but Secretary of War, on recommendation of Chief of Staff, ordered that as Colonel Brown had made an unusually rapid and forced march in Mexico and had performed duty without complaint, he be not retired unless he showed real inability to perform his duties; at Washington, D. C., with Militia Bureau, compiling report on Mobilization of National Guard in 1916, Aug. 12 to Dec. 19, 1916; testified before Senate Sub‑Committee on Universal Military Training, Dec. 19, 1916; at New York, N. Y., in office of Inspector-General, Eastern Department, in connection with Militia inspections, Jan. 8 to May 22, 1917; President of Board for selecting cantonment sites (Yaphank, Wrightstown, Admiral and Petersburg), Eastern Department, May 22 to June 18, 1917; with Hdqrs. Staff, 42nd Division, Sept. 5 to Nov. 30, 1917, landing in France Nov. 1, 1917; Inspector, Quartermaster Corps, on duty at General Hdqrs., American Expeditionary Force, Nov. 30, 1917, to Dec. 19, 1918.

Cited by Commander in Chief, A. E. F., "for exceptionally meritorious and conspicuous services as Inspector, Quartermaster Corps, American Expeditionary Forces."

Colonel, U. S. A., Retired, Dec. 19, 1918,
By Operation of Law.

Vol. VII
[Supplement, Vol. VII: 1920‑1930]

Military History: — Adjutant, U. S. Military Academy, Aug. 1, 1885, to June 30, 1890.

Colonel, U. S. A., Retired, Dec. 19, 1918,
By Operation of Law.


Distinguished Service Medal.

"For exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services. As inspector, Quartermaster Corps, American Expeditionary Forces, from Nov. 1917, until Dec. 1918, throughout the zone of operations, he displayed the greatest zeal, utmost devotion to duty, and indefatigable efforts. By his long experience, marked efficiency, and tireless energy he made highly intelligent inspections and recommendations, thereby enabling the Quartermaster Corps to improve the Services of Supply and the saving of a large quantity of important material."

Awarded Silver Star and cited "for gallantry in action against Spanish forces at Santiago, Cuba, July 1, 1898."

Brigadier-General, U. S. A., Retired, Feb. 28, 1927,
Act of Feb. 28, 1927.

Under Act of Congress, Feb. 28, 1927, Colonel Brown and five others were, for forty years' exceptionally efficient service, etc., promoted without increased pay to Brigadier-General on the retired list. (Pub. No. 659-69th Cong. H. R. 5028.) In Oct. 1919 and for several years subsequently was employed without compensation, in an advisory capacity, in the Subsistence Division, Q. M. G. O., on work pertaining to Emergency Rations and in preparation of a Reserve Ration for the Army. Under dates of Dec. 26, 1919 and Jan. 21, 1921, it is of record in the Q. M. G. O. that this voluntary service resulted in a saving to the Government of over $300,000.00. Subsequently at request of Chief of Infantry he prepared for instruction purposes at Infantry School data relating to history and development of Emergency Rations.

Service Medals: Indian Wars; Spanish-American War; Philippine Insurrection; Mexican Punitive Expedition of 1916; Victory Medal, France.

Civil History: — From 1925 to 1930 devoted considerable time to research work of Western history, including history of Traverse des Sioux, Nicollet Co., Minn.; Marias Pass, Mont. (for Gt. Northern Ry.) and other minor activities.​c

[Supplement, Vol. VIII: 1930‑1940]

Military History: —

Col., Ret., Dec. 19, 1918.

Brig.‑Gen., Ret., Feb. 28, 1927.

Died, May 9,​d 1939, at Denver, Colo.: Aged 84.

Portrait and obituary in Annual Report, Association of Graduates, for 1939.º

Buried, West Point Cemetery, West Point, NY.

Thayer's Notes:

a Gen. Brown's birthplace is from his AOG obituary.

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b More accessibly online, the bill is somewhat better summarized by Ganoe, The History of the United States Army, p439.

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c In addition to the range finders and asbestos stovepipe shield for tents mentioned above, Gen. Brown patented a shelf attachment for tents and a spur attachment for leggings, and was among the first to recommend aluminum for canteens and similar military equipment. The details of these and other inventions are given in pp45 ff., and passim elsewhere, of Abstract of Military Record of Colonel William Carey Brown (n. d., probably 1919; 68pp), online at Archive.Org.

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d Gen. Brown's AOG obituary gives the date as May 8.

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Page updated: 12 Aug 21