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Bill Thayer

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 [decorative delimiter] Class of 1878

Vol. III

(Born Pa.)

Abner Pickering

(Ap'd Ill.)


Born Wabash County, IN.​a

Military History. — Cadet at the Military Academy, July 1, 1874, to June 13, 1878, when he was graduated and promoted in the Army to

Second Lieut., 2d Infantry, June 14, 1878.

Served: on frontier duty at Ft. Harney, Or., Oct. 24, 1878 (escorting Indian Prisoners, Jan. to May 1, 1879), to June 3, 1880, — Scouting, to Aug. 16, 1880, — Camp Chelan, Wash., to Oct. 10, 1880, — Ft. Spokane, Wash., to Aug. 20, 1881 (sick leave of absence, to Mar. 1, 1882), — Ft. Coeur d'Alène, Ida., to October 23, 1882, — constructing Telegraph Line to Cape Flattery, to July 11, 1883, — Ft. Coeur d'Alène, Ida., to July 2, 1886,

(First Lieut., 2d Infantry, Feb. 27, 1887)

— and Ft. Omaha, Neb., to Oct. 18, 1888; and as Professor of Military Science and Tactics, Purdue University, Ind., to –––––.

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

Military History. — Professor of Military Science and Tactics, Purdue University, La Fayette, Ind., until Oct. 1, 1891. — In Department of the Platte (Fort Omaha) until June 29, 1896. — On duty with Columbian Guard, World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, Ill., June 20 to Oct. 31, 1893. — Department of Dakota (Forts Keogh, Mont., and Yates, N. D.), July 1, 1896

(Captain of Infantry, 2d Infantry, Aug. 8, 1897)

to April 19, 1898. — With regiment, left Dakota, April 19, 1898, for Spanish-American war. — Encamped at Chickamauga, Ga., and Tampa, Fla., and went aboard transport Yucatan, June 8. — Left Port Tampa, Fla., June 14. — Arrived off Santiago de Cuba, June 22. — Landed at Siboney, June 24. — With regiment on arduous "reconnoissance in force," against Aguadores, June 26. — Participated in attacks of July 1 before Santiago and until surrender. — From 3 P.M., July 1, until about noon, July 2, with Company G, 2d Infantry, held extreme left of American line. — Recommended for Brevet Major for "gallantry in battle." — Returned to the United States on U. S. transport St. Paul, landing at Montauk Point Aug. 15. — In Camp Anniston, Ala., Sept. 22, 1898 to March 23, 1899. — Augusta, Ga., to ––––

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

Military History. — Served: Stationed at Trinidad, Cuba, with Company G, 2d Infantry, as part of Army of Occupation, from April ––– to about Sept. 15, 1899, performing many civil functions; in command  p276 of Home Battalion ordered to U. S., taking station at Fort Thomas, Ky., arriving there Sept. 30; with Company Cº at Columbus Barracks, Ohio, April 19, 1900 to Aug. 10, 1900; left U. S. for Manila, Aug. 31, 1900, arriving there Sept. 29, 1900; in Camp Pasay Barracks, till Oct. 8, when hurriedly sent to Island Masbate as reinforcements with Companies L and M, 1st Infantry; participated in numerous expeditions about Masbate and adjacent islands, until pacified, in April, 1901; in command at Masbate until Nov. 1, when ordered to Manila; was in command of 3d Battalion, 2d Infantry, from date of leaving U. S., till Nov., 1901; stationed at Guinianigan, Province of Tayabas, until March, 1902; duty in Manila; member of Examining Board, until Aug. 12, 1902.

(Major, 22d Infantry, June 9, 1902)

— Joined regiment at Fort Crook, Neb., Oct. 21, 1902; in command 2d Battalion and 2d Infantry, and left Fort Crook, Oct. 20, 1903, en route for Philippines; arrived Manila, Nov. 29, and ordered to take station at Marahui; in command of Pantas sub‑post of Marahui (now Camp Keithley), until March 8, 1904; stationed Marahui for two years, and participated in numerous expeditions against hostile Moros about Lake Lanao; in command of a Provisional Battalion, 22d Infantry in the Third Sulu Expedition under General Wood, on Island of Jolo, May 1 to May 10, 1905; with three Companies, 22d Infantry, captured stronghold of Peruka Utig, a Moro Chief, his command losing fifteen killed and wounded; left Manila, Dec. 15, 1905, arriving at San Francisco, Jan. 14, 1906; sent with 2d Battalion, 22d Infantry, to garrison, Alcatraz Island; in command of this post and military prison until June 15, 1907; during the fire and earthquake, San Francisco, in April, 1906, furnished troops for duty in the city; at Presidio of Monterey, Cal., June 15 to Nov. 16, 1907; in command 2d Battalion, 22d Infantry; on recruiting duty, Columbus Barracks, Ohio, from Nov. 20, 1907, until –––.

(Transferred to 1st Infantry, Sept. 30, 1909)

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

(Born July 11, 1854.)

Military History. —

Major, 22d Infantry, June 9, 1902.

Transferred to 1st Infantry, Sept. 30, 1909.

At Vancouver Barracks, Wash., in command of 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry, to

(Lieut.‑Colonel, 22d Infantry, Feb. 23, 1910)

March 10, 1910;

(Transferred to 9th Infantry, March 12, 1910)

joined regiment at San Francisco, Cal., and proceeded with it to Philippines, April 1, 1910; at Iloilo, in command of post and of military prison, to Nov. 23, 1911; in Manila, on court-martial duty and member of boards, to

(Colonel of Infantry, March 30, 1912)

April 15, 1912, on which date left Philippines for U. S.; at Ft. D. A. Russell, Wyo., as additional Colonel, 11th Infantry, to May 12, 1913,

(Assigned to 11th Infantry, May 12, 1913)

when he succeeded to command of regiment; at Texas City, Texas, Naco and Douglas, Arizona, commanding regiment on Mexican border, May, 1913, to May 24, 1917; at Fort Oglethorpe, Ga., in command of mobilization at that point (nine regiments of Infantry and three of Cavalry), May 29 to Dec. 28, 1917 (except for one month);

(Transferred to 41st Infantry, March 21, 1918)

at Fort Crook, Neb., in command of regiment and post, March to June 7, 1918; at Camp Funston, Kans., in command of regiment to date of retirement.

Colonel, U. S. A., Retired, July 11, 1918,
By Operation of Law.

Recalled to duty same date and ordered to Fort McPherson, Ga., in command of War Prison Bks. No. 1; commanded these Barracks to Nov. 1, 1919, when all the German prisoners there (1400) were repatriated and he was relieved from further active duty; resided since at Columbus, Ohio.

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

Military History: —

Colonel, U. S. A., Retired, July 11, 1918,
By Operation of Law.

Continued on active duty to Nov. 1, 1919.

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

[Supplement, Vol. VIII: 1930‑1940]

Military History: —

Col., Ret., July 11, 1918.

Died, Oct. 6, 1939,​b at San Diego, Calif.: Aged 86.

Portrait and obituary in Annual Report, Association of Graduates, for 1940.º

Buried, Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA.

Thayer's Notes:

a Col. Pickering's birthplace is from his AOG obituary.

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b The Register has 1940, a mistake. Both his tombstone  (q.v.) and his AOG obituary give the correct year. Most definitively, had he died in 1940 his obituary could not have been reported until the AOG's 1941 Report.

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Page updated: 22 Apr 16