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Bill Thayer

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 [decorative delimiter] Class of 1894

Vol. IV

(Born Mas.)

Charles L. Bent

(Ap'd Mas.)


Probably born at Cambridge, MA.​a

Military History. — Cadet at the U. S. M. A., from June 17, 1890 to June 12, 1894, when he was graduated and promoted in the Army to

(Second Lieut. of Infantry, 1st Infantry, June 12, 1894)

Served: Garrison duty at Angel Island, Cal., Sept. 30, 1894 to Jan. 9, 1895; at San Diego Barracks, Cal., to March 24, 1896; at Benicia Barracks, Cal., to Aug., 1896; at Angel Island, Cal., to Oct., 1896; at Presidio, San Francisco, Cal., to April 20, 1898;

(First Lieut. of Infantry, 7th Infantry, April 26, 1898)

with regiment at Tampa, Fla., June 14, 1898; in the campaign against Santiago, and in Cuba, to Aug., 1898, being engaged in the battle of El Caney, July 1 and in the siege of Santiago to July 17, 1898; on sick leave, Aug. 18, 1898 to March 5, 1899; with company at Fort Brady, Mich., to ––––

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

Military History. — Served: At Fort Brady, Mich., to May 1, 1900; Coeur d'Alene strike, to March, 1901.

(Captain, 29thº Infantry, Feb. 2, 1901)

— Transferred to 30th Infantry, May 18, 1901; in Philippine Islands, April 18, 1901 to Dec. 14, 1903; in command at Santa Lucia, April, 1901 to July, 1901; on Island of Mindoro, to July, 1902; captured two deserters, Hale and Webster, from the U. S. Army, who were lieutenants in the insurgent army; killed General Cayton, insurgent army, and many of his command; drove the remainder to the hills, capturing the headquarters, flag, records, many rifles and much ammunition; captured chief paymaster with pay rolls of all troops on island; also several small companies; recommended by Lieut.‑Colonel Pitcher, in command of U. S. forces, for Major in Philippine Scouts, for work done in breaking up insurgent forces on island; in Manila, July, 1902 to Dec. 14, 1903; at Fort Logan H. Roots, Ark., to July, 1906; at encampment, Fort Riley, Kas., to Sept., 1906; at Fort Crook, Neb., to April 29, 1907.

(Resigned, April 29, 1907)​b

Civil History.Inspector-General, Superintendent's Office, Union Pacific Railroad.

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

(Charles Lyman Bent, Born Feb. 18, 1871.)

Military History. —

Captain, 20thº Infantry, Feb. 2, 1901.

Resigned, April 29, 1907.

From latter part of year 1916 to outbreak of war in 1917, engaged (at no expense to Government) in organization of Railway Reserve Regiments; appointed

 p707  Captain of Engineers, Officers' Reserve Corps, Feb. 11, 1917

appointment not accepted; appointed

Major of Engineers, Officers' Reserve Corps, April 16, 1917

assigned to active duty May 14, 1917; organized 3rd Reserve Engineers (Railway), afterwards known as 13th Engineers, (Railway), U. S. A., sailed with two companies for England July 21, 1917; unsuccessfully attacked and shelled by submarine July 29, 1917; part of first U. S. troops to march under arms in London before King and Queen of England, Aug. 15, 1917; in Verdun Sector, with Second French Army in defense of Verdun, Sept. 11 to 17, 1917; at St. Dizier, attached to staff of Commission Régulatrice to July 1, 1918, when he rejoined his regiment, received letter of commendation from Colonel de Rourre, head of the Commission; at Angers, France, attached to staff of Commanding Officer, U. S. Troops, August, 1918; recommended for Lieut.‑Colonelcy of Infantry, November, 1918; notified Nov. 18 of transfer to Infantry to date from Oct. 21, 1918; at Channes, France, with 120th Infantry, 80th Division, December, 1918; recommended for Lieut.‑Colonelcy of Infantry, February, 1919; graduate of Staff School at Châtillon, France, March, 1919; returned to U. S. and at Camp Dix, N. J., with regiment, June, 1919;

Honorably Discharged, at Camp Grant, Ill., June 27, 1919.

Civil History. — From April 30, 1907, with Union Pacific Railroad Co. as freight brakeman, passenger brakeman, switchman, attached to various departments, Inspector of Transportation for system; May 11, 1912, Inspector Passenger Train and Station Service of the Illinois Central Railroad, the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad and the Chicago, Memphis and Gulf Railroad; during Mexican trouble in 1915, in charge, under American Railway Association, of all troop railway movements in Mississippi; May 14, 1917, granted indefinite leave of absence to join the Army; returned to duty with Railroad, Jan. 1, 1920.

Address: Care General Manager, Illinois Central R. R., Chicago, Ill.

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

Military History: —

Captain, 20th Infantry, Feb. 2, 1901.

Resigned, Apr. 29, 1907.

 p385  Civil History: — From Apr. 30, 1907, with Union Pacific Railroad Co., as freight brakeman, passenger brakeman, switchman, attached to various departments, Inspector of Transportation for system; May 11, 1912, Inspector Passenger Train and Station Service of the Illinois Central Railroad, the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad and the Chicago, Memphis and Gulf Railroad; during Mexican trouble in 1915, in charge, under American Railway Association, of all troop railway movements in Mississippi; May 14, 1917, granted indefinite leave of absence to join the Army; returned to duty with Railroad, Jan. 1, 1920.

Address: 421, 2nd Avenue, N. E., Clarion, Iowa.

[Supplement, Vol. VIII: 1930‑1940]

Military History: —

Capt. 20th Inf., Feb. 2, 1901.

Resigned Apr. 29, 1907.

Vol. IX
[Supplement, Vol. IX: 1940‑1950]

Military History: —

Capt 20 Inf, 2 Feb 01.

Resd 29 Apr 07

Civil History: — Clarion Ia

Died, Sep. 27, 1958, at Coral Gables, Fla.: Aged 87.​c

Buried, Evergreen Cemetery, Clarion, IA.

Thayer's Notes:

a Capt. Bent seems to have been born in Cambridge, MA, but I haven't been able to confirm it precisely. In the Army and Navy Journal — see my next note — he is said to "come from Cambridge, Mass." In The Bent Family in America (Boston, David Clapp & Son, 1900), p254, he is listed as the son of Charles R. Bent and Antoinette Spare, each of them "of Cambridge".

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b I suspect, if without evidence, that the following article (from the San Francisco Call, Vol. 100, No. 168, Thursday, November 15, 1906) had something to do with Capt. Bent's resignation:

Army Captain's Wife Accused of Stealing Rare Lace

"Mrs. Bent stole the lace from my dressmaking parlors. I saw her conceal it in her stocking. I was so astounded at the time that I said nothing." — Statement of Mrs. W. A. McCutcheon, Oakland Modiste.

Wife of
Who Denies
She Stole
Goods as
Charged by
a Modiste
of Oakland.

[image ALT: A photograph of a bare-shouldered young woman with a somber air. It is a newspaper image of Mrs. Charles Lyman Bent, whose husband is the subject of this webpage.]

Alameda, Nov. 14. — "I knew that Mrs. Charles Lyman Bent stole the lace and carried it away. When one of my patrons, who owned the fabric, demanded to know what had become of it, I decided to call upon Mrs. Bent and request her to return the goods.' This I did. Mrs. Bent gave me the lace, which is worth about $30, but which is considered more valuable by its owner because it is an heirloom. That is all there is to the transaction, and I regret that the difference between Mrs. Bent and myself over the lace has become public."

In the foregoing words Mrs. W. A. McCutcheon, a leading dressmaker and ladies' tailor, whose parlors are at 215 Eighth street, Oakland, explained this evening why she came to Alameda yesterday and how she recovered a piece of rare lace from Mrs. Charles Lyman Bent, wife of a United States army captain, a prominent society woman and the daughter of the late A. A. Cohen and Mrs. Emily C. Cohen of Fernside, this city. Mrs. Bent, who departed today to join her husband at Fort Crook, Neb., told a story before taking the train that does not agree with the statement of her dressmaker. Mrs. Bent said:

"I had Mrs. McCutcheon make several gowns for me. About two weeks ago I visited Mrs. McCutcheon's parlors and took my 8‑year‑old daughter with me. The dressmaker had a number of lace samples lying about, and the child asked Mrs. McCutcheon if she could have some of them for her dolls' dresses. The dressmaker said that my daughter could take some of the remnants, and I presume that the little one, in picking out the samples, took the piece of lace that belonged to one of Mrs. McCutcheon's patrons. I did not even know that the lace was in the house until Mrs. McCutcheon and her daughter called at my home yesterday and accused me of having taken the lace. They were so insistent in their accusation that I searched the room of my daughter, and there, much to my surprise, I found the missing lace and returned it to the dressmaker. "The statement that I took the lace, and that Mrs. McCutcheon saw me hide the fabric in my stocking, is untrue," declared Mrs. Bent. "I never took the lace, and those who know me best know that what I say is true. If I had the time and could delay my departure for Nebraska I would sift this story to the bottom, as I feel that I have been placed in a false light. It vexes me greatly to think of the apparently malicious injury that has been done me."

In relating the details of her visit to Mrs. Bent at the Cohen residence here yesterday, Mrs. McCutcheon said: "When I and my daughter called upon Mrs. Bent and told her that we were after some lace that we had reason to believe she had taken from our parlors, Mrs. Bent was at first highly indignant and denied emphatically that she had taken the lace. When we suggested that her little girl might have taken the lace she scouted that suggestion. When Mrs. Bent saw that we were determined she said: 'Well, how much is the lace worth? I will pay you rather than have any notoriety about the matter.' I told her that the lace was worth about $30 but that it was not the value of the lace but the lace itself that we wanted, as my patron had demanded that I find it. Mrs. Bent then went to her daughter's room, and when she returned with the lace I said, 'That is all I want,' and left the house."

Mrs. Bent was Miss Ethel Cohen before her marriage about nine years ago to Lieutenant Charles Lyman Bent, who now ranks as a captain in the United States Army, and who has for some time been stationed at Fort Crook.

A bit more information on Mrs. Bent is given in The United States Army and Navy Journal and Gazette of the Regular and Volunteer Forces, Vol. 34, June 5, 1897, p739:

One of the largest and most fashionable weddings of the year, says a San Francisco dispatch, occurred at the First Unitarian Church, June 2, when Miss Ethel Cohen and Lieut. Charles Lyman Bent, U. S. A., were married. Miss Cohen is a daughter of the late A. A. Cohen, millionaire, who served for many years as chief counsel for the Central Pacific Railroad. Lieut. Bent is stationed at the Presidio. He comes from Cambridge, Mass.

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c Capt. Bent died after the publication of Vol. IX (1950), the most recent volume of the Supplements to Cullum's Register available to me, which may also be the most recent volume in the public domain. The date and place of his death are from a placeholder page at the West Point Association of Graduates, now offline.

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Page updated: 21 Oct 21