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Bill Thayer

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 [decorative delimiter] Class of 1825

Vol. I

(Born N. Y.)

William A. Thornton

(Ap'd N. Y.)


Military History. — Cadet at the Military Academy, July 1, 1820, to July 1, 1825, when he was graduated and promoted in the Army to

Bvt. Second Lieut., 1st Artillery, July 1, 1825.

Second Lieut., 4th Artillery, July 1, 1825.

Served: in garrison at Ft. Monroe, Va. (Artillery School for Practice), 1825‑26; on survey of Dismal Swamp Canal, 1826; at the Military Academy, as Asst. Instructor of Infantry Tactics, Sep. 21, 1826, to July 16, 1829; on Ordnance duty at Watertown Arsenal, Mas., July 16, 1829, to Sep. 26, 1831; in garrison at Ft. Monroe, Va. (Artillery School for Practice), 1831‑32; in on the "Black Hawk Expedition," 1832, but not at the seat of war;​a in garrison at Charleston harbor, S. C., 1832‑33, during South Carolina's threatened nullification; on Ordnance duty at Watervliet Arsenal, N. Y., Mar. 27, 1833, to Oct. 15, 1836; in the

(First Lieut., 4th Artillery, Jan. 31, 1835)

Florida War, on Quartermaster duty, 1836‑37; on Ordnance duty at Watervliet Arsenal, N. Y., May 15, 1837, to July 7, 1838; as Asst. Ordnance Officer on Niagara Frontier, July 7 to Oct. 27, 1838; in command

(Captain, Ordnance, July 7, 1838)

of Mt. Vernon Arsenal, Ala., and putting in order the armament of the Gulf Defenses, 1838‑40, — and of New York Ordnance Depot, 1840‑48; as Inspector of Contract Arms, 1840‑54; in command of Watertown Arsenal, Mas., 1842 (during the Dorr Outbreak in Rhode

(Bvt. Major, May 30, 1848, for Meritorious Conduct)

Island), and 1848‑51, — and of New York Ordnance Depot, 1851‑54; as Member of Ordnance Board for the trial of Small Arms, Jan. 13 to Feb. 19, 1855; in command of St. Louis Arsenal, Mo., 1855; as Chief of Ordnance of the Department of New Mexico, Aug. 31, 1855, to Oct. 1, 1857; as Member of Ordnance Board for testing the strength of heavy guns and gun carriages, Jan. 6‑19, 1858; in preparing building materials, at Watervliet, N. Y., for an Arsenal in California, 1858; in command of

(Major, Ordnance, May 28, 1861)

New York Ordnance Depot, and as Inspector of Contract Arms, 1858‑61;  p347 and as Member of Board to test the merits of James and Schencle's Rifled Cannon, 1859.

Served during the Rebellion of the Seceding States, 1861‑66; in command of Watervliet Arsenal, N. Y., May 14, 1861, to Dec. 17, 1863; as

(Lieut.‑Colonel, Ordnance, Mar. 3, 1863)

(Colonel, Ordnance, Sep. 15, 1863)

Inspector of Contract Arms and Ordnance, Dec. 17, 1863, to Apr. 6,

(Bvt. Brig.‑General, U. S. Army, Mar. 13, 1865, for Faithful and Meritorious Services in the Ordnance Department)

1866; and in command of New York Arsenal, June 19, 1865, to Apr. 6, 1866.

Died, Apr. 6, 1866, at Governor's Island, N. Y.: Aged 63.

Thayer's Note:

a The phrase "but not at (the) seat of war" occurs frequently in the Register in connection with the Black Hawk War; the explanation in most cases is the one given in the biographical sketch of James Monroe (q.v.).

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Page updated: 18 Nov 13