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Bill Thayer

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 [decorative delimiter] Class of 1832

Vol. I

(Born Md.)

Robert H. Archer

(Ap'd Md.)


Military History. — Cadet at the Military Academy, July 1, 1828, to July 1, 1832, when he was graduated and promoted in the Army to

Bvt. Second Lieut., 3d Infantry, July 1, 1832.

Served: on frontier duty at Ft. Jesup, La., 1832‑33; in garrison at Ft.

(Transferred to 4th Artillery, Nov. 13, 1833)

McHenry, Md., 1834‑36, — and Augusta Arsenal, Ga., 1836; in Creek

(Second Lieut., 4th Artillery, Dec. 31, 1835)

Nation, 1836; and in the Florida War, 1837.

Resigned, Dec. 31, 1837.

Civil History. — Asst. Engineer, Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, 1837‑38. Principal of a Female Academy at Baltimore, Md., 1840‑56; and of Patapsco Female Institute, Ellicott's Mills, Md., 1856‑61.

Joined in the Rebellion of 1861‑66 against the United States.​a

Died, Aug. 11, 1875, near Washington, D. C.; Aged 63.

Buried, San Francisco National Cemetery, San Francisco, CA.

Thayer's Note:

a Cullum's Register is in error in stating that Mr. Archer "Joined in the Rebellion"; the mistake is very likely due to confusion with an identically named cousin of his born in 1820, Robert Harris Archer (brother and adjutant to Confederate General James Jay Archer). I am indebted to Grover Hinds, a researcher in Ellicott City, for the following information.

Mr. Archer did not, as it might appear from the entry in the Register, leave one school in 1856 to go to another. His Female Academy was merged into Almira Hart Lincoln Phelps' Patapsco Female Institute: he headed the expanded school. Mr. Hinds further writes:

"According to the letters held by Western Kentucky University of the Edmunds family of Princeton, Kentucky, minutes of the school, and reports to the Episcopal Bishop of Maryland, Archer was in Ellicotts Mills the whole war. The school closed down the Spring of 1861, because of the riots in Baltimore, reopened in the fall of 1861. The school was taken over by the Colonel of the 12th New Jersey" [Robert C. Johnson] "from September thru December, 1862. In a report to the Bishop of Maryland the Chaplain of the PFI reported that the school reopened in the Spring of 1863. We have found ads by Archer, in the Washington City Intelligencer newspaper about the school being open in 1863 and 1864. In 1866 the Edmunds thought about sending a younger sibling to the school, and Archer wrote the family a letter. In the letter he mentioned that he persevered with the school during the war, though the war nearly ruined him. He had a large Southern representation in the student body and lost access to the parents. As a result he was owed $30,000 that he still aspired to collect."

That Mr. Archer was not an active Confederate is clear from the continued existence of the school during the war years, from the brief involvement of a Union army officer in it, and from its advertising in a Washington newspaper.

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Page updated: 9 Nov 17