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Bill Thayer

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 [decorative delimiter] Class of 1833

Vol. I

(Born Mas.)

Robert R. Mudge

(Ap'd Mas.)


Military History. — Cadet at the Military Academy, July 1, 1829, to July 1, 1833, when he was graduated and promoted in the Army to

Bvt. Second Lieut., 3d Artillery, July 1, 1833.

Served: in garrison at Ft. Sullivan, Me., 1833‑34; at the Military Academy, as Asst. Instructor of Infantry Tactics, Oct. 23, 1834, to Sep. 2,

(Second Lieut., 3d Artillery, Aug. 31, 1835).

1835; and in the Florida War, 1835, being in Dade's desperate Battle with the Seminole Indians, "where the whole command, save three, fell without an attempt to retreat."

Killed,​1 Dec. 28, 1835: Aged 26.

Buried, St. Augustine National Cemetery, St. Augustine, FL.

The Author's Note:

1 General Hitchcock, who passed over the battle-ground Feb. 22, 1836, reports: "Along the north and west faces of the triangular breastwork formed by felled trees, were about  p547 thirty bodies, mere skeletons, although much of the clothing was left upon them. They were lying, almost every one of them, in precisely the position they must have occupied during the fight, — their heads next to the logs over which they had delivered their fire, and their bodies stretched with striking regularity parallel to each other. They had evidently been shot dead at their posts, and the Indians had not disturbed them, except by taking the scalps of most of them. . . . The advance guard, doubtless, fell during the first attack. It was during a cessation of fire that the little band still remaining — about thirty in number — threw up the triangular breastwork, which, from the haste with which it was constructed, was necessarily defective and could not protect the men on the second attack."

The action lasted from 8 A.M. to 4 P.M. The United States troops amounted to one hundred and eight, and the savage foe to eight hundred Seminole Indians, and one hundred negroes. Lieut. Mudge fell on the first fire.

A beautiful monument of white Italian marble was erected at West Point to "Dade and his Command."

Thayer's Note: For full details of the fight in which Lt. Mudge lost his life, still now usually referred to as Dade's Massacre, and his burial in Florida, see "The Dade Massacre", Florida Historical Society Quarterly 5:123‑138 (1927) and especially Alfred Mudge's Memorials, pp383‑393.

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Page updated: 15 Feb 13