Frank Hank Tompkins
Son of Brevet Brig. General Charles H. Tompkins (USA) and Augusta Root Tompkins
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About Colonel Frank Tompkins, 13th U.S. Cavalry
Colonel Frank Tompkins commanded the American forces at Columbus, New Mexico, at the time of Francisco (Pancho) Villa's raid. He managed to gather 32 cavalrymen and was nipping at the heels of the fleeing Mexicans. His troops sighted Villa’s rear guard and killed over thirty men and horses. Colonel Tompkins kept up the chase for eight hours and killed a number of stragglers as well as more of Villa’s rear guard. Lacking supplies, Tompkins and his cavalrymen were forced to return to Camp Furlong. On their way back, they counted 75 to 100 “Villistas” killed during their hastily organized pursuit. Colonel Tompkins later wrote a revealing book, Chasing Villa.
Frank Tompkins (1868-1954) was born in Washington, DC, the son of Charles H. Tompkins (1830-1915). His thirty-two years of service with the U.S. Army included stations in Cuba, the Philippines, Mexico and France. He became well-known for his pursuit of Mexican revolutionary, Francisco Villa during the Mexican border skirmishes of 1916.
During World War I, Tompkins commanded Boston’s famous 301st Infantry. Colonel Tompkins was associated with Norwich University for nearly fifty years, through three tours of duty as professor of military science and tactics and as commandant from 1910 to 1923. Largely through the efforts of Tompkins, Norwich received the Moses Taylor riding hall (later became the Taylor hockey arena), the cavalry stables, Sabine field and, because of his connection with Rush Hawkins, a contribution from General Hawkins of $400,000.00.
Frank Tompkins married Alice Gertrude Barr (1870-1964) in 1893 and the couple had two sons, Charles Barr Tompkins (1893-1894) and Francis Parker Tompkins (1896-1971).