Charles A. Windolph (1851 - 1950)

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Birthdate:
Birthplace: Bergen, Germany
Death: Died in Lead, Lawrence, South Dakota, USA
Managed by: Marvin Caulk, (C)
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About Charles A. Windolph

The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Private Charles Windolph, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism on June 25 & 26, 1876, while serving with Company H, 7th U.S. Cavalry, in action at Little Big Horn, Montana. With three comrades, during the entire engagement, Private Windolph courageously held a position that secured water for the command.

General Orders: Date of Issue: October 5, 1878

Action Date: June 25 & 26, 1876

Service: Army

Rank: Private

Company: Company H

Division: 7th U.S. Cavalry

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http://www.deadwoodmagazine.com/archivedsite/Archives/Windolph.htm

Charles Windolph was last survivor of the Battle of the Little Bighorn. He died in 1950 at the age of 98.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Windolph

Charles Windolph (December 9, 1851 – March 11, 1950) was a soldier in Company H of the George Armstrong Custer's Seventh U. S. Cavalry who survived the Battle of the Little Bighorn and was the recipient of the Medal of Honor.


Biography


Windolph was born in Bergen, Germany, December 9, 1851, to Joseph and Adelphina Koch Windolph. He arrived in the United States in 1871, and enlisted in the army's 2nd US Infantry November 12, 1871. He deserted July 18, 1871, and promptly reenlisted as Charles Wrangel in 7th US Cavalry. He later surrendered and was restored to duty without punishment. He was a shoemaker and did cobbler work among his comrades. He was a participant in the Yellowstone Expedition of 1873 and the Black Hills Expedition in 1874.


Windolph took part in the Reno-Benteen hilltop action at the Battle of Little Bighorn, and was wounded in the buttock. He later received the Medal of Honor for his actions during that fight, specifically for providing covering fire for his comrades (including Medal of Honor recipient Peter Thompson) who went for water for the wounded on June 26, 1876. He was also awarded the Purple Heart many years later. He was discharged in 1883 as a Sergeant. Like Thompson, he moved to Lead, Dakota Territory, and took a job with the Homestake Mine, where he worked for 49 years. He married twice and had three children. His wife had a bakery. He was the source/subject of a book I Fought With Custer, The Story of Sergeant Windolph which is listed as written by Frazier & Robert Hunt, published in 1947. He died in 1950 at age 98, the last of the white participants in the Battle of the Little Bighorn. His remains were interred in the Black Hills National Cemetery.


Windolph first married in 1882 to Mary Jones who died in 1883. He later married a childhood friend, Mathilda Lulow. Mathilda Lulow was born ca. 1861 on the Isle of Rugen to Karl Christian Christoph Lulow and Marie Sophia Henrietta Kagelmacher. Mathilda died on 23 March 1924 and is buried with Charles Windolph in the Black Hills National Cemetery. They had children: Marie Elizabeth, Robert Nicholas, and Irene.

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Sergeant Charles Windolph, 7th U.S. Cavalry's Timeline

1851
December 9, 1851
Bergen, Germany
1882
March 21, 1882
Age 30
1884
June 16, 1884
Age 32
Lead, South Dakota, USA
August 16, 1884
Age 32
Sturgis, South Dakota, USA
1892
June 13, 1892
Age 40
1898
August 30, 1898
Age 46
Lead, South Dakota, USA
1950
March 11, 1950
Age 98
Lead, Lawrence, South Dakota, USA
????
Sturgis, Meade, South Dakota, USA