Col. Robert O. Selfridge (USA)

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Robert Oliver Selfridge

Birthdate: (34)
Birthplace: New York, United States
Death: 1868 (33)
St Louis, MO, USA (railway accident)
Immediate Family:

Son of Robert Selfridge and Elizabeth Selfridge
Husband of Lois Frances Selfridge
Father of Charles J. Selfridge; Robert Benjamin [or Oliver] Selfridge and H. Gordon Selfridge, Sr., retail entrepreneur

Occupation: A major in the Michigan Militia, Union Army, in the Civil War
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Col. Robert O. Selfridge (USA)

Robert O. Selfridge was born August 31, 1834. Lois Frances Baxter married Lieutenant Colonel Robert O. Selfridge on June 15, 1853, in Jonesville, Michigan. Lois and Robert Selfridge had three children, of whom only Harry Gordon Selfridge survived childhood.

Later promoted to the rank of Major, Selfridge was missing at the end of the Civil War. Reginald Pound gave an account of Robert O. Selfridge's end in his 1960 biography of Harry Gordon Selfridge, Sr, Selfridge (London: William Heinemann). Pound wrote:

"[Robert O. Selfridge] was a small shopkeeper in Ripon, [Wisconsin,] then a place with two or three hundred inhabitants. He put up the shutters when the Civil War broke out and went off to join the Federal Army. His commission as a major was signed by Abraham Lincoln. He never went home again and was last heard of as one of the fatal casualties in a railway accident at St. Louis, seven or eight years later. Until then he was presumed to have died fighting for the North."


Robert O. Selfridge is noted in an account of Civil War action in the Lenawee County [Michigan] history of the Civil War:

The Third Michigan cavalry had its rendezvous at Grand Rapids, and almost an entire company was recruited in Lenawee county. Robert O. Selfridge, of Tecumseh, was adjutant (a staff officer who helps a commanding officer with administrative affairs) of the regiment, and Company K was commanded by Capt. Collins Davis, of Tecumseh, while Amos M. Adams, of Adrian, was second lieutenant. The regiment was mustered in November, 1861. It left the state Nov. 28, was stationed at Benton Barracks, St. Louis, during the winter, and then joined Pope's movement against New Madrid and Island No. I0. It was engaged at Farmington, Miss., and in the siege of Corinth,. then joined Grant's forces in the campaign of Mississippi, and fought at Spangler's Mills, Bay Spring, and Iuka, where it performed efficient work. In October it was engaged at the battles of Corinth and the Hatchie River. During the remainder of the year it was in actions at Hudsonville, Holly Springs, Lumpkin's Mill, Oxford, and Coffeeville. In November, Company K made a daring trip. Communication between Grant and Sherman had been cut off by the destruction of railway and telegraph lines, the enemy's pickets extending to Memphis, and regiments and brigades were unable to open them or clear the way for a dash. Company K advanced from LaGrange to Moscow, made a circuit of seventeen miles by night, attacked and captured the pickets at Somerville, and charged through a regiment. Finding the bridge burned at Wolf river, the company plunged into and across the stream, and being taken for Confederates pushed through a brigade and reached Sherman's headquarters at Memphis. The regiment was engaged at Brownsville, in January, and at Clifton in February. At the latter point, sixty men of Company K crossed the river after nightfall in an old fiat-bottom boat and captured the Confederate Colonel Newsom, three of his captains, four lieutenants, and sixty-one enlisted men, with horses, arms and equipments. The regiment was in engagements at Jackson and Panola, in July, and at Grenada in August, was in the advance, destroying over sixty locomotives and more than 900 cars. In October it participated at Byhalia and Wyatt's Ford, on the Tallahatchie river. It was engaged in scouting and numerous expeditions during November and December, meeting the enemy at Ripley, Orizaba, Ellistown, Purdy, and Jack's Creek, and on January 1, 1864, went into winter quarters at La Grange, Tennessee. It was later ordered to St. Louis, where it was on provost duty for about two months. It reported at Little Rock, May 24, and was engaged in scouting. It assisted in driving Shelby beyond the river and in dispersing guerrillas. During November, 1864, and February, 1865, it garrisoned Brownsville, and in its' scouting expeditions collected large droves of cattle, supplying nearly all the beef required for the Department of Arkansas. It, was assigned to the First brigade, First division, Seventh corps, which, on March 14, was transferred to the military division of West Mississippi, and ordered to Mobile, where it engaged in the siege. After the fall of that point the regiment was employed in outpost duty. On the surrender of the enemy's forces east of the Mississippi, the regiment was selected as escort of Major-General Canby, and received the formal surrender of General Taylor's army. In May the regiment removed to Baton Rouge, La., whet e it joined the Texas expedition and reached San Antonio in August. It was engaged in garrison and escort duty and along the Mexican frontier until mustered out at San Antonio, Feb. 15, 1866. Up to November, 1863, the regiment had captured 2,100 prisoners, and had marched 10,800 miles.


Possibly Robert O.] [ 1850 United States Federal Census about Robert Selfridge Name: Robert Selfridge Age: 17 Birth Year: abt 1833 Birthplace: New York Home in 1850: Caledonia, Livingston, New York Gender: Male Family Number: 256 Household Members: Name Age H D McCall 34 Jane A McCall 24 Anna McCall 1 William Carr 24 Robert Selfridge 17 William Walker 15

Michigan Marriages, 1851-1875 about Robert O. Selfridge Name: Robert O. Selfridge Gender: Male Spouse: Lois F. Baxter Spouse Gender: Female Marriage Date: 15 Jun 1853 County: Hill State: Michigan

1860 United States Federal Census about R O Selfridge Name: R O Selfridge Age in 1860: 38 Birth Year: abt 1822 Birthplace: New York Home in 1860: Liberty, Texas Gender: Male Post Office: Liberty Value of real estate: View image Household Members: Name Age H Holliman 40 L A Holliman 23 John Holliman 4 H B Holliman 3 Jas H Holliman 1 Wm Alnoch 26 R O Selfridge 38 L F Selfridge 24 Harry Selfridge 2 C B Smith 29

Name: Robert O Selfridge Residence: Tecumseh, Michigan Age at enlistment: 36 Enlistment Date: 9 Jul 1861 Rank at enlistment: 1st Lieut Enlistment Place: Grand Rapids, MI State Served: Michigan Survived the War?: Yes Service Record: Promoted to Full 1st Lieutenant on 07 Sep 1861. Enlisted in Company S, Michigan 3rd Cavalry Regiment on 03 Oct 1861. Promoted to Full Captain on 28 Apr 1862. Mustered out on 28 Apr 1862. Commissioned an officer in the U.S. Volunteers Adjutant Genl Dept Infantry Regiment on 28 Apr 1862. Promoted to Full Major on 14 Jul 1862. Promoted to Full Lt Colonel on 01 Nov 1863. Mustered out on 21 Feb 1865. Birth Date: abt 1825 Sources: Record of Service of Michigan Volunteers 1861-65 Heitman: Register of United States Army 1789-1903

Name: Robert Selfridge Residence: Tecumseh, Michigan Enlistment Date: 7 Sep 1861 Enlistment Place: Grand Rapids, Michigan Side Served: Union State Served: Michigan Service Record: Enlisted as a 1st Lieutenant on 7 September 1861 at the age of 36. Promoted to Full 1st Lieutenant (1st Lieut & Adjutant) on 7 Sep 1861. Enlisted in Company S, 3rd Cavalry Regiment Michigan on 3 Oct 1861. Discharged for promotion Company S, 3rd Cavalry Regiment Michigan on 28 Apr 1862. Promoted to Full Captain (Captain & Asst Adjutant General) on 28 Apr 1862. Commission in Adjutant Genl Dept Regiment U.S. Volunteers on 28 Apr 1862. Promoted to Full Major (Major & Asst Adjutant General) on 14 Jul 1862. Promoted to Full Lieutenant Colonel (Lieut Colonel & Asst Adjutant General) on 1 Nov 1863. Resigned Adjutant Genl Dept Regiment U.S. Volunteers on 21 Feb 1865. Sources: 10,33

Name: Robert O. Selfridge Side: Union Regiment State/Origin: Michigan Regiment Name: 3 Michigan Cavalry Regiment Name Expanded: 3rd Regiment, Michigan Cavalry Company: F&S Rank In: Adjutant Rank In Expanded: Adjutant Rank Out: Adjutant Rank Out Expanded: Adjutant Film Number: M545 roll 37

U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 about Major Robt O Selfridge Name: Major Robt O Selfridge Residence Year: 1863 Residence Place: Milwaukee, Wisconsin Occupation: Lies Publication Title: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, City Directory, 1863

Col. Robert O. Selfridge was the father of the American, Harry Gordon Selfridge (1858 - 1947), who founded the London department store Selfridges.

Katharine Newbury Manierre corresponded with several members of the Selfridge family.

Oliver Selfridge, grandson of Harry Gordon Selfridge is a pioneer in artificial intelligence.

Are the following Selfridges also related?

Thomas O. Selfridge (1804-1902), was an admiral in the United States Navy, during the Mexican-American War and the American Civil War.

Thomas Selfridge (1882-1908), a lieutenant in the US Army, was the first person to die in a powered airplane crash.

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Col. Robert O. Selfridge (USA)'s Timeline

August 31, 1834
New York, United States
Age 21
Age 21
January 11, 1858
Age 23
Ripon, Wisconsin, USA
Age 33
St Louis, MO, USA