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8th US Infantry in the Indian Wars (American West, 19th century)

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  • Major George Worthington Ruthers (aft.1858 - 1918)
    at Wounded Knee: U.S., Returns from Regular Army Infantry Regiments, 1821-1916 8th Infantry 1883-1892 230 of 278 He was a 2nd Lt in Co.B, 8th US Inf. that bore the burden of getting the dead buried a...
  • Lt. Col. Alfred Theophilus Smith (1838 - 1905)
    Led the 8th infantry in the aftermath of Wounded Knee (the 8th US Inf. was in charge of collecting the frozen dead of mostly unarmed Native Americans that had been unceremoniously mowed down by other u...
  • Boston Newspaper honoring Gen. Pershing decades later
    Lieut. Colville Mott Pettit (1865 - 1890)
    ~• confusing: (lack of details.. which is unusual for a commissioned officer) He died one evening at 9:15 Pm... That is all I've been able to glean so far. He was a 1st Lieut. in Company K, 8th Inf... ...
  • Geronimo (1829 - 1909)
    On Wikipedia ===reading===# Chasing Geronimo: The Journal of Leonard Wood, May-September 1886 by Leonard Wood; U of Nebraska Press, 2009 - History - 152 pages ; "It is the only journal kept by anyone ...
  • Colonel James Judson Van Horn (1835 - 1898)
    James Judson Van Horn, army officer, was born in Mount Gilead, Marrow County, Ohio, in 1834. He was a cadet at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, from 1854 to 1858. He stood fo...

Sub Project to the Indian Wars Project

project goals

  1. To link GENi profiles of those who served in the 8th, particularly lower rank and file enlisted men
  2. To provide some perspective of what these men were like
  3. To chronicle those who were at Wounded Knee in its immediate aftermath

~• The opening profile and entry to this study is Pvt. Clarence Van Buren Fister, Company C. He is a distant relative of mine.
'Please add more profiles for members of the 8th Infantry during the latter era of the Indian Wars' ~• to stay on topic, let's stick to the period 1877-1891
~• The list of enlisted soldiers that follows is not exhaustive and may never be completed by the person who initiated this project = Mike van Beuren. The attempt was to assemble a representative sampling of soldiers in the regiment for the years in question.

The 8th Formed prior to Indian Wars

  1. The Eighth Regiment of Infantry was organized under the immediate supervision of its colonel—William J. Worth—who established the first regimental headquarters at West Troy, N. Y., in July, 1838.
  2. Michael Cavanaugh, an historian of Ft Slocum, NY, where the 8th reorganized, 1870-72, after Reconstruction duty in the Carolinas, has written a history. Chapter 2 includes portraits of 8th officers, plus photos.

Timeline for the 8th during this part of the Era of Indian Wars (1877-1890)

  1. Nez Percé War (1877)
  2. the Bannock Indian war of 1878 ~• Note that Col. James Forsyth (later) leader of the 7th Cav. at Wounded Knee was also at the Bannock
  3. Cibicu
  4. Geronimo
  5. Fort Marion, Florida {escorted by Company E}
  6. Natchez aka Apache Chief Naiche, son of Cochise and brother of Taza
  7. Co A left Rosebud agency on Dec 28th and returned to Ft. Robinson. see: U.S., Returns from Regular Army Infantry Regiments, 1821-1916 8th Infantry 1883-1892
  8. Pine Ridge/Wounded Knee The massacre occurred on December 29, 1890 {removal of dead and retrieval of survivors 3 days later, starting with 8th Infantry, Company A} assisted by hired locals. icn_favorite.gif

• The Wounded Knee Massacre was the last combat event in the Indian Wars in the western United States

A gold star attached to a profile below indicates that that particular soldier was either on duty at Pine Ridge or Wounded Knee or was additionally a witness in the aftermath of the massacre.
With few exceptions, only US Cavalry and Artillery were involved in the massacre itself, not the 8th Infantry.

Command Staff

  1. General James William Forsyth
    1. Col. Augustus V. Kautz (through Dec. 8, 1890)
    2. (temp) Lt. Col Alfred Theophilus Smith (12/8/1890 - unk)
      1. commanded the 8th at Rosebud From Nov 18th 1890 thru Jan 1891 (service record) He was the field commander for both the 8th Inf. & 9th Cav.
      2. On April 20, 1891, Colonel Kautz was promoted brigadier-general, and was succeeded by Colonel J. J. Van Horn
    3. Col. James Judson Van Horn (Apr 20, 1891 - 1898)
    4. Folliot Augustus Whitney (Company A)


(investigate on ancestry dot com)
8th US Infantry Files

Remarkable Enlisted Men of the 8th largely forgotten by time

  1. Richard Daverkosen, Co I 8th US Infantry ~ an immigrant who had served in the Franco-Prussian War an later became an anarchist. His wife Viroqua Daniels is worth study.
  2. August Hettinger ~ an immigrant German who wrote about his service
  3. Henry Berckhoff, Co. A: Water Color Sketchbook by Private Henry Berckhoff: presents the watercolor sketches of a young Union soldier during the war, including camp life, the long marches, and the conflicts in which he was engaged. The depictions are mostly of Berckhoff's Eighth New York Infantry, made up of nearly 1,000 German immigrants.~• probably the same man as the Henry of the Indian Wars
  4. 2nd Lt. Colville Petit of the USMA Class of 1886 ('died' the very evening of Wounded Knee in the barracks at Ft. Robinson; no cause mentioned.. coincidence?. May have been at the Rosebud agency in delivery of ordinance in late 1890 (Nov-Dec timeframe)



1872 (prelude to the Indian Wars)

~• op. cit.: "(a part) of the regiment remained at David's Island until July, 1872, when it was transferred to the Department of the Platte, arriving at Fort Rice July 21. Here the battalion was attached to the command of Colonel D. S. Stanley, 22d Infantry, designed to accompany and protect the surveyors of the Northern Pacific Railroad. While on this duty the battalion marched about 600 miles and had several collisions with the Indians, but without loss."


"When the Nez Percé war broke out in 1(8)77, Company H {of the 8th Infantry} joined the column which General Howard had organized against Chief Joseph. It began its march July 30, and during the next three months was engaged in all the marches and other operations of that famous pursuit. Joseph having surrendered, the company was sent back to California, having travelled, by steamer, rail and marching, 7244 miles during the campaign.


In 1878 the regiment was transferred to California, but the transfer was complicated by the Bannock Indian war which broke out while it was in progress. All the companies except E and G were involved in this and were kept constantly in motion while it lasted. At its close the regiment was assigned to stations at Benicia Barracks, Angel Island, San Diego, Fort McDermitt, Fort Bidwell, Camp Halleck, and Camp Gaston, with headquarters first at Angel Island, then at Benicia, and finally (March 2, 1880) at Angel Island.


In September, 1881, the Apache Indians broke out again, and after the encounter at Cibicu in which the Indians had the advantage, seven companies of the regiment (A, B, C, D, F, I and K) were selected for field service in Arizona. They were not engaged with the Indians though constantly on the move seeking for them, and by December 20 had all returned to their stations except Company A. This company rejoined at San Diego in March, 1882, only to be sent out again a month later, to return finally May 10, 1882.


The next three years passed without incident, but in the last days of 1885 the Geronimo campaign began and was the cause of the regiment's being sent to Arizona for the third and last time. There was the usual escort and scouting duty to perform and Company E, among its other duties, escorted Indian prisoners in April, 1886, to Fort Marion, Florida., thus finding itself at the station it had occupied 41 years before. In going and returning this company travelled a distance of 4414 miles.

In May Company D was engaged in the pursuit of the Indians under Natchez and Geronimo. The men on this march were reported as completely worn out, barefoot and almost destitute of clothing, and 8 men were sent to Fort Huachuca for medical treatment.

During the month of June, 1886, the intention of keeping the regiment in Arizona seems to have been formed and the companies were assigned to stations.

In July Company I joined Captain Lawton's command in the field and marched rapidly to the Fronteras River in Sonora, remaining in the field until September 10. Detachments from Companies D and K were also on duty with Captain Lawton at this time and were 70 days in pursuit of the Indians, marching a distance of nearly 700 miles through a mountainous and almost inaccessible country.

The campaign against Geronimo having ended, the regiment was transferred in November, 1886, to the Department of the Platte, the headquarters, and Companies A, B, E, F, G and H going to Fort Niobrara, C and I to Fort Robinson, D and K to Fort Bridger.


In August, 1888, the regiment was concentrated in a camp of instruction near Bordeaux, Nebraska, and in 1889 another camp was organized at Fort Robinson. Other troops of all arms were sent to this camp from the various posts in the Department, the whole forming the largest body of regular troops assembled since the war. On September 9th the regiment took part in a practice march conducted in accordance with the conditions of actual warfare and lasting until the 14th, when it returned to camp having marched 70 miles.


Companies I and K were skeletonized in September, 1890.
Company C detailed to Pine Ridge in November (see report )

Although Companies A, B, C and H were called out for service at the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Agencies, they were not actually engaged in the violence of Dec. 30, 1890. Company A was the first to reach the battle-field of Wounded Knee after the battle, and at once began the work of searching out the dead from under the snow by which they were covered, and in caring for the wounded who had survived the intense cold of the previous nights. The campaign having terminated, headquarters and Companies A and H were ordered to Fort McKinney, and at 8.15 P. M., January 31, reached the terminus of the Burlington and Missouri Railroad, where preparations were at once begun for the march to Fort McKinney, 135 miles distant.

The weather was intensely cold and the departure was delayed several days in the hope that it might moderate. On February 3d, there being no prospect of the weather becoming more favorable, the command began its march westward to Fort McKinney. This march, of a week's duration, was probably as severe a test of the endurance of officers and men as the army has ever been called upon to undergo. The extremely low temperature continued to the very end, and was combined with frequent snow storms and blizzards. On several occasions camp was made with little or no wood, and no water other than that obtained by melting snow. At Powder River, when half the route had been traversed, a halt of one day was made to enable the exhausted command to obtain rest and warmth. The command reached Fort McKinney February 10th, where it has since remained. (~* US Army records should be carefully read to verify these troop movements. These are online via ancestry dot com)

During the month of March, 1891, Company I was reorganized as a company of Indians, recruited from the Arapahoe and Shoshone tribes of the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming, taking station at Fort Washakie.

On April 20, 1891, Colonel Kautz was promoted brigadier-general, and was succeeded by Colonel J. J. Van Horn, the present colonel." ~• but see the record of his relief

linking workshop list

  1. Louie Daum (Ludwig Daum) b. abt. 1852 in Russelsheim, Germany, was a brother to ..., Henry (Heinrich) Daum. Their father was Lorenz Daum (b. 15 Nov. 1824 in Hesse Darmstadt) and Margaretha Marschall (b. Dec. 1824 in Kostheim). Both Louie and Henry joined the military in New York City; both served in the 8th US Inf. under Capt. Augustus W. Corliss (born 25 MAR 1837), but different companies and were both stationed at Ft. Robinson, NEB in 1883. Henry m. Mary Baumgard, a servant girl for Cpt. Corliss at Ft. Robinson. Henry re-enlisted in 1893 in Omaha, NEB and again in 1898, 1899.
  2. Col. J.J. Van Horn in command of the 8th starting Apr 20, 1891
  3. Lieut. E.S. Walker
  4. Col. Augustus V. Kautz relinquished command Dec. 8, 1890 per Army records (order # 72, 8th Infantry), on the same page we see that Lieut. Col. Alfred J. Smith assumed command with service of Major Edgar R. Kellogg Ref: Return form for the month of December 1890

Company Enlistment record extractions ~ all are Privates unless otherwise indicated ~ enlistment period was 5 years

Jan 1891 effectively led by Lt. William A. Mercer: see U.S., Returns from Regular Army Infantry Regiments Capt. Whitney was on leave

  1. Company A ~• detailed to Wounded Knee prior to the aftermath of the massacre (Capt. Folliott Augustus Whitney ) Co. A was siubsequent ordered to leave Rosebud Ag. on Dec 31, 1890 and was sent to White River, marching 59 miles.
    1. Company A; Albert A. Allen; Oct 31 1890 at Memphis Ten. age 26; b. Marquette Mich; laborer 5' 8" ; deserted on Jun 24 1891 apprehended and dishonorably disch. May 1895 icn_favorite.gif
    2. Company A; Charles Armstrong; Sep 16 1890 at Chicago IL age 35; b. Sweden; soldier 5' 8"; dishon. disch. Mar 13 1892 Dept of the Platte icn_favorite.gif
    3. Company A & others; Sgt. Henry Berckhoff; 7 enlistments; b. Brunswick Germany; soldier 5' 7"; retired from military Feb 1 1894 icn_favorite.gif
    4. Company A & G; Oliver D. Brown; Oct 30 1890 age 22 in Memphis Tenn., b. Lynn, Mass.; painter 5' 6"; deserted Apr 9 1891 icn_favorite.gif
    5. Company A; Hermann Boenke; Mar 17 1890 at Cleveland age 21; b. Germany; 5' 6"; disch. Dec 10 1890 SO. 280 at Rosebud Agency SD ~ Hermann and John seem to be either brothers or cousins because of enlistment circumstance
    6. Company A; Corp. John Boenke; Mar 17 1890 at Cleveland (2nd tour) age 27; b. Germany; soldier 5' 9"; Jun 6 1893 G.O. 80 at Ft. Mckinney icn_favorite.gif
    7. Company A; James J. Butler; May 7 1885 at San Fransicso CA age 49; b.Halifax NS. Canada; carpenter 5' 6"; dsch. May 10 1890 at Ft. Niobrara Neb.
    8. Company A; William Gardiner; May 27 1887 at Phila. PA age 27; b. Michaelsfield, England; weaver 5' 6"; died of pneumonia at Fort McKinney Apr 6 1891 icn_favorite.gif
    9. Company A; Wm M. Graham; (file not found) but deserted during march from Pine Ridge Jan. 1891 from Whitney Neb icn_favorite.gif
    10. Company A; Frank Hall; Aug 26 1889 in Chicago IL age 21; b. Chicago IL; farmer 5' 6"; disch. Nov 25 1892 Ft. McKinney icn_favorite.gif
    11. Company A & E; William R. Harrison; Jul 16 1889 in Baltimore MD age 21, b. Howard County MD; farmer 5' 11", disch. Jun 16 1891 Ft. McKinney Wyo. icn_favorite.gif
    12. Company A; Lewis F. Harvey; Dec 20 1887 at Albany NY age 18; d. Danvers Mass; laborer 5' 4"; General Court Martial/dismissed Nov 1 1890 from Ft. Niobrara Neb
    13. Company A; Charles Hubert; Aug 15 1889 Albany NY age 22; b. Chicago Ill.; Laborer 5' 8"; deserted Jun 90 apprehended 90, deserted Oct 1 1890
    14. Company A; Fred A. Hughes; Feb 3 1889 Ft. Niobrara Neb age 22, b. Chicago Ill.; laborer 5' 10"; deserted May 5 1889
    15. Company A; James A. Jarvis; Jan 16 1888 at Camden NJ age 18; b. Woolrich, England; laborer 5' 7"; disch. Jan 15 1893 Ft. McKinney icn_favorite.gif
    16. Company A; Frank Jaycox; Jun 8 1887 at Albany NY age 22, b. Tompkins NY; cooper 5' 4"; deserted Jul 13 1888
    17. Company A; John J. Kane; of Poughkeepsie NY enlisted at Springfield Mass, Oct 1 1888 , a laborer, died suicide shot himself in the head: Nov 10 1890 at Ft. Niobrara Neb. ; buried at the Fort Cemetery
    18. Company A; Michael J. Welsh; Feb 25 1886 age 23 in Cleveland OH; b. Courtland OH; brakeman 5' 8"; disch. Feb 24 1891 Ft. McKinney Wyoming {page 532 of 611} icn_favorite.gif
    19. Company A; John P. Wallace, Jun 7 1887 age 21 in Boston; b. Boston; carpenter; disch. Jun 6, 1892 Ft. McKinney; {page 549 of 611} icn_favorite.gif
    20. Companies K & A: Sgt. John Warnecke; Nov 5 1886 age 21 in Chicago IL; b. Chicago IL; painter 5' 8'; disch. Nov 4 1891 Ft. McKinney Wyo. {page 540 of 611} icn_favorite.gif
    21. Company A; Sgt. Richard White, Aug 15 1885 age 26 in St. Louis Mo; b. Wooster OH; soldier 5' 6"; disch. Aug 14 1890 Ft. Niobara
    22. Company A; Thomas Wilburn, Feb 22 1889 age 21 at Ft. Robinson Neb; b. Chairton Co, Mo; farmer 5' 8"; deserted May 5 1889
    23. Company A; Charles Wren, May 4 1887 age 42 in Fort Omaha; b. Cincinnati OH; soldier 5'9"; Disch. May 3 1892 Ft. McKinney {page 548 of 611} ! re-enlisted at age 52 (again) in the 8th Infantry Co. G on May 13 1897 and then died of pernicious anemia at Santiago de Cuba, Cuba on Aug 2 1898 icn_favorite.gif
    24. Company A & G; Harry A. Zahn; Sep 22 1890 age 22 at Pittsburgh PA; b. Centerville PA; laborer; died (after long march) pneumonia at Ft. McKinney Wyo. Feb 17 1891 icn_favorite.gif
  2. Company B ~• service at Pine Ridge In Jan. 1891 Co. B. Was led by Capt. Charles Porter in service at Rosebud agency. His Lt. was Major George Worthington Ruthers
    1. Company B &G; Charles Berenger, Aug 2 1890 age 22 At Milwaukee Wis., b. Milwaukee Wis.; painter 5' 8"; disch. Nov 2 1892 Ft. Niobrara Neb icn_favorite.gif
    2. Company B; Emile Bertrand; Apr 24 1885 at Angel Isl., CA age 25; b. Germany; musician 5' 7"; disch. S.O. Apr 22 1886 at Angel Isl. CA
    3. Company B; Barrton B. Bradley (sic); Jan 10 1888 at Phila. PA age 26; b. New Haven CT; engineer 5' 7"; deserted May 5 1889
    4. Company B; Henry Braun; Jun 19 1887 at Cleveland OH age 26; b. Switzerland; mason 5' 9"; disch. Jul 18 1892 at Ft. Niobrara NE ~• by 1900 Henry "Brown" had settled in Pima, Arizona Territory and was working again as a mason
    5. Company B; James Brisbin (Brislin?), June 26 1887 at Pittsburgh PA age 22 yrs 6 mo., b. Danville PA; laborer 5' 6"; deserted Jul 16 1888
    6. Company B; Patrick G. Butler, Jan 16 1885 at San Francisco (2nd tour) age 37; b. Limerick Ireland; currier 5' 11"; disch. Jan 15 1890 Ft. Niobrara Neb. ~ 6 tours, mercenary, did not marry; retired as a 1st Sgt. in 1902
    7. Company B; William Howard, Jan 18 1890 Memphis Tenn. age 26; b. Armstrong Co., PA; soldier 5' 9"; disch. Apr 17 1893 Ft. Niobrara Neb. icn_favorite.gif
    8. Company B; Raphael Isaac; Aug 1 1888 age 31; b. Prussia, Germany; soldier {3 tours} 5' 8"; disch. Jul 31 1993 Ft. Niobrara findagrave served in Spanish American War icn_favorite.gif
    9. Company B; John M. Preston, Jan 26 1887 age 26 Ft. Omaha Neb.; b. Iowa; soldier 5' 7"; Jan 25 1992 Ft. Niobrara Neb
    10. Company B; Andrew Whellan, Nov 26 1885 age 45 in Benecia Barracks Cal.; b. County Tyrone Ireland; soldier 5' 9"; discharged nov 25 1890 Ft Niobara
    11. Company B; James L. Wurd, Dec 10 1888 at Ft. Niobrara Neb. age 49 (6th tour of duty)= lifetime soldier; b. Phila., Pa; retired Nov. 5 1890 still a Pvt.
  3. Company C ~• service at Pine Ridge
    1. Company C; Sgt. Daniel Bennett; 6th tour Feb 26 1887 at Ft. Robinson NB age 42; b. Westmeath, Ireland; soldier 5' 4"; retired Jun 16 1891 icn_favorite.gif
    2. Company C, Sgt. Franklin M. Bird, 5th tour Dec 1 1890 at Pine Ridge SD age 46; b. Broome Co., NY; soldier 5' 8", disch. May 4 1892 Special Order #100 see also: command responsibilityicn_favorite.gif ~• no other record of this man found on GENi or anc. dot com this soldier's 2nd tour was in 6th Cav. Co. A disch. at Ft. Wingate NM Nov 21 1885 ref U.S. Army, Register of Enlistments, 1798-1914 {page 146 of 628}
    3. Company C; Charles Blom; Aug 10 1886 at San Francisco age 30; b. Sweden; sailor 5' 6"; disch. Aug 11 1891 Ft. Robinson Neb icn_favorite.gif
    4. Company C, Joseph H. Cavanaugh, Sep 21, 1889 at Ft. Robinson NE age 21 8 mo/, b. Ohio?; teamster 5' 5 3/4"; desertedSep 14 1891 icn_favorite.gif
    5. Company C, Harry L. Cook, Jul 6, 1888 at Albany NY age 19; b. Rockford IL; laborer 5' 7"; deserted Mar 10 1890
    6. Company C, Charles L. Day, Aug 27 1883 at the Presidio in S.F. age 33; multiple tours (soldier); b. Rochester NY; disch. Aug 3 1888 Ft. Robinson; discharged again later: Sep 24 1893 at Ft. Pembina South Dakota (U.S. Army, Register of Enlistments, 1798-1914; 1854-1899 Hospital Stewards) eventually retired from 22nd Inf. at Presidio Feb 5 1900 (not clear if he was at Pine Ridge)
    7. Company C, Adelard DesRivieres, b. Canada 2nd of two tours, enlisted June 23 1896 at S.F.Cal., disch. Jun 22 1891 Ft. Robinson Neb. icn_favorite.gif
    8. Company C, Sgt. Major Cyrus Dolph icn_favorite.gif
    9. Company C, Clarence Van Buren Fister ENLISTED in the Army on September 1, 1885 at Cleveland, OH. at age 29 (occupation, at the time:) Laborer; born Mt. Vernon, OH; disch. Aug 31 1890 Ft. Robinson
    10. Company C; Jacob Helbach, Oct 25 1889 at Ft. Robinson Neb age 21, b. Milwaukee Wis. 5' 7" butcher; discharged for disability Jun 10 1890
    11. Company C; (FNU) Jackson; Dec 13 1888 at Ft. Robinson age 33, b. Washington Co. Ind.; soldier 5' 9"; died acute peritonitis at Ft. Robinson Sep 8 1889
    12. Company C; John Johnson; Sep 3 1890 at Albany NY age 22, b. Copenhagen Denmark; laborer 5' 7"; disch. Nov 27 1892 per S.O. at Ft. Robinson Neb. icn_favorite.gif
    13. (lastly)Company C, previously other units; Bernard Kramer b. Prussia 4 tours of duty died typhoid at Ft. Robinson Neb. 11.14.1893 icn_favorite.gif
    14. Company C, Sgt. Frederick Lewis; discharged under General Order 100{cruelty} Apr 6 1891 from Fort McKinney icn_favorite.gif
    15. Company C, James Lower, (unknown) ~ unless he is the same as James L. Lower of genr'l services dishon. disch Dec 22 1892 at Columbus OH {page 279 of 507}
    16. Company C. Sgt. Harry S. Ogilivie at Ft. Robinson (a multiple tour) soldier, age 31, 5' 6", icn_favorite.gif {page 241 of 611}
    17. Company C, Johan Pia, b. Italy 3 tours of duty, disch. Ft. Niobara 8.5.1893 (wagoner) icn_favorite.gif
    18. Company C, Richard A. Paczynski, Jan 24 1887 at St. Louis MO. age 29; b. Prussia, Germany; laborer 5' 5"; discharged Jan 22 1892 Ft. Robinson Neb. icn_favorite.gif
    19. Company C, Frank Waldman b.& d. at Galion OH discharged 1/26/1891 (Nebraska) icn_favorite.gif
    20. Company C; William Wallace, May 1886 age 42 at the Presdio Cal; b. Jersey City; soldier 5'8"; disch. Jul 5 1890 Ft. Robinson {page 534 of 611}
    21. Company C; John Walsh, Oct 22 1888 age 21 at Phila., b. Cork, Ireland, 5' 5" laborer; disch. Oct 21 1993 Ft. Robinson {page 568 of 611}} icn_favorite.gif
    22. Company C; Ralph H. Watt(s),Jun 17 1887 age 21 at Ft. Robinson; b. Saratoga NY; laborer; 5' 6"; Des Apr 1 1888 ? Deserted? {page 549 of 611}
    23. Company C; 1st Lieut. Daniel Tyler Wells Born 1838, VT Second Lieutenant 1st Michigan Cavalry Dec. 18, 1861; First Lieutenant July 5, 1862; Captain Dec. 30, 1862; honorably mustered out June 23, 1863. Second Lieutenant 8th U. S. Infantry Feb. 19, 1863; First Lieutenant Feb. 13, 1866; Captain Dec. 15, 1874; Major Aug 7, 1897; retired Aug. 7, 1897.
    24. Company C; Corporal James Whaley, Dec 1885 age 26 in SF Cal.; b. Louisville KY; soldier; 5' 11"; Discharged Nov. 30, 1890 from "D" Co Pine Ridge
    25. Company C; Elmer Wilcox, Feb 3, 1887 age 22 Ft. Robinson; b.Ft. Wayne IN; farmer 6' 0"; disch. feb 4 1892 Ft. Robinson {page 545 of 611} icn_favorite.gif
    26. Companies K & C; George P. Williams, Oct 25 1886 age 34 in Chicago IL; b. Detroit MI; painter 5' 5"; Disch. Oct 25 1891 Ft. Robinson { page 539 of 611}
    27. Company C; Virgil G. Williams, Jan 22 1884 NY, NY age 22 painter, 5' 6"; (reenlisted for another tour after disch. at Ft. Robinson Neb. Jan 21 1889
  4. Company D ~• pursuit of Geronimo {May 1886}
    1. Company D; Jos. Bellinger; Jun 30 1888 in Albany NY age 23; b. Utica NY; laborer 5' 6"; deserted May 7 1889
    2. Company D; Frederick Benz, Aug 8 1887 in Camden NJ age 33; b. Conshohocken PA; soldier 5' 5"; disch. Aug 7 1892 at Ft. Robinson NE
    3. Company D; Walter L. Hicks, Oct 2 1882 in (?) age 29; b. Abermarle Co., VA; farmer 5' 7"; discharged Oct 1 1887 Ft. Robinson
    4. Company D; Lieut. Colville Mott Pettit (1865- Dec 30 1890) died at Ft. Robinson Neb icn_favorite.gif
    5. Company D ; George F. Wagner ,Jan 29th in Buffalo NY; b. Buffalo; cigar maker; 5' 5'; Discharged Jan 23, 1891 Ft. Robinson
    6. Company D; William S. Walker, Jan 25 1889 at Ft. Robinson Neb; age 22, laborer, b. Illinois 5'm5"; disch. Jan 21 1994 Ft. Robinson
    7. Company D ; John Wallace, Feb 6 1886 age 25 in Balto. MD; b. Cinn OH; clerk 5' 11"; Disch. Apr 9 1887 Ft. Bridger Wyo. {page 532 of 611}
    8. Company D ; John Welton, Jan 19. 1886 age 22; in NY,NY; born in County Tyrone Ireland; laborer; 5' 6 1/2"; Discharged Jan 19, 1891 Ft. Robinson
  5. Company E the escort company to Ft. Marion FL
    1. Company E; Corp. John Baptist; May 12 1887 (for 5 enlistment) at Ft. Niobrara NE age 37; b. St Louis MO; soldier 5' 5"; retired Feb 12 1892 SO 92
    2. Company E; Sgt. Alonzo Blake; Jan 12 1885 at Angel Island CA age 41; b. Sutton Vermont; soldier 5' 11'"; 6th tour ~ disch. Jan 11 1890 at Ft. Niobrara and then retired Dec 22 1890 at Ft. McKinney
    3. Company E; Charles Claussen; Jan 6 1888 at Charleston SC age 23; born Germany; salesman 5' 9"; deserted Jun 10 1890: apprehended Oct 31 1891 : Discharged Oct 5 1892 Disability Ft, Robinson also {confined Nov 19 1889 at Ft. Robinson p 229 0f 278}
    4. Company E; Thomas Connors; Oct 16 1888 at Boston MA age 21, 1mo.; b. Cambridge MA; shoe laster 5' 6"; deserted Jun 22 1889
    5. Company E; Leander J. Jordan; Jan 16 1888 at Charleston SC age 22; born Chesterfield SC; farmer 5' 7"; deserted Nov 8 1888
    6. Company E; Alden Lambert; May 5 1889 at Ft. Niobrara age 21; b. Montezuma Iowa; cigar maker 5' 5"; deserted Dec 6 1889: confined Dec 22 1889: Discharged Feb 16 1890 Ft. Omaha Neb
    7. Company E; William Leschke; Jul 23 1889 at Albany NY age 20; b. Saratoga NY; farmer 5' 9"; disch. Jul 22 1894 Ft. McKinney Wyo {son of John Leschke, a tailor from Prussia {1880 census} his age was actually 18 when he enlisted per census
    8. Company E ; Sgt. Charles Woerner, Oct 28 1885 age 28; in Ny,NY; born in Spring County Texas; soldier; 5' 4"; disch. Oct 30 1890 Ft. McKinney Wyo. {from immigrant German families}
  6. Company F
    1. Company F; Christian Bomm; May 23 1887 (3rd enlistment) at Ft. Niobrara NE; b. Buffalo NY age 37 carpenter; 5' 6"; disch. May 24 1892
    2. Company F (but transferred to 9th Inf. where he was discharged); Feb 3 1885 at San Francisco age 28 ; b. Berlin, Prussia; upholsterer 5' 7"; disch. from 9th Inf.
    3. Company F; Peter Burke; Jan 26 1885 atSan Francisco age 26; b. Limerick, Ireland; druggist 5' 10"; deserted Sep 25 1885
    4. Company F; Felix Dees; Oct 2 1875 at San Francisco age 24; barber of Baden Germany (name is next to that of Richard Daverkosen); discharged early for "no character" at Ft. Whipple Order # 53 Jun 10 1877
    5. Company F; Burnett Finney; Mar 28 1882 at Angel Island Cal age 44; b. Ireland, soldier, 5' 7" {5 tours of duty}; disch. Mar 27 1887 Ft. Niobrara
    6. Company F (band); August Huegen, Dec 20 1888 at Chicago IL age , b. Westphalia, Germany; harness maker; disch. Mar 19 1992 Ft. Robinson ancestry dot com profile US Army records principal musician of the 8th Infantry
    7. Company F; Vernon J. Jenks; Nov 19 1889 at St. Louis Mo age 21; b. Grand Rapids Mich.; civil engineer 5' 5"; disch. Nov 18 1894 Ft. Washakie Wyo.
  7. Company G
    1. Company G, Andrew Anderson; Mar 15 1889 Ft. Robinson Neb. age 37; b. Christina, Norway; carpenter/painter 5' 4", disch. Jun 15 1892 by S.O. at Ft. Niobrara
    2. Company G; Jacob Bauer; Jun 10 1887 in New York City age 28; b. Wurtemburg Germany; (no occup.) 5' 4"; disch. Jun 9 1892 Ft. Niobrara
    3. Company G; Michael Burke; Jan 9 1888 at Phila. PA age 21; b. Ireland; laborer 5' 4"; disch. Jan 8 1893 at Ft. Niobrara NE
    4. Company G; James Corbett; Nov 1 1888 at Ft Niobara age 47; b. Limerick Ireland; soldier 5' 81/4"; disch.after this his 5th tour at Ft. Niobara Oct 31 1893
    5. Company G&H; John Curran; Oct 18 1888 at Boston MA age 29 6mo.; b. Clare Ireland; baker 5' 11"; deserted Jun 9 1890
    6. Company G, James Jackson; Feb 24 1888 at St. Louis Mo. age 21; b. Washington Co. Ind.; farmer 6' 1"; disch. May 22 1891 Ft. Niobara
    7. Company G, Peter Norton, Apr 7 1885 age 34 at Benecia Barracks Cal; b. County Mayo Ireland; 2nd tour soldier 5' 10" disch. Apr 6 1990 Ft. Niobrara Neb
    8. Company G & H; William Wilson, Aug 24 1886 age 32? in Ft. Lowell AZ?; b. Morgan County KY; soldier 5' 8" disch. Aug 23 1891 Ft. McHenry MD {page 537 of 611}
    9. Company G; August Weibold, Aug 20 1886 age 21 in NY,Ny; b. Baden Germany; coachman 5' 5"; disch. Aug 1891 Ft. Niobara {page 538 of 611}
  8. Company H ~• service at Pine Ridge (Captain Daniel Wells)
    1. Company H; Thomas Ashe; Jun 22 1889 at Newark NJ. age 25; d. County Kilkenny, Ireland; carpenter 5' 7"; disch. Jul 27 1894 at Ft McKinney Wyo. icn_favorite.gif
    2. Company H; Henry Barth; Sep 14 1886 at Phila. PA age 30; b. Mannheim Germany; baker 5' 7"; disch. Sep 13 1891 at camp in Wyoming (2nd tour) icn_favorite.gif
    3. Company H; Andrew Cavanaugth, July 12, 1888 at Phila. PA age 25; b. Scotland; miner 5' 6"; deserted May 6, 1889
    4. Company H; James H. Hastings, Jul 15 1889 at Phila. age 27; b. Lawrence, Mass.; brass moulder 5' 7"; deserted Aug 10 1890
    5. Company H; John Hermann, Aug 26 1890 at Ft. Robinson, Neb. age 54; b. Wurtemburg, Germany; soldier 5 tours 5' 5"; disch. Jan 2 1892 for disability icn_favorite.gif
    6. Company H; August Hettinger, (was detailed with a light artillery unit on Dec 30 1890 and witnessed the scene just after the melée) SEE PAGE 287 OF REF.#1 icn_favorite.gif
    7. Company H; Sgt. Paul Winckler, May 4 1885 age 46 for 5 years; in S.F. Cal.; born in Newburg Germany; clerk; 5' 10'; disch. May 3.1990 Ft. Niobara {page 521 of 611}
  9. Company I Companies I and K were skeletonized in September, 1890.
    1. Company I & C; Sgt. Simon Adkins = 7 tours of duty, this being his last. b. Gradnow, Russia age 49 on final enlistment on Jul 23 1889; disch. Jul 6 1891(retired)
    2. Company I; Michael Barrett Apr 7 1883 age 32 Benecia Cal; teamster Tipperary Ireland 5' 7", deserted Apr 2 1884
    3. Company I; Frank K. Bayer Jun 7 1886 age 24 at San Francisco; b. Austria; 5' 5" tailor; dropped for use of alias and prior desertion under another name: Frank Pornbsky on Aug 27 1886
    4. Company I & K; Matthew Branscombe; Jul 27 1883 Benecia Barracks Cal age 30; b. London, England laborer 5' 8"; disch.Jul 26 1888 at Ft. Robinson
    5. Company I; Frederick Briker Jun 14 1883 age 28 in Phila., b. Dublin Ireland clerk 5' 10"; deserted, apprehended and disch in short order Mar 17 1884 Ft. Bidwell
    6. Company I; John L. Combs Dec 5 1888 age 22 at Ft. Robinson NB; b. Davenport IA; school teacher 6' 0"; disch. per SO #71 Ft. Robinson on Apr 2 1890
    7. Company I; Richard Daverkosen, Jun 14 1886; in San Francisco Cal., b. Aix-la-Chapelle; deserted Jul 21 1888 (place not stated) soldier both in Germany and the US
    8. Company I & C; Henry Daum {brother of Louis}; Nov 27 1888 at New York City age 27 2nd enlistment; b. Rüsselsheim Germany 5'4"; dich. Nov 26 1893 Ft. Robinson Neb.S.O. discharge May 12 1899 after death of brother.
    9. Company I & C; Louis Daum; Jan 16 1886 at Ft. Bayard NM age 36 4th enlistment; b. Rüsselsheim Germany 5'6"; dich. Pine Ridge Jan 17 1891{~• eventullay died of pneumonia while still in service on his 6th enlistment Apr 5 1899 Augusta GA
    10. Company I; Carl A. Geisler, Jan 3 1887 at Ft. Robinson (reenlist) age 28, soldier; b. Germany 5' 7"; deserted Mar 13 1888
    11. Company I & K; Sgt. Emil Henry (sp?), Jul 14 1889 at Ft. Robinson Neb. age 39 (3 tour) soldier; b. Germany 5' 7"; disch. Laramie, Wyo.
    12. Company K; Gustav Halvorksen (sp?), Jan 3 1889 Ft. Robinson Neb.age 21 hod carrier; b. Christiana Norway 5' 9"; deserted Jun 9 1889
    13. Company K and E; Corp. Henry Johnson; Oct 4 1889 at Ft. Robinson age 52; b. Frankfurt Germany; soldier {5 tours}; retired Dec 21 1891 per special order
    14. Company I and K; Sgt. William Neher (sic) , Feb 16 1885; in S.F.Cal., b. Winchester VA; disch. Feb 15 1890 Ft. Robinson Neb.
    15. Company K; Alfred West, Jan 16 1889 at Ft. Robinson Neb; age 28 farmer, b. Tioga? Co., Pa.; deserted Jun 11 1890
    16. Company K & E; James J. Whalen, Jan 16 1889 at Ft. Robinson Neb; age age 18 laborer, b. Buffalo Co., Wis., disch. Oct.9 1891 Ft. McKinney Wyo. {page 573 of 611}
    17. Company K; Thomas Williams, July 7 1888; in Phila., b. England age 26, laborer; deserted c. Dec. 1888 {page 564 of 611}
  10. 8th Infantry Band
    1. Carl J. Collombo, Jun 21 1889; at New York NY, age 21 8mo., b. Bergen Norway; musician 5' 8 1/2"; disch. Jun 20 1894 exp. of serv. Ft. McKinney


  1. U.S. Returns from Regular Army Infantry Regiments, 1821-1916; 8th Infantry 1883-1892 (accessed through ancestry dot com)
  2. U.S. Army, Register of Enlistments, 1798-1914 which only seem searchable by name (a. dot com)
  3. Wyoming State Archives
  4. ; findagrave

additional reading

  2. (search on <Whitney>) F.A. Whitney led Company A at Wounded Knee
  3. Ft. McKinney two miles west of current Buffalo, Wyo. (2017) Units of the 8th left SD for this WY post following Wounded Knee in Jan. of 1891
  4. Lieber Code : ethical treatment of prisoners
  5. Faust, Albert Bernhardt,. The German element in the United States : with special reference to its political, moral, social, and educational influence. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1909.
  6. Involvement of Fort Niobrara