Civil War Wiki
Ernest Veuve
Personal Information
Born: March 19, 1843(1843-03-19)
Place of Birth: {{{place of birth}}}
Died: June 17, 1916 (aged 73)
Place of Death: {{{place of death}}}
Birth Name: {{{birth name}}}
Other Information
Allegiance: United States of America
Participation(s): {{{participations}}}
Branch: United States Army
Union Army
Service Years: {{{service years}}}
Rank: Sergeant
Service number : {{{servicenumber}}}
Unit: 4th U.S. Cavalry
3rd U.S. Infantry
16th U.S. Infantry
Battles: American Civil War
Indian Wars
Texas–Indian Wars
Awards: Medal of Honor
Relations: {{{relations}}}
Other work: {{{otherwork}}}

Ernest Veuve (March 19, 1843 – June 17, 1916), born George Ernest Veuve, was a Swiss-born soldier in the U.S. Army who fought during the American Civil War and the Indian Wars as a member of the 16th U.S. Infantry, 3rd U.S. Infantry and 4th U.S. Cavalry. He was cited for bravery while battling the Kiowa and Comanche in the Staked Plains in November 1874, and fought an Indian in hand-to-hand combat for which he received the Medal of Honor.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12]


Early life and military career[]

George Ernest Veuve was born in Neuchatel, Switzerland. Although there are conflicting dates of his birth due to discrepancies in his military record, death certificate and obituary, it is generally accepted that his birth occurred on March 19, 1843. He was a coppersmith by trade and spoke German, however, little is known of his early life in Switzerland prior to emigrating to the United States in early-1864.[10] In an interview with James McCauley, a grand-nephew of Veuve, the 21-year old immigrant enlisted in the U.S. Army near the end of the American Civil War. According to one story, he agreed to take the place of a wealthy man wanting to avoid the draft.[9] Veuve served in a German-speaking division of volunteer troops and later participated in General William T. Sherman's March to the Sea campaign from April to May 1865.[10] It was during this time that Veuve was attacked by a Confederate cavalryman and sustained a head wound from a sabre. Historians have been unable to verify these claims via the National Archives and Records Administration given that the state regiment that Veuve served with is not known.[3]

Service on the frontier[]

His post-Civil War career, however, was well documented. A year after leaving volunteer service, Veuve enlisted in the Regular Army in Cincinnati, Ohio and became a member of the 16th U.S. Infantry Regiment. His 3-year enlistment term lasted from October 17, 1866 to 1869, and reenlisted at Jackson Barracks, Louisiana on December 17, 1869. During the next five years, Veuve served with the 4th U.S. Cavalry for frontier duty in the Indian Territory, West Texas and Kansas. He became a skilled scout and learned Spanish. He was also appointed a farrier during his time with the 4th Cavalry and was responsible for the shoeing and general care of the regiment's horses.[3][6]

It was at the end of his second tour of duty that took part in campaigns against the Plains Indians in the Texas frontier during the early 1870s. On November 3, 1874, Veuve fought against the Kiowa and Comanche in the Staked Plains. In the midst of battle, he became separated from his company and was attacked by an Indian whom he defeated in hand-to-hand combat. Veuve was one of several men cited for bravery in this engagement and, on October 13, 1875, received the Medal of Honor[10] for the "gallant manner in which he faced a desperate Indian".[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12]

Retirement and later years[]

Discharged at the end of the year, Veuve reenlisted for another 5-year term at Jackson Barracks on January 16, 1875, and was assigned to the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment. Almost three years later, he had become a sergeant and was among the first soldiers to be stationed at Fort Missoula in the Montana Territory arriving by wagon train on November 14, 1875. He served as the fort's quartermaster for several years.[10] On January 22, 1880, he married 34-year-old Anna McCarty a week after leaving military service. The two had met in Missoula while McCarty, originally from County Cork, Ireland, was visiting her sister Margaret. She had previously lived in Washington, D.C. but decided to permanently settle in the area following her marriage. Though retired, Veuve was contracted by the fort's quartermaster department to haul wood to Fort Missoula. He lived with his wife and daughter, Alina Brisbin, at their East Pine Street residence until his death on June 17, 1916, at age 73.[10] Buried at Missoula Cemetery,[13] the arrangements of his funeral were handled by the Marsh Funeral Home and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.[3]

In 1957, the US Army Reserve Center in Missoula was named for and dedicated to Veuve.[6] Shortly before Memorial Day in 2006, a new bronze plaque was placed on his grave replacing the standard government issue headstone and recognized Veuve as an MOH recipient.[3][9]

Medal of Honor citation[]

Rank and organization: Farrier, Company A, 4th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Staked Plains, Tex., 3 November 1874. Entered service at: ------. Birth: Switzerland. Date of issue: 13 October 1875.


Gallant manner in which he faced a desperate Indian.[14]

See also[]

File:P vip.svg Biography portal
File:United States Department of the Army Seal.svg United States Army portal
  • List of Medal of Honor recipients for the Indian Wars


  1. 1.0 1.1 Beyer, Walter F. and Oscar Frederick Keydel, ed. Deeds of Valor: From Records in the Archives of the United States Government; how American Heroes Won the Medal of Honor; History of Our Recent Wars and Explorations, from Personal Reminiscences and Records of Officers and Enlisted Men who Were Rewarded by Congress for Most Conspicuous Acts of Bravery on the Battle-field, on the High Seas and in Arctic Explorations. Vol. 2. Detroit: Perrien-Keydel Company, 1906. (pg. 193)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs. Medal of Honor recipients, 1863-1978, 96th Cong., 1st sess. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1979. (pg. 1021)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Long, Wallace J. (May 15, 1980). "Sgt. Ernest Veuve - Medal of Honor Winner". Rocky Mountain Museum of Military History. Retrieved June 23, 2010. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Hannings, Bud. A Portrait of the Stars and Stripes. Glenside, Pennsylvania: Seniram Publishing, 1988. (pg. 400) ISBN 0-922564-00-0
  5. 5.0 5.1 O'Neal, Bill. Fighting Men of the Indian Wars: A Biographical Encyclopedia of the Mountain Men, Soldiers, Cowboys, and Pioneers Who Took Up Arms During America's Westward Expansion. Stillwater, Oklahoma: Barbed Wire Press, 1991. (pg. 29) ISBN 0-935-26907-X
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Neal, Charles M. Valor Across the Lone Star: The Congressional Medal of Honor in Frontier Texas. Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 2003. (pg. 187, 194, 201) ISBN 0-87611-184-3
  7. 7.0 7.1 Yenne, Bill. Indian Wars: The Campaign for the American West. Yardley, Pennsylvania: Westholme Publishing, 2006. (pg. 168) ISBN 1-59416-016-3
  8. 8.0 8.1 Nunnally, Michael L. American Indian Wars: A Chronology of Confrontations Between Native Peoples and Settlers and the United States Military, 1500s-1901. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland, 2007. (pg. 126) ISBN 0-7864-2936-4
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Missoula Cemetery (October 2008). "Missoula Cemetery Presents Stories and Stones, An Historical Journey Through Missoula's Past". Retrieved June 23, 2010. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 Veuve, Anna McCarthy (2009). "Guide to the Anna McCarthy Veuve's Widow's Pension Papers, 1916-1927". Archives and Special Collections, Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library. University of Montana-Missoula. Retrieved June 23, 2010. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 Sterner, C. Douglas (1999). "MOH Citation for Ernest Veuve". MOH Recipients: Indian Campaigns. Retrieved June 23, 2010. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 Army Times Publishing Company. "Military Times Hall of Valor: Ernest Veuve". Awards and Citations: Medal of Honor. Retrieved June 23, 2010. 
  13. Sterner, C. Douglas (1999). "Photo of Grave site of MOH Recipient". Medal of Honor Recipient Gravesites In The State of Montana. Retrieved June 30, 2010. 
  14. "Medal of Honor recipients". Indian War Campaigns. United States Army Center of Military History. June 8, 2009. Retrieved June 29, 2009. 

External links[]