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Samuel Marmaduke Whitside
[[Image:File:Smw-1901.jpg|center|200px|border]]BG S. M. Whitside at Manzanillo, Cuba, ca 1901, while serving as Commanding General of the District of Santiago
Personal Information
Born: January 9, 1839(1839-01-09)
Place of Birth: {{{place of birth}}}
Died: December 15, 1904 (aged 65)
Place of Death: {{{place of death}}}
Nickname: {{{nickname}}}
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: Brigadier General
Service number : {{{servicenumber}}}
Unit: 6th Cav Regt
7th Cav Regt
5th Cav Regt
10th Cav Regt
Commands: B Co, 6th Cav Regt
Camp Livingston, Texas
Camp Huachuca, Arizona
3d & 2d Bns, 7th Cav Regt
5th & 10th Cav Regts
Depts of Eastern Cuba and Santiago & Puerto Prinicipe Cuba
Dist of Santiago
Battles: American Civil War
Peninsular Campaign
Red River Campaign
Sioux Campaign 1890-91
Awards: Brevet Captain and Major
Relations: {{{relations}}}
Other work: {{{otherwork}}}

Brigadier General Samuel M. Whitside was a distinguished United States Cavalry officer who faithfully served his nation from 1858 to 1902. He commanded at every level from platoon to department for 32 of his 43 years in service, including Army posts such a Camp Huachuca, Jefferson Barracks, and Fort Sam Houston, the Departments of Eastern Cuba and Santiago and Puerto Principe, Cuba, a provisional cavalry brigade, the 10th and 5th Cavalry Regiments, a squadron in the 7th Cavalry Regiment, and a troop and platoon in the 6th Cavalry Regiment. The pinnacle of his career was serving as the Commanding General of the Department of Eastern Cuba before retiring in June 1902 as a Brigadier General in the U.S. Army.[1]

Despite his many contributions to the Army during his 43 years of service, most history books record only two events during his career: the founding of Fort Huachuca, Arizona, and his role as a battalion commander at the Battle of Wounded Knee. While these two events are arguably the most noteworthy in Whitside's four decades in the U.S. cavalry, a look at his entire career provides an insight into the great personal sacrifices that the officers and their families made in the frontier Army in the later half of the nineteenth century, and the vital role they played in the territorial growth of the United States.

Joining the U.S. Army and Service in the American Civil War[]

S. M. Whitside was born on January 9, 1839 in Toronto, Canada. He grew up in that area attending Normal School, and later moved to New York where he attended Careyville Academy.[2]

He enlisted into the General Mounted Service in 1858 and served for three years at Carlisle Barracks, PA where he was promoted to the rank of Corporal. Corporal Whitside was assigned on July 27, 1861 to the 3rd Cavalry to fill a vacant noncommissioned officer position, and on August 1, he was promoted to sergeant major of the regiment. On August 3, Congress redesignated the 3d Cavalry as the 6th Cavalry Regiment.[2]

On November 1, three sergeants were offered commissions; among these was Sergeant Major Samuel M. Whitside. He accepted his appointment as a second lieutenant in the 6th U.S. Cavalry on November 4, 1861 and assumed the duties of a junior officer in Company K. His commander was Captain Charles R. Lowell.[2]

File:Second Lieutenant Samuel M. Whitside at Headquarters, 6th U.S. Cavalry Regiment, ca 1862.jpg

Second Lieutenant Samuel M. Whitside at Headquarters, 6th U.S. Cavalry Regiment, ca. 1862

Lieutenant Whitside served with his company in the 6th Cav during the Peninsular Campaign of 1862 where he participated in the following battles: Williamsburg - May 5, Slatersville - May 7, New Bridge - May 20, Ellison's Mills - May 23, Hanover Court House - 27 to May 29, Black Creek - June 26, and Malvern Hill - August 5,.[2]

Whitside next served as an aide-de-camp on the staff of BG Nathaniel P. Banks, and participated in the Siege of Port Hudson in Louisiana in 1863. However, Whitside suffered from a number of ailments and injuries, including small pox, and spent the remainder of the Civil War on recruiting duty in Rhode Island and mustering duty in West Virginia. He later received brevet promotions to captain and major for faithful and meritorious service.[2]

Service on the Frontier[]

Whitside served for the next 20 years with the 6th Cav commanding B Company at various posts throughout the West.

Texas 1865-1870[]

  • Austin
  • Lockhart
  • Sherman
  • Jacksboro
  • Livingston - Post Commander[3]
  • Fort Griffin

Missouri and Kansas 1871-1874[]

  • St. Louis, MO - Recruiting Duty
  • Fort Riley, KS
  • Fort Hays, KS
  • Kansas City, MO
  • Newport Barracks, KY

Arizona Territory, Colorado and Dakota Territory 1875 - 1887[]

  • Camp McDowell, A.T.
  • Fort Lowell, A.T.
  • Camp Hauchuca, A.T. - Founded Post in Mar 1877 and served as first Post Commander until Mar 1881.[4]
  • Fort Thomas, A.T.
  • Washington, D.C., Rochester, NY, and Chicago, IL - recruiting service from 1882 to 1883
  • Fort Apache, A.T.
  • Fort Lewis, CO

After eighteen years as a captain and almost twenty-four years with the 6th Cavalry Regiment, Whitside was transferred to the 7th Cavalry Regiment in 1885 and promoted to Major. The 7th was then serving in the Dakota Territory at various posts including Fort Meade. In 1887 the Regiment moved to Fort Riley, Kansas and a more settled lifestyle. During the previous twenty-two years of service on the frontier, Whitside married and had seven children, four of which died in childhood, and served at over twenty posts spending an average of ten months at anyone location.

See also[]

Selfless Service: The Cavalry Career of Brigadier General Samuel M. Whitside from 1858 to 1902



  • Carter, Lieutenant-Colonel W. W. From Yorktown to Santiago with the Sixth U.S. Cavalry, Baltimore, the Lord Baltimore Press, 1900.
  • Cochran, Orville A. “Samuel Marmaduke Whitside: Trooper to Brigadier General, United States Cavalry 1839—1904 (A Biographical Resume of the Founder of Fort Huachuca, Arizona).”Fort Huachuca, 1964.
  • Coffman, Edward M. The Old Army: A Portrait of the American Army in Peacetime, 1784--1898. New York: Oxford UniversityPress, 1986.
  • DeMontravel, Peter R. The Career of Lieutenant General Nelson A. Miles from the Civil War through the Indian Wars. PhD diss, St. John’s University. Ann Arbor: University Microfilms International, 1983.
  • Erlandson, Marcus R. “Guy V. Henry:A Study in Leadership.” MMAS thesis, Fort Leavenworth: Command and General Staff College, 1985.
  • Garlington, Ernest A. “The Seventh Regiment of Cavalry,” Journal of the Military Service Institution of the United States. Volume XVI(1895).
  • Godfrey,Edward S. “CavalryFire Discipline,” Journal of the Military Service Institution of the United States. Volume XIX(1896).
  • Jensen, Richard E., R. Eli Paul, and John E. Carter. Eyewitness at Wounded Knee. Lincoln & London: Universityof Nebraska Press, 1991.
  • Mooney, James. “The Ghost-Dance Religion and the Sioux Outbreak of 1890,” of the Fourteenth Annual Report (Part 2) of the Bureau of Ethnology to the Smithsonian Institution, 1892–93,by J. W. Powell, Director. Washington,DC: Government Printing Office, 1896.Republication, The Ghost-Dance Religion and Wounded Knee. New York: Dover Publications, Inc, 1973.
  • Scott, Brigadier General E. D. “Wounded Knee: A Look at the Record.” Cavalry Journal, 48 (January—February 1939).
  • Shaw, Dennis Edward. “The Battle of Wounded Knee: Myth Versus Reality.” PhD diss, Universityof Miami, Ann Arbor: University Microfilm International, 1981.
  • Smith, Rex Alan. Moon ofPopping Trees. New York: Thomas Crowell Company, 1975.
  • United States Congress, House Committee on the Judiciary.Wounded Knee Massacre: Hearings before the Committee on the Judiciary United States Senate, Ninety-fourth Congress, Second Session, on S. 1147 and S. 2900 to Liquidate the Liability of the United States for the Massacre of Sioux Indian Men, Women, and Children at Wounded Knee on December 29, 1890, February 5 and 6, 1976. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1976.
  • Utley, Robert M. Frontier Regulars—The United States Army and the Indian, 1866—1891. Lincoln: Universityof Nebraska Press, 1973.
  • Utley, Robert M. The Last Days of the Sioux Nation. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1963.
  • War Department, The Adjutant General’s Office. “Official Statement of Service of Samuel Marmaduke Whitside.” Washington DC, March 8, 1939.
  • Wooster, Robert. Nelson A. Miles and the Twilight of the Frontier Army. Universityof Nebraska Press, Lincoln & London, 1993.

External links[]