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Early History of the 24th Infantry, United States Army

Skagway, Alaska - 1900

The following history of the 24th Infantry was published in the New Years Day edition of the Skagway Daily Alaskan, January 1, 1900. The article was written by one of the officers of Company L.

A listing of the members of the 24th Infantry while it was stationed in Alaska follows the article.

Skagway's Troops

The 24th Infantry was organized in 1869 by the consolidation of the 38th and 41st regiments of Infantry and was first commanded by Colonel Ronald S. Mackenzie, who was succeeded by General Abner Doubleday, late a Major General of volunteers, who had served in the late war of the Rebellion. He was followed by Brevet Brigadier General Joseph H. Potter, ultimately Brigadier General of the regular army; then came Zenus R. Bliss, now a retired Major General of the regular army, who was succeeded by J. Ford Kent who retired as a Brigadier General of the regular army, and by Henry J. Freeman who now commands the regiment.

The 24th Infantry served for eleven years in the State of Texas, during which time it was engaged in the Victorio Campaign and in chasing various bands of Indians who pestered the staked plains by their presence. The duties which fell upon this regiment during the eleven years were many and various, and called for a high order of discipline and the perfection of endurance and patience, since it was required to aid in restoring order to that distracted state under conditions calling for patience and perseverance of the highest types.

In 1880 the regiment was ordered to Indian Territory, where it served until 1888. During this time it held in control many tribes of Indians, and the duties that it performed were of a character which brings neither honor, not glory, only arduous and thankless service, the results of which are seen in the peaceful solution of the Indian troubles for which others claim and receive the credit.

In 1888 the regiment was ordered to New Mexico and Arizona, and took part in all the various difficulties there, ending in the settlement of the Apache troubles, the details of which it would take too long to write. In 1896 the regiment was ordered to Ft. Douglas, Utah, near Salt Lake City, where it served until the outbreak of the Spanish-American war. During the time of its service in New Mexico and Arizona, it was called upon to perform many duties of many kinds, from chasing horse thieves to protecting railroads, and all of these were performed in a manner which reflected credit upon the organization.

Upon the outbreak of the Spanish-American war, the regiment was ordered to Tampa, Florida, became a part of the Fifth Corps, and participated in the battles about Santiago, Cuba, during which it lost nearly forty per cent of its officers and about thirty-eight per cent of its men in the first two days of the fight. Afterwards it was ordered to Siboney to guard the yellow fever hospital, but upon arriving there, is was found necessary to nurse the sick instead of guarding them, and for forty days the regiment was cut off from all communication with the outside world. During this time the various nurses from the ranks were stricken with yellow fever, until a large part of the men were suffering from the disease, and the result was that at the end of the Spanish-American war, of the five hundred stalwart, well disciplined, fine, specimens of humanity who went to Cuba, less than two hundred and fifty were left in the regiment, the rest having succumbed to death or disability. No pen can depict the suffering endured by the officers and men in this regiment during the time it was in Cuba, and those who endured the agony of that ordeal decline to speak of it except in confidence.

Under the Act of April 26th, 1898, by which a Third Battalion was organized in each regiment, four new companies were added, I and K being already active only in name, and L and M were added to the organization. Owing to the war conditions it was impossible to organize these new companies until the return of the regiment for the Cuba campaign. The present Company L, therefore, now stationed in Skagway, is a new company having with it twelve men who were with the regiment prior to the Spanish-American war. This company was organized at Ft. Douglas, Utah, in March 1899; was sent from there to Presidio, San Francisco, thence to Vancouver Barracks, and from there to the D. K. T. Dock near Dyea, where if remained until burned out on the 28th of July last. The company is commanded by Captain Henry W. Hovey who has been an officer of the regiment since 1880.

The First Lieutenant is Isaac, C. Jenks who has been with the regiment since 1892. It has, as an organization, participated in none of the victories of the regiment, nor is it entitled in any way to any glory, beyond that which is reflected by being connected with a regiment whose record is second to none in the U. S. Army.

Men of Company L. 24th Infantry stationed in Alaska


The following list was obtained from the 1900 Census of Skagway, Fort Wrangell and Sitka Jail. Additional names were obtained from Post Returns of Dyea, Skagway and Fort Wrangell.

Due to the hand writing on some of the reports, spelling may not be correct - the (?) indicates questionable names. Some Post Returns listed only the last names of the enlisted men.

Altmann, Webster Private New York, NY Wrangell/Skagway New York
Andrews, Harry Private Philadelphia, PA Wrangell/Skagway Philadelphia, PA
Arnold, George H. HospSt   Wrangell  
Ashton, George L Private Washington, DC Skagway Washington, DC
Banks, James Private Carterville, IL Skagway Illinois
Barnett, Peter W. Private   Wrangell  
Belcher, Thomas A. Private Bedford Co, VA Skagway Franklin Co, Va
Belcher, Walter Private Bedford Co, VA Skagway Franklin Co, VA
Bordinghammer, Edward Musician Pulaski, TN Skagway Giles Co. TN
Bracy, George Private Jacksonville, FL Wrangell/Skagway Jacksonville, FL
Bullilte, Marvin P. Private   Skagway  
Burckley, H. W.? HospSt   Skagway  
Callaway, Andy Private Nashville, TN Skagway Haywather Co?, GA
Caughman, David Private Columbia, SC Wrangell/Skagway Columbia, SC
Coats, Lafayette Corporal Rowletts?, KY Skagway Rowletts?, KY
Collins, Edward J. Private Piqua, OH Wrangell/Skagway Piqua, OH
Collins, Emery Private Benicia Barracks, CA Wrangell  
Collins, Frank Private Boston, MA Skagway Boston, MA
Collon, Robert Corporal Michellsburg, KY Skagway Boyle Co, KY
Cotton, Robert R. Corporal Benicia Barracks, CA Wrangel Kentucky
Daily, William Private Columbia, SC Wrangell/Skagway Sumter, SC
Dalton, Kitt Corporal Carlisle, IN Skagway Tennessee
Davis, John E. Artifice Woodsworth, NC Skagway Macklenburg, NC?
Davis, Reid W. Private St. Augustin, FL Wrangell/Skagway St. Augustin, FL
Dawson, Junius? Private Philadelphia, PA Skagway Washington, DC
Dewey, Edward G. Corporal Worchester, MA Skagway Newburn, NC
Eble, Francis HospSt   Skagway  
Emmuson, Victor Private   Skagway  
Fletcher, Charley Private Richmond Co. NC Wrangell/Skagway Richnond CO. NC
Franklin, John Private   Wrangell  
Gant?, Frank Private Washington, DC Skagway Washington, DC
Grant, Robert Private Philadelphia, PA Skagway Philadelphia, PA
Graves, John Private Pittsburgh, PA Sitka Jail Massachusetts
Green, Benjamin Private Dayton, OH Wrangell/Skagway Piqua, OH
Hamany?, William Sargeant Bloomington, IN Skagway Shelby Co, KY
Hanson, William Sargeant Benicia Barracks, CA Wrangell Kentucky
Harrill, Doc L. Corporal Rutherfordton, NC Skagway Rutherfordton, NC
Harris, Robert Musician   Wrangell  
Harris, Robert W. Private   Wrangell/Skagway  
Hayes, Allen Sargeant Earlington, KY Wrangell/Skagway Cherokee Co, NC
Hayman, Charles A. Private   Wrangell  
Henderson, Clinton F. HospSt   Skagway  
Henry, Oscar D. Private Ridgedale, TN Skagway Atlanta, GA
Holland, James H Private Boston, MA Skagway Norfolk, VA
Holloway, Isaac Cook San Francisco, CA Sitka Jail Alabama
Horne, John F. Private   Wrangell  
Howard, WIlliam Private Philadelphia, PA Wrangell/Skagway Greencastle, PA
Hutson?, Julious Private Gallatin, TN Skagway Gallatin, TN
Hyde, Edwin D. Private   Skagway  
Jackson, Lundon Private Chattanooga, TN Skagway Georgia
Jenkins, Frank Private   Skagway  
Jennings, William Private Princeton, NJ Wrangell/Skagway Somerset Co, NJ
Johnson, Charles S. Private   Skagway  
Johnson, A. J. Recruit   Skagway  
Johnson, Charles S. Private   Wrangell  
Johnson, Ernest L. Private Baltimore, MD Skagway Maryland
Johnson, Henry        
Johnson, John J. Private Nashville, TN Wrangell/Skagway Tennessee
Jordan, Robert W. Private   Wrangell/Skagway  
Jordon, Harry V. Private Boston, MA Wrangell/Skagway Virginia
Jordon, Robert W.? Private   Wrangell  
Jovier, Fred Private Columbus, OH Wrangell Ohio
Jurner?, Ellis Private   Skagway  
Kennedy Private   Skagway  
Kinball, John Private Atlanta, GA Skagway Atlanta, GA
Kincaid, Orerlin? J. Corporal Indianapolis, IN Skagway Kentucky
King, Robert Private Philadelphia, PA Skagway King George Co, VA
Knox, Elijah H. Private New Bedford, MA Wrangell/Skagway New Bedford, MA
Lee, Elijah Cook Paducah, KY Skagway Puducah, KY
Lipscombs, Joseph M. Private   Wrangell  
Luttge? August ComSgt   Skagway  
Mack, Thomas Private Franklin, VA Wrangell/Skagway Franklin Co, VA
Mack, William Private Clifton, SC Skagway Clifton, SC
Madison, Charles H. Private   Skagway  
Martin, Henry C. Private Mobile, AL Wrangell/Skagway Mobile, AL
Martin, Thomas Corporal Columbus, OH Skagway Martinville, VA
Matthews, James C. Private Philadelphia, PA Skagway Charleston, SC
McClellan, George A. Private Talladega, AL Skagway Talladega, AL
McClinton, Willis Corporal Little Rock, AR Wrangell/Skagway Russell Co, AL
McGee, Allen Corporal Franklinville, NC Wrangell/Skagway North Carolina
McIntire?, David Private Benicia Barracks, CA Wrangell Masschusetts
McKnight, George A. Private   Skagway  
McPherson, James W. Private   Wrangell  
Merritt, Edgar Private Evanville, IN Wrangell/Skagway Hopkinsville, KY
Moore, Harry? Private   Skagway  
Moore, Lonnie Soldier Durham, SC Sitka Jail NC
Moore, Lovey     Skagway  
Morris, Ernest Private East St. Louis, IL Skagway Cario, IL
Morton, Thomas Private Burbon Co, KY Wrangell/Skagway Burbon Co, KY
Mozeak?, Thomas Private Morganton, NC Skagway Morganton, NC
Nash, Joseph A. Musician Richmond, VA Wrangell/Skagway London, OH
O'Connor, Robert 1stSgt Charlotte, NC Skagway North Carolina
Oakford Private   Skagway  
Oley, John W. Private Pittsburgh, PA Skagway Woodstock, VA
Pale, William Private Worchester, MA Wrangell/Skagway New Berm, NC
Parr?, Jacob A. Cook Orangeburg, SC Wrangell/Skagway Orangeburg, SC
Payne, George M Corporal Good Hope PO, DC Wrangell/Skagway Washington, DC
Perkins, John A. Private Buckingham Co, AL Skagway Buckingham Co, VA
Powell, Weleome? W. ComSgt   Skagway  
Randall, Ernest C.. Private Worchester, MA Skagway Worchester, MA
Ray, Charles F. Private Pittsburgh, PA Skagway Bristol, TN
Reed, Charles QMSgt Pittsburgh, PA Skagway Berryville, VA
Reed. James E. B. Private Buffalo, NY Skagway S. Charleston, OH
Richards, Charles D. Private Philadelphia, PA Skagway Philadelphia, PA
Robinson, Henry C. Sargeant Charlotteville, VA Skagway Charlotteville, VA
Rudisell ?, William Private Mobile, AL Wrangell/Skagway Williamtown? TN?
Sanders, Chester Private Indianapolis, IN Skagway Carlton, KY
Shannan, Huston Private      
Simmons, Esaw Private Indianapolis, IN Wrangell/Skagway Dugan Co. NC
Sims, William Private Spartenburg, SC Skagway Carlisle, SC
Slone, Leroy H. Private Chillicothe, OH Wrangell/Skagway Clinton, OH
Snoten?, Augustus Corporal Sulmer Co. TN Skagway Sulmer Co. TN
Stewart, Harry Corporal Indianapolis, IN Skagway Xenia, OH
Stokes?, Edward Private Brunswick Co. NC Skagway Brunswick Co, NC
Suace, Will T. Corporal   Wrangell  
Swanson, Eugene Private Chicago, IL Wrangell/Skagway Chicago, IL
Sweeny, John S. Corporal   Wrangell  
Taylor, John Private Macon, GA Wrangell/Skagway Macon, GA
Thorwell?, George Private Eagle Rock, VA Skagway Eagle Rock, VA
Trice, Benton Private Almagro, VA? Skagway Almagro, VA?
Turner, Ellis Private Withville, VA Skagway Virginia
Washington, James Sargeant Warrenton, VA Wrangell/Skagway Alabama
Waters, James A. Private Pocomoke City, MD Skagway Pocomoke City, MD
Watkins, Leonard Private Milledgeville, GA Skagway Frankfort, KY
Watson, Frank W. Private Amanda?, TN Skagway Amanda?, TN
Watus?? Waters? Private   Skagway  
Wesley, Morris P. Private Philadelphia, PA Skagway Oakhill, PA
White, Charlie J. Private Philadelphia, PA Skagway May City, NJ
White, William Private   Skagway  
White, William H. Private Martins Ferry, OH? Skagway Martins Ferry, OH?
Williams, Herbert Private Columbus, OH Wrangell/Skagway Columbus, OH
Williams, Thomas Private Barbadoes, W.I. Skagway Barbadoes, W. I.
Wilson, George L. Privvate Boston, MA Skagway Boston, MA
Wood, George E. Private   Skagway  
Wood, George W.