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Samuel Marmaduke Whitside
Brig. Gen. S. M. Whitside at Santiago de Cuba, 10 Jun 1901, while serving as Commanding General of the District of Santiago
Born (1839-01-09)January 9, 1839
Died December 15, 1904(1904-12-15) (aged 65)
Place of birth Flag of Toronto, Canada.svgToronto, Canada
Place of death Seal-DC.pngWashington, D.C.
Buried at Arlington National Cemetery
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army seal United States Army
Union Army
Years of service 1858 - 1902
Rank Union army brig gen rank insignia.jpgBrigadier General
Unit 6thCav.JPG6th Cav Regt
7thCav.JPG7th Cav Regt
5thCav.JPG5th Cav Regt
10thCav.JPG10th Cav Regt
Commands held

B Co, 6th Cav Regt

Camp Livingston, Texas
Fort Huachuca -a.jpgCamp Huachuca, Arizona
3d & 2d Bns, 7th Cav Regt
Provisional Brigade Commander which included the 5th Cav Regt and 10th Cav Regt
10th Cav Regt
Depts of Eastern Cuba and Santiago & Puerto Prinicipe Cuba
Dist of Santiago

Civil War Campaign Medal ribbon.svgAmerican Civil War

Indian Campaign Medal ribbon.svgIndian Wars

Army of Cuban Occupation ribbon.svgCuban Occupation
Awards Union army cpt rank insignia.jpgBrevet Captain
Union army maj rank insignia.jpgBrevet Major
Spouse(s) Carrie P. McGavock
Relations Col. Warren Whitside (son)
Lt. Col. Archie Miller (son-in-law)
Signature 100px

Brigadier General Samuel M. Whitside was a United States Cavalry officer who served from 1858 to 1902. He commanded at every level from company 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, commanded a provisional cavalry brigade (consisting of 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]

Most history books record two events during his career: the founding of Fort Huachuca, Arizona, and his role as a battalion commander during the Pine Ridge Campaign of 1890 - '91. These two events are arguably the most noteworthy in Whitside's four decades in the U.S. cavalry.

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

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]

Group of 6th U.S. Cavalry officers in camp at Snickers Gap, Va., in 1862, standing, left to right, 2nd Lt. Thos. W. Simson, 1st Lt. Albert Coats. Sitting, left to right, 2nd Lt. Samuel Whitside, Captain August Kautz.[3]

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]

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][4]

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—including small pox—and was severely injured at the Battle of Culpeper Court House. After briefly serving as an aide to Gen. Martindale and Gen. Pleasonton, he 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[edit | edit source]

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


Founder of Fort Huachuca--Captain Samuel M. Whitside, 6th U.S. Cavalry Regiment, ca. 1876. Dissatisfied with the condition of Camp Wallen, on 3 March Whitside led the two companies, consisting of four officers and 127 troopers, approximately nine miles up into the Huachuca Mountains where they encamped near a spring in a heavily wooded area that offered excellent observation over the valleys below. Whitside realized this was the perfect location for the new camp. On 4 March, he ordered initial entries in a journal, identifying their location as "Camp Huachuca, Huachuca Mountains, Arizona Territory, Captain S. M. Whitside Commanding Officer."[5]

Texas 1865-1870[edit | edit source]

Missouri and Kansas 1871-1874[edit | edit source]

Arizona Territory, Colorado and Dakota Territory 1875 - 1887[edit | edit source]

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 any one location.

Dates of Rank[edit | edit source]

Rank Date Unit Component
Union army 2nd lt rank insignia.jpg Second Lieutenant 1 Nov 1861 K Co., 6th Cavalry Regiment Regular Army
Union army 1st lt rank insignia.jpg First Lieutenant 25 Jan 1864 A Co., 6th Cavalry Regiment Regular Army
Union army cpt rank insignia.jpg Captain 20 Oct 1866 B Co., 6th Cavalry Regiment Regular Army
Union army maj rank insignia.jpg Major 20 Mar 1885 7th Cavalry Regiment Regular Army
Union army lt col rank insignia.jpg Lieutenant Colonel 17 Jul 1895 3rd Cavalry Regiment Regular Army
Union army col rank insignia.jpg Colonel 16 Oct 1898 10th Cavalry Regiment Regular Army
Union army brig gen rank insignia.jpg Brigadier General 3 Jan 1901 Volunteers
Union army brig gen rank insignia.jpg Brigadier General 29 May 1902 Regular Army

Personal life[edit | edit source]

Whitside was married to Caroline P. McGavock of Nashville, Tennessee, for thirty-six years.[8] Of their seven children, three survived to adulthood.[2] Their eldest surviving son, Warren Whitside, became a Colonel in the Army Quartermaster Corps and his son, Warren, Jr.; served in the U.S. Navy as a Captain.[9] Samuel and Caroline's daughter, Madeline, married 1st Lt. Archie Miller, a cavalry officer and eventual Medal of Honor recipient.[10] Their daughter, Caroline, would marry Robert Whitney Burns, a future army Lieutenant General.[11] Their youngest child, Victor, became a Major in the Army and commanded an infantry battalion during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive before dying in Germany of pneumonia at the end of World War I.[12]

See also[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

Other References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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