Albert Gallatin Forse
Major, United States Army
on February 28, 1841, he graduated from the United States Military Academy
in 1865. He was serving with the 1st United States Cavalry when he was
killed-in-action during the Spanish-American War at San Juan Hill, Cuba,
on July 1, 1898. He is buried in Section 1 of Arlington National Cemetery.
His wife, Virginia Powell Forse (September
27, 1845-May 6, 1914) never remarried and is buried with him.
Courtesy of Michael T. Stein:
Major Albert Gallatin Forse
Cadet U.S. Military Academy 1861-65
Served with 1st Cavalry Regiment 1865-96
A.G. Forse in cadet uniform. 5-1/4x3-3/4 oval, on original mount with gilt imprint of Brady, New York. New York: c.1865?. On the reverse is noted in pencil, "Forse, A.G. Killed an San Juan Hill 1898. Capt. Indian Wars."
Cadet Albert G. Forse to be second lieutenant, June 23, 1865, vice Trimble, promoted.
Second Lieutenant Albert G. Forse to be first
lieutenant, October 15, 1866, vice Hall, the regimental adjutant.
"On the hill-slope immediately around me I had a mixed force composed of members of most of the cavalry regiments, and a few infantrymen. There were about fifty of my Rough Riders with Lieutenants Goodrich and Carr. Among the rest were perhaps a score of colored infantrymen, but, as it happened, at this particular point without any of their officers. No troops could have behaved better than the colored soldiers had behaved so far; but they are, of course, peculiarly dependent upon their white officers. Occasionally they produce non-commissioned officers who can take the initiative and accept responsibility precisely like the best class of whites; but this cannot be expected normally, nor is it fair to expect it. With the colored troops there should always be some of their own officers; whereas, with the white regulars, as with my own Rough Riders, experience showed that the non-commissioned officers could usually carry on the fight by themselves if they were once started, no matter whether their officers were killed or not.
"At this particular time it was trying for the men, as they were lying flat on their faces, very rarely responding to the bullets, shells, and shrapnel which swept over the hill-top, and which occasionally kill or wounded one of their number. Major Albert G. Forse, of the First Cavalry, a noted Indian fighter, was killed about this time."
Spanish-American War Report:
Major Albert G. Forse, of the First United States Cavalry, who was among the killed, had been just thirty-seven years in the Government service and has seen a good deal of Indian fighting. He was born in Pennsylvania and was appointed on July 1, 1861 from Ohio to the United States Military Academy at West Point. He was graduated on June 23, 1865.
Cadet Forse was promoted to a Second Lieutenancy n the Fist Cavalry upon graduation and his first services was in garrison at New Orleans, Louisiana, in October and November 1865. He then served on frontier duty at San Antonio, Texas, until January of the following year, when the regiment was transferred to Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. From April to September 1868, Lieutenant Forse served on frontier duty at Fort McDowell, Arizona. He acted as Quartermaster for the First Cavalry from September 7, 1866 to December 1869.
His appointment as First Lieutenant in the First Cavalry was made on October 15, 1866, and from November 19 of that year till the following January 28, he was on recruiting service. From February to June 1867, he was on frontier duty at Fort Walla Walla, Washington, and then spend about four months in scouting.
Lieutenant Forse spent the next several years in Idaho, about that time saw his first active service. He was engaged in fighting Nez Perces Indians in July 1877 and November 1875. After a months service at Fort Lapwai, Idaho, in 1878, he started scouting again and kept at it until September of that year. On July 8 and 20, 1878, he was engaged against the Bannock and Piute Indians. He was later transferred to Camp Harney, Oregon, where he stayed until October 29, 1878, when he got a leave of absence for seven or eight months. In this interim he was appointed, on March 4, 1879, Captain in the First Cavalry, and on returning to duty went again, with his regiment, to Fort Walla Walla.
From July 1879 to May 1880, he was alternatively at Fort Howard, Idaho and engaged in scouting. He took part in the affair at Big Creek against the Sheepeater Indians on August 20, 1879. After service at Forts Walla Walla, Lapwai, Idaho and Custer, Montana, he was engaged on November 5, 1887, on the Crow Reservation, Montana, against the Crow Indians.
Captain Forse was appointed Major in the Seventh
United States Cavalry on December 11, 1895 and transferred to his old regiment,
the First, on January 7, 1897. Since then he has been Major of the
FORSE, VIRGINIA WIDOW OF ALBERT G
Photo (c) Michael Patterson, September 1999
Page Updated: 26 September 1999 Updated: 18 August 2001 Updated: 29 November 2001 Updated: 7 July 2002 Updated: 7 October 2002 Updated: 21 July 2003 Updated: 3 April 2004 Updated: 4 September 2004 Updated: 15 July 2006 Updated: 9 August 2007
Photos By M. R. Patterson, 28 June 2003