Robert Wilson Shufeldt
Major, United States Army
My name is Walt Cross, I am a retired Army Master Sergeant. I am researching Major Shufeldt with an eye to writing his biography. I came across your excellent photograph of his headstone at Artlington.
I thought I would tell you a bit about the Major. He served as an Army surgeon from 1876 to 1891 at Fort Laramie, yoming but primarily at Fort Wingate, New Mexico. In July of 1876 he was one of the first visitors to the site of the Little Big Horn battle and collected human remains under somewhat questionable circumstances. Colonel Sheridan, brother of General Phillip Sheridan, was in charge of the burial detail under Lieutenant Nowlan of the 7th Cavalry. He had instructed that no one be allowed on the site as burials were peformed. While passing by with a detachment of the 5th Cavalry, Shufeldt took a skull and later sent it to the Army Medical Museum. It resides today in the Smithsonian.
I later identified these remains as those of Second Lieutenant Henry Moore Harrington in my book "Custer's Lost Officer."
Shufeldt spent most of his career as an Army surgeon at Fort Wingate and in addition to his military duties performed as a curator for the AMM and the SI in the field of ornithology. Son of a Navy admiral, he served as a warrant officer during the Civil War. I have some additional details if you are interested.
However, I would like your permission to use
your photograph of his headstone in my biography of him. Thanks.
Additional Information From Walt Cross: Dcember 2006
As a boy he lived in Havana Cuba where his
father was the American Consul-General during the Lincoln administration.
In 1864 his father (who bore the same name) was recalled to active Navy
service and took command of the USS Proteus, a Union steamer gunship.
Robert was appointed a warrant officer and assigned to his father's ship
as signal officer and ship's clerk. (His father, Robert
Wilson Shufeldt, is interesting, attaining the rank of Admiral and
forcing Korea open to western trade in the same manner as Commodore Perry
Robert Wilson Shufeldt was born in New York in 1850. He served as a Surgeon in the United States Army, rising to the rank of Major. He died on 21 January 1934 and was buried with full military honors in Section 6 of Arlington National Cemetery. His wife, Alfhild Dagny Lowum Shufeldt (born in 1871 and died on 11 May 1934) is buried with him.
SHUFELDT, A D W/O ROBERT W
DATE OF DEATH: 05/11/1934
DATE OF INTERMENT: 05/14/1934
BURIED AT: SECTION 6 SITE 9710
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
WIFE OF RW SHUFELDT, MAJOR USA
SHUFELDT, ROBERT W
SHUFELDT, A D W/O ROBERT W
Photo By M. R. Patterson, 2 December 2004