Winfield Scott Edgerly
Brigadier General, United States Army
at Farmington, New Hampshire, on May 29, 1846, he was educated in the public
schools of Framington, the Phillips Exter Academy, and he graduated from
West Point in 1876. He married Grace Cora Blum on October 27, 1875.
He was appointed Second Lieutenant, 7th United States Cavalry, June 15, 1876; First Lieutenant, June 25, 1876; Captain, September 22, 1883; Major, 6th United States Cavalry, June 9, 1898. He transferred back to the 7th Cavalry on March 20, 1901 and was promoted to Colonel, 2nd United States Cavalry, February 17, 1903 and to Brigadier General, United States Army, June 23, 1905.
He retired from active duty on December 29, 1909. He served in the Indian Wars, the Spanish-American War and the Philippine Insurrection. He commanded the Department of the Gulf in 1907. He was a Republican.
Of interest is the fact that he had just graduated from West Point and had just joined the 7th Cavalry as of the time they were massacred as the Battle of the Little Big Horn. He was not with the main body, which accompanied Custer, and was not killed in that action. In fact, he received promotion to First Lieutenant, 7th Cavalry, effective on the date of the battle in order to provide the newly constituted 7th Cavalry with officers.
He died on September 10, 1927 and was buried in Section 3 of Arlington National Cemetery. His wife, Grace Cora Blume Edgerly (1856-1939) is buried with him. Their private monument reads, in part:
"Until the day breaks and the shadows flee
September 11, 1927 – Word received here last night of the death yesterday of Brigadier General Winfield S. Edgerly, U.S.A., retired, at Framingham, New Hampshire, where he was born. He retired in December 1909, after forty years’ service in the Cavalry. His age was 81.
General Edgerly was one of the most popular officers in the Army. He was an old plainsman and Indian fighter and was well known throughout the West. After graduating from West Point in 1870, he saw hard service with the Seventh Cavalry. In the expedition against the Sioux in 1876 he fought at the Little Big Horn, and he afterwards helped disarm the Indians. The next year he dealt with road agents and Indians who had been bothering miners and settlers in the Black Hills.
He was promoted to Colonel of the 2nd Cavalry in 1903 and became a Brigadier General two years later. His last command was the Department of North Dakota.
General Edgerly was a striking looking man,
6 feet 2 inches tall. In his youth he was an athlete.
Photo Courtesy of the National Archives
Photo By Michael Robert Patterson, 1999
Updated: 18 November 2000 Updated: 18 December 2001 Updated: 5 March 2003 Updated: 18 August 2003 Updated: 4 September 2004 Updated: 6 December 2004 Updated: 31 August 2005 Updated: 5 December 2007
Photo By M. R. Patterson, 28 June 2003
Photo By M. R. Patterson, 3 December 2004