Alexander Macomb Wetherill, Sr.
Major, United States Army
In 1900 the fort was renamed in honor of Captain Alexander Wetherill, an infantryman killed in the Battle of San Juan during the Spanish-American War. The Wetherill family have been Jamestown summer residents for many years.
Fort Wetherill State Park, situated upon 100
foot high granite cliffs across the water from Fort Adams State Park, is
a former coastal defense battery and training camp. Consisting of
61.5 acres, it was formally acquired by the State of Rhode Island in 1972.
Known for its spectacular view of Newport Harbor and the East Passage of
Narragansett Bay, Fort Wetherill has been a popular sight for viewing the
numerous Tall Ship Events and America’s Cup Races. As with Beavertail State
Park, this area has seen a major increase in attendance with people from
all over discovering the areas natural beauty and its unique coastal shoreline.
Captain Alexander M. Wetherill of Company A,
Sixth United States Infantry, who was killed in the battle of Santiago,
was born in Pennsylvania and was appointed to the regular service from
that State as a Second Lieutenant in the Sixth Infantry on May 9, 1867.
His military service was performed largely on the Western posts. On April
28, 1875, he was advanded to First Lieutenant. He reached the grade of
Captain January 3, 1890 and had passed his entire military life in the
CAPTAIN WETHERILL’S WILL
PHILADELPHIA, August 4, 1898 – The will of
Alexander M. Wetherill, a Captain in the Sixth United Sattes Infantry,
who was killed in battle near Santiago on July 1, has been administered
by the Register of Willis of this city. He left personal property
valued at $50,000, all of which he bequeathed to his wife.
NEW YORK, New York – October 21, 1898 – Funeral services were held yesterday at Trinity Church over the body of Captain Alexander M. Wetherill of the Sixth Infantry, who fell in the charge up San Juan Hill. The body arrived here Wednesday on the Michigan. Captain Wetherill was a member of Lafayette Post, Grand Army of the Republic, and is said to have been the only member of the Grand Army to give his life in the late war.
The body was brought from Governors Island to Pier 3 East River, where it was met by 100 men of Lafayette Post at 3 P.M. The pall bearers were Lieutenants Fuger and Gose of the Thirteenth Infantry, Colonel Downs of the Twenty-First New York, Captain Taylor of the Ninth Cavalry and Captains Lasiter and Steadman of the Sixteenth Infantry. The church was filled long before the arrival of the cortege. Among those in the audience were Colonel John Jacob Astor, Admiral Bunce and staff, Commodore Philip and staff, and many Grand Army veterans. The mourners were Mrs. Wetherill, her daughter and two sons, one of them being Second Lieutenant Alexander M. Wetherill of his father’s old regiment.
The service was conducted by the Rev. J. Nevitt
Steele, assistant rector of Trinity Church. The body will be taken
today to Arlington Cemetery, near Washington, for burial.
WASHINGTON, October 22, 1898 - The body of Captain Alexander Macomb Wetherill, Sixth United States Infantry, a hero of the charge on San Juan Hill, and prominent in Grand Army circles, was buried in Arlington today with full military honors.
The body was brought here from NewYork over the Baltimore and Ohio Road and a large delegation from Lafayette Post Number 140, G. A. R, of New York, came on to pay a last tribute to the dead. Battery K, Fifth Artillery, United States Army, with the Fourth Artillery Band, and the Lafayette Post, fifty men inline, formed a special escort for the funeral procession to the cemetery where the exercises were conducted under the Grand Army of the Republic ritual.
The procession passed through the city as President
and Mrs. McKinley were driving to the White House on their return from
their Western trip. The President immediately had his horses whipped up,
intercepted the procession in front of theWar Department and, stepping
upon thecurb, bareheaded, watched the procession file by. Secretary
Alger stood beside the President and Mrs. McKinley remained in the carriage.
WETHERILL, MAY H W/O ALEXANDER M
Photo By: M. R. Patterson, July 2002
Updated: 3 November 2000 Updated: 2 January 2002 Updated: 7 July 2002 Updated: 8 October 2002 Updated: 21 July 2003
Updated: 4 September 2004 Updated: 31 August 2005 Updated: 3 September 2006 Updated: 18 August 2007 Updated: 25 August 2007
Updated: 9 December 2007
Photo By M. R. Patterson, 28 June 2003