Arthur Fortunatus Cosby – Captain, United States Army

Arthur Fortunatus Cosby of California

Appointed from New York, Private, Troop K, 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry, 27 May 1898
Captain, Assistant Adjutant General of U. S. Volunteers, 13 August 1898
Honorably discharged from the volunteer service, 7 April 1899

Private Arthur F. Cosby of New York Made Assistant Adjutant General

WASHINGTON, August 15, 1898 – Private Arthur F. Cosby of Troop K, Rough Riders, has been promoted to be an Assistant Adjutant General, with the rank of Captain.  Cosby was seriously wounded in the first day's fight before Santiago, when the Rough Riders were attacked from cover by the Spaniards.  As soon as he was able to travel he was brought to Washington and placed in the hospital at Fort Myer.  He has now quite recovered, althouth he still carries a Mauser buller in his breast.

Cosby was graduated from Harvard in 1894 and when the war broke out was practicing law in New York City where he resides.

Arthur Fortunatus Cosby was born on 22 May 1872 in San Francisco, California, to Frank Carvill Cosby and Charlotte Melvina Spencer.  He was married to Virginia Rolette Dousman on 1 October 1904 at Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin.

NOTE: His father, Frank Carvill Cosby, Rear Admiral, United States Navy, and his brother, Spencer Cosby, Colonel, United States Army, are also both buried in Section 1 of Arlington National Cemetery.

Court Expressed Hope that Ex-Rough Rider and Wife May Yet Be Reconciled
Finances Caused Trouble
Mrs. Cosby, Who Brought Action, Alleged That Husband Was
Parsimonious and Cruel

August 9, 1919 – In an opinion giving advice to both husband and wife and expressing the hope that they may yet be reconciled, Supreme Court Justice Giegerich dismissed yesterday a suit for separation by Mrs. Virginia D. Cosby against Captain Arthur F. Cosby, lawyer and Chairman of the Military Training Camps Committee, who as a member of the “Rough Riders,” was wounded at the battle of Santiago.  He is a son of the late Admiral Frank C. Cosby of San Francisco.

Mrs. Cosby, who married the defendant in 1904 in Wisconsin, brought her suit in 1917 on the ground of cruelty.  When it was first tried in March 1918, it was adjourned for a year in the hope that the parties would become reconciled.  Captain Cosby made a counterclaim for a separation on the ground of cruelty and desertion, but when the trial ended he withdrew his request for a decree in his favor.

Justice Giegerich, in his opinion, states that the case is a “different and distressing one,” and it is clear that the parties have been unhappy for the past six years, but he does not believe the plaintiff is free from responsibility, and is “not convinced that she is not chiefly responsible for the domestic troubles.”

The court said: “She was reared in luxury, but after her father’s death his estate was lost, so that she has been dependant on the earnings of her husband was able to make. No claim is made that he has not been diligent and used every effort to obtain as large an income as possible.  The claim is made, however, that he had been hard, cruel, and parsimonious.  It is plain from the evidence and from the belief that the troubles generally had their origin in the differences arising between the parties as to expenditures, the defendant struggling to live within his means and the plaintiff struggling for larger allowances for living expenses.”

The court says that the couple has two children, both girls, one thirteen and other seven years of age, both of whom are cripples by infantile paralysis in 1916, at which time a third child died of the same disease.  Justice Giegerich says he believes Captain Cosby has been right in his attitude as to expenditures and the plaintiff wrong, and says that no marriage can be a success, or at least is put under a “severe strain” if one party will live within the family income and the other to exceed it.


February 27, 1957 – Colonel Arthur Fortunatus Cosby, who was a Rough Rider in the Spanish-American War and later a leader in military preparedness and political reform movements here, died on Monday in Westport, Connecticut.  He was 84.

He was born in San Francisco, a con of Rear Admiral Frank C. Cosby and Mrs. Charlotte Spencer Cosby, attended Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts, and graduated from Harvard in 1894.  He later received a law degree in Washington.

Colonel Cosby started here as a lawyer in 1895 and became active in the work of the Citizens Union, then waging a bitter anti-Tammany battle.  After the 1898 war, he became Assistant Corporation Counsel here.

During World War I, he served as Executive Secretary of the Military Training Camps Association, organizing recruiting and training activities.

Colonel Cosby then worked for the passage of legislation to establish the Citizens Military Training Camps.  In 1922 he became Executive Officer of the International Grenfell Association, which did welfare work in Labrador. He retired in 1927.

He subsequently was active in organizations that worked to reduce taxes and waste in government.

In World War II Colonel Cosby returned to duty and served as Chairman of the Second Corps Area Advisory Board at Governors Island.

afcosby-rough-riders-service-card-001 afcosby-rough-riders-service-card-002 afcosby-rough-riders-service-card-003 afcosby-rough-riders-service-card-004


  • DATE OF BIRTH: 05/22/1872
  • DATE OF DEATH: 02/25/1957

Read our general and most popular articles

Leave a Comment