Charles Adam Dempsey – Colonel, United States Army

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Charles Adam Dempsey of Virginia

  • Appointed from Virginia, Cadet, United States Military Academy, 1 September 1861 (68)
  • Second Lieutenant and First Lieutenant, 17th United States Infantry, 23 June 1865
  • Transferred to the 35th United States Infantry, 21 september 1866
  • Unassigned 12 August 1869
  • Assigned to the 2nd United States Infantry, 3 June 1870
  • Regimental Adjutant, 21 December 1871 to 9 February 1878
  • Captain, 9 February 1878
  • Major, 2nf United States Infantry, 26 August 1898
  • Lieutenant Colonel, 1st United States Infantry, 16 June 1899
  • Colonel, 3rd United States Infantry, 4 March 1901
  • Retired 27 September 1901

CHARLES A. DEMPSEY, EX-ARMY COLONEL, 96
Oldest Alumnus of West Point, Veteran of 3 Campaigns, Dies

RICHMOND, Virginia, June 4, 1941 – Colonel Charles A. Dempsey, U.S.A., retired, oldest alumnus of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, died early today in his home here after being ill for a week.  He celebrated his ninety-sixth birthday on November 15.

Colonel Dempsey's period of active military duty began soon after the close of the Civil War and ended with the World War armistice in 1918.  He was born in 1844 in Alexandria, Virginia, the son of James Dempsey and Esther Williams Dempsey.  His father was Danish and Norwegian Counsul in Alexandria.

When the Civil War began, Colonel Dempsey was too young for military service.  He entered the Military Academy at West Point, from which he was graduated in 1865, and saw his first military service on Hart's Island, Lond Island Sound, with the Seventeenth Infantry.

With the declaration of war against Spain in 1898, Colonel Dempsey's unit followed Colonel Theodore Roosevelt's Rough Riders to Cuba.  The next year he was transferred to the Philippine Islands, where the natives were staging an uprising.

In 1907 he retired from active duty but after the entry of this country into the World War in 1917, he took part in training recruits for the American Expeditionary Forces.

Colonel Dempsey had resided in Richmond since 1904, when he reported here for duty with the Virginia National Guard.  He was finally retired from military service on September 20, 1921.

He leaves a widow, Mrs. Lena Lawson Dempsey, of Richmond.


From the Richmond Times-Dispatch, 6 June 1941

Submitted By Paula Delosh

“Funeral services for Colonel Charles A. Dempsey, 96, United States Army (retired), and the oldest alumnus of West Point who died at his home on Gresham court on Wednesday were held on Thursday at 4:30 pm at the Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church.  Burial will be held Friday at Arlington National Cemetery.

“Colonel Dempsey who had served in four wars was a native of Alexandria (Virginia), but had lived in Richmond since 1904.

“Surviving are his wife, Mrs. Lena Lawson Dempsey; a nephew, Alfred Thompson; two nieces, Miss Mary Thompson and Mrs. J. Armstead Carter; and serveral great-nieces and great-nephews.”


DEMPSEY, CHARLS A

  • COL INF US ARMY VA RET
  • VETERAN SERVICE DATES: Unknown
  • DATE OF DEATH: 06/04/1941
  • DATE OF INTERMENT: 06/06/1941
  • BURIED AT: SECTION 3  SITE 4595
  • ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY

DEMPSEY, LENA LAWSON WIDOW OF CHARLES A

  • DATE OF BIRTH: 05/29/1873
  • DATE OF DEATH: 03/05/1963
  • DATE OF INTERMENT: 03/08/1963
  • BURIED AT: SECTION 3  SITE 4595 LH
  • ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
    WIFE OF CA DEMPSEY – COL INF USA
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