Francis Safford Dodge – Brigadier General, United States Army

Born at Danvers, Massachusetts on September 11, 1842, he served in the Civil War as Private and Corporal, 23rd Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, October 9, 1861-December 19, 1863. Appointed First Lieutenant, United States Colored Cavalry, December 20, 1863, and the promoted through the ranks to Brigadier General, January 23, 1904. Retired by operation of law on September 11, 1906.

He was breveted February 27, 1890 for action against hostile Indians at Colorado, September 29-October 1, 1879. He received the Medal of Honor, March 22, 1898, for “most distinguished gallantry” against Indians near White River Agency, Colorado, October 2, 1879. He served in North and South Carolina, 1861-63, in Virginia, 1863-64, Texas, 1864-65, and after the Civil War at various posts throughout the West.

After his retirement, he served as Director, American Surety and Trust Company.

He died in Washington, D.C. on February 19, 1908 and was buried in Section 3 (Grave 1874) of Arlington National Cemetery.

His wife, Mary Hunt Dodge (1847-1931) is buried with him.


LEAVENWORTH, Kansas, October 11, 1879 – General Pope, Commander of the Department of Missouri, yesterday issued general orders highly complimentary to Captain F. S. Dodge of the Ninth Cavalry.  The following is an extract:

The Department Commander takes peculiar pleasure in exercising his privilege thus publicly and formally to express his high appreciation and hearty commendation of the gallantry and soldierly conduct of Captain Francis S. Dodge, Ninth Cavalry, and the officers and men of his Company D, Ninth Cavalry, in forcing a junction with the forces under Captain Payne, Fifth Cavalry, which were beleaguered by the hostile Indians.  The report in which this result is announced is written with severest brevity and shows that Captain Dodge, in addition to his other qualities, possesses that perfect model which should always characterize the true soldier.  His conduct is help up for the emulation of the officers in this Department and will be duly brought to the notice and consideration of the Government.

Was Honored by Congress for Bravery in Indian War in Colorado

WASHINGTON, February 20, 1908 – Brigadier General Francis S. Dodge, USA, retired, who was awarded a Medal of Honor by Congress for distinguished gallantry at the battle of White River in Colorado, in the Indian campaign in the sixties, died at his residence here yesterday.

General Dodge was born in Danvers, Massachusetts, September 11, 1842.  He joined the Twenty-Third Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War. Serving with that regiment for two years and later was appointed a First Lieutenant in the Second United States Colored Volunteer Cavalry.  He was mustered out of service with the rank of Captain.  General Dodge was engaged in the operations of the Army of the James, was in the action of Fair Oaks, the capture of Fort Fisher, and the campaign of North Carolina.  After being mustered out of volunteer service he joined the regular army and received a commission as a First Lieutenant of the Ninth Cavalry, a colored regiment.  He was promoted to Captain in 1867.  While in commend of his company of forty men and on scouting duty in Northwestern Colorado in 1879, General Dodge heard of the attack of the White River Utes on the command of Major Thomas F. Thornburg.  He immediately marched his force to the relief of the Major and fought off the Indians for three days until aid arrived.  For this action General Dodge received a Medal of Honor from Congress and the rank of Major in 1890.  He afterward was transferred to the Pay Department and service in Havana during the yellow fever epidemic, which disease he contracted.  He was appointed Brigadier General in 1904, and two years later was placed on the retired list.


Rank and organization: Captain, Troop D, 9th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: Near White River Agency, Colorado, 29 September 1879. Entered service at: Danvers, Massachusetts. Born: 11 September 1842, Danvers, Massachusetts. Date of issue: 2 April 1898.


With a force of 40 men rode all night to the relief of a command that had been defeated and was besieged by an overwhelming force of Indians, reached the field at daylight, joined in the action and fought for 3 days.





Read our general and most popular articles

Leave a Comment