On leave of absence at the time of the Little Big Horn River fight. The leave of absence granted at Fort Rice, Dakota Territory in Special Orders Number 71, April 27, 1875, and was extended for 11 months.
Born in Georgetown, Kentucky, on November 26, 1828, he entered the United States Military Academy by appointment from Kentucky on July 1, 1847, and was the 1533rd graduate, ranking 40th in his class of 42 graduates.
On July 1, 1851, he was appointed a Brevet Second Lieutenant in the Mounted Rifles. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant on January 27, 1853, and was then promoted to First Lieutenant on June 14, 1858, and Captain on July 31, 1861. The Mounted Rifles were designated the 3rd Regiment of Cavalry by an Act of Congress, August 3, 1861.
He served at the Cavalry School and on frontier duty from 1851 to 1862, and was engaged in actions in New Mexico, Tennessee, and was in the campaign against Chattanooga. He received the brevet of Major to rank from February 21, 1862, for his gallant and meritorious services in the battle of Valverde, New Mexico, and the brevet of Lieutenant Colonel to rank from March 13, 1865, for his faithful and meritorious services during the Civil War.
He was then appointed a Major in the 7th US Cavalry, November 27, 1867, and served with the regiment for the next 22 years. He did not participate in the Sioux expedition of 1876, being on leave of absence at the time.
On September 22, 1893, he received promotion to Lieutenant Colonel and on April 11, 1889 he was promoted to Colonel of the 9th US Cavalry. He received promotion to Brigadier General and retired on July 1, 1891. He died February 24, 1911 in Washington, DC. Interred in Section 2, Grave 1205, Arlington National Cemetery.
Buried with him are his wife, Cornelia Van Ness Tilford (1838-1929), his son, James Dean Tilford, Colonel, United States Army (1877-1952) and his son's wife, Helen M. Ferguson Tilford (1883-1953). His grandson, James Dean Tilford, Jr., Major, United States Air Force, and his wife, Emily Jane Tilford, are buried in Section 2, Grave 1172-2.
NOTE: His Son-in-Law, George Hamilton Cameron, Major General, United States Army and Cameron's wife (Tilford's daughter), Nina, are also buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Also, Cameron's son, Douglass Tilford Cameron, First Lieutenant, United States Army, who was killed-in-action in World War I, is also buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
TILFORD, CORNELIA VAN NESS W/O JOS G
- DATE OF DEATH: 02/02/1923
- DATE OF INTERMENT: Unknown
- BURIED AT: SECTION CLE SITE 1205
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
- WIFE OF JOSEPH G. TILFORD BRIG GEN USA
TILFORD, JOSEPH G
- BRIG/GEN US ARMY RET
- VETERAN SERVICE DATES: Unknown
- DATE OF DEATH: 02/24/1911
- DATE OF INTERMENT: Unknown
BURIED AT: SECTION EDIV SITE 1205
- ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
Members of the Seventh United States Cavalry At Fort Rice in 1874
Including Joseph Green Tilford, Lewis Merrill, William Benteen, Cornelia Tilford
Reviewed by: Michael Howard