William Bedford Royall – Brigadier General, United States Army

William Bedford Royall was born in Virginia, April 15, 1825. His first entrance into military life was as a lieutenant of Missouri mounted volunteers during the Mexican War. While passing westward on the Santa Fe trail in command of a company of recruits, in the valley of Coon creek, near the present town of Kinsley, May 19, 1848, he had his initiation as an Indian fighter.

At the organization of the Second United States Cavalry, March 3, 1855, he was commissioned a First Lieutenant. He was promoted to a Captaincy March 21, 1861. Although he was a Virginian by birth, a nephew of General Sterling Price, and could undoubtedly have met with more rapid advancement had he chosen to cast his fortunes on the side of the Confederacy, he never wavered in his loyalty to the Union cause. His regiment was attached to the Army of the Potomac throughout the Civil War, at the close of which he had reached the grade of Major, with the brevet ranks of Lieutenant Colonel and Colonel.

After the close of the war his regiment was transferred to the western plains, where it saw active service against the Indians in the valleys of the Smoky Hill and the Republican in northwestern Kansas. On December 3, 1875, he was commissioned Lieutenant Colonel of the Third cavalry. The following year he was in command of the Cavalry, ten troops of his own regiment and five troops of the Second, attached to General Crook's command on the Yellowstone expedition.

He was promoted to the rank of Colonel November 1, 1882, and was retired with the rank of Brigadier General October 19, 1887. He died at Washington, D. C., December 13, 1895.

William Bedford, soldier, born in Virginia, 15 April, 1825. He took part in the Mexican war in New Mexico as 1st lieutenant of Missouri Mountain Volunteers, and did good service at the capture of Puebla de Taos and in the skirmish with Comanche Indians on Coon creek, 18 June, 1848. He returned to civil life in October, 1848. In recognition of his gallantry he received a commission in the regular army, dating from 3 March, 1855, and he participated in an expedition to the headwaters of Conches river in the following year. In 1859 he won great credit by a brilliant defence of his camp against hostile Comanches.

Escaping from Texas in the beginning of the civil war, he was commissioned as Captain, 21 March, 1861, and was engaged at Falling Waters, the siege of  Yorktown, Williamsburg, Hanover Court-House, where he earned the brevet of  Major, and Old Church, where he cut through the enemy to escape capture, receiving sabre wounds which disabled him for several years. He was brevetted Lieutenant Colonel, was made a Major on 7 December, 1863, and during the remaining period of the war was engaged in recruiting service.

On 13 March, 1865, he was brevetted Colonel. In 1868 he took the field against the hostile Indians in Kansas, commanding in a combat at Prairie Dog creek. For a part of the time he was the commander of the Republican river expedition of 1869, and was engaged in several affairs with the hostile Indians. He was promoted Lieutenant Colonel on 2 December, 1875, and in 1876 took part in the Yellowstone expedition, and was engaged at Rosebud creek and in other actions. He was promoted Colonel of Cavalry on 1 November, 1882, and retired from active service on 19 October, 1887.

William Bedford Royall of Virginia
Born on 15 April 1925

Appointed from Missouri, First Lieutenant, 2nd Missouri Infantry, 31 July 1846
Retained as First Lieutenant & Adjutant, Santa Fe Battalion, 14 August 1847
Honorably mustered our on 20 October 1848
Appointed First Lieutenant, 2nd United States Cavalry, 3 March 1855
Captain, 21 March 1861
Transferred to the 5th United States Cavalry, 3 August 1861
Major, 7 December 1863
Lieutenant Colonel, 3rd United States Cavalry, 2 December 1875
Colonel, 4th United States Cavalry, 1 November 1882
Retired 19 October 1887
Breveted Major, 27 May 1862 for gallant and meritorious service in the battle of Hanover Church House, Virginia
Breveted Lieutenant Colonel, 13 June 1862 for gallant and meritorious service in
the cavalry action at Old Church, Virginia
Breveted Colonel, 13 March 1865 for arduous and faithful service in the
recruitment of the armies of the United States and breveted Brigadier General, 27 February 1890 for gallant service in action against Indians at Rosebud Creek
Montana, 17 June 1876
Died On 13 December 1895
Buried with full military honors in Section 1 of Arlington National Cemetery



  • COL U S A
  • DATE OF DEATH: 12/13/1895


  • DATE OF DEATH: 04/20/1903

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