His private memorial in Section 1 of Arlington National Cemetery reads:
Alexander Macomb Wetherill
Captain and Brevet Major, United States Army
Killed July 1, 1898, leading the charge on San Juan Hill
Santiago de Cuba
In 1900 the fort was renamed in honor of Captain Alexander Wetherill, an infantryman killed in the Battle of San Juan during the Spanish-American War. The Wetherill family have been Jamestown summer residents for many years.
Fort Wetherill State Park, situated upon 100 foot high granite cliffs across the water from Fort Adams State Park, is a former coastal defense battery and training camp. Consisting of 61.5 acres, it was formally acquired by the State of Rhode Island in 1972. Known for its spectacular view of Newport Harbor and the East Passage of Narragansett Bay, Fort Wetherill has been a popular sight for viewing the numerous Tall Ship Events and America’s Cup Races. As with Beavertail State Park, this area has seen a major increase in attendance with people from all over discovering the areas natural beauty and its unique coastal shoreline.
Alexander Macomb Wetherill of Pennsylvania
Appointed From Pennsylvania, Second Lieutenant, 6th United States Infantry, 9 May 1867
First Lieutenant, 28 April 1875
Regimental Quartermaster 1 March 1887 to 3 January 1890
Captain, 3 January 1890
Killed, 1 July 1898 at the battle of San Juan, Santiago, Cuba.
July 6, 1898:
Captain Alexander M. Wetherill of Company A, Sixth United States Infantry, who was killed in the battle of Santiago, was born in Pennsylvania and was appointed to the regular service from that State as a Second Lieutenant in the Sixth Infantry on May 9, 1867. His military service was performed largely on the Western posts. On April 28, 1875, he was advanded to First Lieutenant. He reached the grade of Captain January 3, 1890 and had passed his entire military life in the Sixth Infantry.
CAPTAIN WETHERILL’S WILL
PHILADELPHIA, August 4, 1898 – The will of Alexander M. Wetherill, a Captain in the Sixth United Sattes Infantry, who was killed in battle near Santiago on July 1, has been administered by the Register of Willis of this city. He left personal property valued at $50,000, all of which he bequeathed to his wife.
FUNERAL OF CAPTAIN WETHERILL
Services Over the Officer’s Body Held at Trinity Church
NEW YORK, New York – October 21, 1898 – Funeral services were held yesterday at Trinity Church over the body of Captain Alexander M. Wetherill of the Sixth Infantry, who fell in the charge up San Juan Hill. The body arrived here Wednesday on the Michigan. Captain Wetherill was a member of Lafayette Post, Grand Army of the Republic, and is said to have been the only member of the Grand Army to give his life in the late war.
The body was brought from Governors Island to Pier 3 East River, where it was met by 100 men of Lafayette Post at 3 P.M. The pall bearers were Lieutenants Fuger and Gose of the Thirteenth Infantry, Colonel Downs of the Twenty-First New York, Captain Taylor of the Ninth Cavalry and Captains Lasiter and Steadman of the Sixteenth Infantry. The church was filled long before the arrival of the cortege. Among those in the audience were Colonel John Jacob Astor, Admiral Bunce and staff, Commodore Philip and staff, and many Grand Army veterans. The mourners were Mrs. Wetherill, her daughter and two sons, one of them being Second Lieutenant Alexander M. Wetherill of his father’s old regiment.
The service was conducted by the Rev. J. Nevitt Steele, assistant rector of Trinity Church. The body will be taken today to Arlington Cemetery, near Washington, for burial.
CAPTAIN WETHERILL BURIED
Funeral Procession In Washington Witnessed By The President
WASHINGTON, October 22, 1898 – The body of Captain Alexander Macomb Wetherill, Sixth United States Infantry, a hero of the charge on San Juan Hill, and prominent in Grand Army circles, was buried in Arlington today with full military honors.
The body was brought here from NewYork over the Baltimore and Ohio Road and a large delegation from Lafayette Post Number 140, G. A. R, of New York, came on to pay a last tribute to the dead. Battery K, Fifth Artillery, United States Army, with the Fourth Artillery Band, and the Lafayette Post, fifty men inline, formed a special escort for the funeral procession to the cemetery where the exercises were conducted under the Grand Army of the Republic ritual.
The procession passed through the city as President and Mrs. McKinley were driving to the White House on their return from their Western trip. The President immediately had his horses whipped up, intercepted the procession in front of theWar Department and, stepping upon thecurb, bareheaded, watched the procession file by. Secretary Alger stood beside the President and Mrs. McKinley remained in the carriage.
WETHERILL, ALEX M
- CAPT 6TH US INF
- VETERAN SERVICE DATES: Unknown
- DATE OF DEATH: 07/01/1898
- DATE OF INTERMENT: Unknown
- BURIED AT: SECTION OS SITE 283
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
WETHERILL, MAY H W/O ALEXANDER M
- DATE OF DEATH: 11/04/1928
- DATE OF INTERMENT: Unknown
- BURIED AT: SECTION W-W SITE 283
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
- WIFE OF AM WETHERILL – CAPT 6TH US INF
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard