Re: Ol' Uncle Bob - Re. Capt. Robt. McDonald
?Eenie called early Friday morning wanting to go for a ride in a convertible (I made the mistake a while back of letting her know I have a couple which I keep stored in a warehouse). The other four wanted to go along so the five of us covered about 1,200 miles in three and a half days. Just driving around. We had a ball! We stayed at small, private motels - "Mom and Pop" operations usually open only during the tourist season (the season's almost over so we - meaning I - got pretty good rates). We all had separate rooms but somehow we’d always wind up in one room - mine - talking, telling jokes and stories, etc., all night long. We had a wonderful time! Good, clean fun. There was, however, plenty of raised eyebrows all around whenever we piled out to go to eat or swin or leave. One woman actually covered her little girl’s eyes. Just like in the old movies - I hadn’t seen anything like that in years. We got back late Monday afternoon and everybody passed out on my living room floor and slept until almost noon yesterday (Tuesday). With the sun, wind and water, we're all dark as Indians. I slept, off and on, all day.
RAOGK is a wonderful organization. My experience with the cemetery was about average. Information from cemetery records is usually very scant, especially that far back (one of my pet "rants" is that an increasing number of cemeteries charge fees despite the scarcity - as
well as inaccuracy - of a great deal of the info they provide).
Re McDonald’s military service, about all I have on hand is his entry in Volume I of Heitman's, which is, of necessity, very brief. He enlisted as a private of Company E, 5th United States Infantry on 21 July 1856, rose through the enlisted grades and was First Sergeant of Company E when appointed Second Lieutenant on 9 September 1864 (to rank from 2 July 1864 - commissioned officers are confirmed by the Senate and rank from the date of their nomination or confirmation; back then it was usually the latter). He was promoted to First Lieutenant to rank from 28 September 1865, detailed as Regimental Quartermaster from 18 November 1866 to 10 August 1869 and promoted to Captain to rank from 20 March 1879. I seemed to recall him having been brevetted Major but I guess I was mistaken.
He won his medal in action against a large band of Sioux and Cheyenne under Crazy Horse, a remnant of the force that had defeated Custer at the Little Bighorn about six months earlier. Colonel Nelson Appleton Miles, commanding 5th Infantry, was also overall commander of the expedition, which was an attempt to prevent Crazy Horse from crossing the border into Canada. Beyer & Keydel in DEEDS OF VALOR, Volume II (pp. 227 - 233) give an account of the campaign which lasted from October 1876 through January 1877, including a description of the action for which McDonald was cited.
(Ironically, I just gave a copy of a recent reprint of the two-volume set to the Great-grandaughter of William Grebe, who won the Medal of Honor during the Civil War. Miles also won the medal - at Chancellorsville - during the Civil War.I’ll look around for another copy of the reprint of Volume II. If the cost is minimal, you can have it. If not, I’ll let you have it at my cost.)
Re his Civil War service. At the outbreak of the war, most Regular Army regimentswere ordered east, where they participated in operations against the Confederacy. Fifth Infantry remained in New Mexico. Other Regular Army regiments were replaced or reinforced by volunteer regiments as they became available. The Far West was simply another theater of operations.
Confederate forces began operating in Arizona and New Mexico Territories almost from the beginning of the Civil War. Southerners and Southern sympathizers had been, bothopenly and surreptitiously, attempting to arouse the Indians against the Union before the outbreak of the war. Their efforts were largely unsuccessful, because the Indians - mainly the Apache - were hostile toward all whites. There were numerous engagements, major and minor, with Confederate forces in New Mexico Territory.
Fifth Infantry - Companies B, D, F, I & K - participated in the Battle of Valverde on 21 February 1862. The regiment is entitled to a Civil War streamer inscribed "New Mexico 1862" as well as an Indian Campaigns streamer inscribed "New Mexico 1860." So now you can credit him with Civil War service as well.
You mention he was an ACS. Is this Assistant Commissary of Subsistance? Also, according to what you have, what company did he command at the Tongue River Valley, Wolf Mountains on 8 January 1877. My source indicates Company E and another states he spent his entire career assigned to Company E.
I located a copy of DEEDS OF VALOR, Volume II. It's a reprint, of course. Very reasonable. I'll order it and have them ship to you. No charge.