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10th Vermont Infantry
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Charles A. Woodruff

Bennington Banner

August 25, 1920

Vermont Veteran Dead

Death Ends Long Illness of Brigadier-General Charles A. Woodruff.

Brigadier-General Charles A. Woodruff, United States Army retired, a Civil War veteran, prominent member of the Loyal Legion, Spanish-American War Veterans and Grand Army of the Republic, died at his home, 28 Plaza Drive, Berkeley, Calif., Thursday, Aug. 12. Death was caused by heart disease complicated by intestinal trouble. He was 75 years old.

General Woodruff was born in Vermont on April 26, 1845. He enlisted in the 10th Infantry of the Union forces at the outbreak of the Civil War and served with that unit until August 13, 1865 as a private and corporal. In 1867 he was appointed to the West Point army academy and was graduated in 1871.

After serving continuously with the regular army from the time he was commissioned until 1903, and being elevated through the ranks of first lieutenant, captain, major, lieutenant-colonel and colonel, he was raised to the grade of a brigadier-general and retired. Since then he has made his home in Berkeley.

Surviving General Woodruff is his widow, Mrs. Louise G. Woodruff, three sons and two daughters. The sons are: Colonel James A. Woodruff, U.S.A.; Major Edwin Woodruff, U.S.A., and Captain Charles A. Woodruff, who served with the military during the World War and is now associated with the Bethlehem Iron Works.

Mrs. Roger Williams and Mrs. Malin Craig, wife of Brigadier-General Craig, now in Washington, D.C., are his daughters.

General Woodruff has been a prominent member of the Loyal Legion and active in its affairs for many years. He served as Commander of the San Francisco Post of the Loyal Legion for a number of years, and has held various other offices.

In 1890 he was cited for gallantry in action during the engagement at the famous Battle of the Big Hole in Montana during the Indian campaign of 1877. An honorary title was conferred upon him for conspicuous bravery in action.

At the time he was retired Woodruff was serving in the commissary department and was known as the "Chauncey Depew of the Army" because of his fame as an after-dinner speaker. He served continuously from 1874 until 1878 with the Seventh Infantry, the unit to which he was assigned as a second lieutenant upon graduating from West Point.

Contributed by Tom Boudreau.

Charles A. Woodruff

Woodruff, Charles Albert, of United States Army, son of Erastus (descendant in seventh degree, from Matthew Woodruff, one of the original proprietors of the town of Farmington, Conn., where he settled in 1640), was born in Burke, April 26, 1845.

He was educated in the district schools of Burke, the academies at Lyndon and St. Johnsbury and graduated at Bryant & Stratton's Business College, Burlington, and at the United States Military Academy, West Point, N. Y. He first enlisted, June 5, 1862, in Co. A, 10th Vt. Vols., and became corporal June 3, 1863, and was promoted second lieutenant 117th U. S. C. T., but was not mustered on account of wounds received while serving in the 3d and 6th corps of the Army of the Potomac; was slightly wounded three times at Cold Harbor, Va., June 1, 1864; he was captured and escaped same night. He was severely wounded June 3, 1864, and never rejoined his company, but was discharged for disability caused by wounds, August 18, 1865.

Passed a competitive examination and entered U. S. Academy, West Point, July 1, 1867; graduated number eleven, June 12, 1871; promoted same date 2d Lieut. 7th U. S. Inft.; served on frontier duty in Montana; in command of mounted detachment from May, 1872, to August, 1873; in command of reconnoissance to Washington Territory August to October, 1873; acting assistant adjutant-general District of Montana, and acting regimental adjutant July, August, and September, 1874; in command of company, Judith Basin, Mont., June to October, 1875; adjutant of battalion in Indian campaigns of 1876 and 1877; with General Gibbon's command that rescued survivors of Custer's command; severely wounded three times at Big Hale, Mont., August 9, 1877; on sick leave; promoted first lieutenant August 9, 1877; appointed captain and commissary of subsistence March 28, 1878; in office of commissary general to August, 1878; depot commissary, Fort Leavenworth, Kan., to October, 1879, and acting chief commissary, and acting assistant adjutant-general Department of Missouri summer 1879; chief commissary District New Mexico, Santa Fe, N. M., to November, 1884, and acting assistant adjutant-general and acting engineer officer at different times; chief commissary department of Columbia and depot and purchasing commissary Vancouver Barracks, Wash., to August, 1889, and acting assistant adjutant-general, acting judge advocate of department, acting ordnance officer, and acting signal officer for several months; in the field with General Gibbon, suppressing riots against Chinese; purchasing and depot commissary, San Francisco, Cal., to March, 1894; promoted major and commissary of subsistence Dec. 27, 1892; assistant to commissary general, Washington, D. C., since March, 1894.

Major Woodruff, as the foregoing record shows, is a valiant soldier, is no less an orator and accomplished gentleman. His orations, delivered upon Memorial days and other occasions, have drawn the highest encomiums from the press. By unanimous resolution of George H. Thomas Post, No. 2, Dept. of California, GAR, ten thousand copies of Captain Woodruff's address, on "American Patriotism," were ordered printed for general distribution, "as an incentive to patriotism, and as inculcating a spirit of reverence for our country's flag, and respect for our country's laws." Commander of the Commandery of the State of California, Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States.


Source: Jacob G. Ullery, compiler, Men of Vermont: An Illustrated Biographical History of Vermonters and Sons of Vermont, (Transcript Publishing Company, Brattleboro, VT, 1894), Part III, p. 172.

Additional Service

2LT, 7th US INF, 6/12/71, 1LT, 8/9/77, CPT & CS, 3/28/78; comn LT at expiration of Civil War service, but not mustered on account of wds. Recovered from wds and surrendered pension, 9/66. Served in MT to 10/30/77. On reconnoissance through northern Idaho, eastern Washington and Western Montana, on Yellowstone campaign, 76. In Nez Perces campaign, 77; on duty in the office of COM-Gen to 8/78; on duty at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., Santa Fe, N.M., Vancouver Barracks and San Francisco CA; present picketing of the Potomac, evacuation of Maryland Heights, Gettysburg Campaign, retreat to Union Mills and advance to Brandy Station, Mine Run campaign, including action of Locust Grove, Grant's overland campaign, including the battles of the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, North Anna and Cold Harbor; wdd, Cold Harbor, three times; captured and escaped;

1892 Revised Roster, p. 677ff.

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