General Samuel D. Sturgis - Sturgis, SD
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 44° 24.879 W 103° 29.941
13T E 619499 N 4919024
Quick Description: Samuel Sturgis, for whom the city was named, his statue is the original city welcome sign.
Location: South Dakota, United States
Date Posted: 9/13/2015 8:31:30 AM
Waymark Code: WMPKDJ
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Dorcadion Team
Views: 9

Long Description:

County of statue: Meade County
Location of statue: Blanche St. & Lazelle St., E. city limits, Sturgis
Plaque Erected by: The City of Sturgis and The Sturgis Area Arts Council
Date Plaque & Statue Erected: June 2002
Text Historian: Bob Lee
Sturgis Statue Sculptor: Edward E. Hlavka
Statue Commissioned by: The City of Sturgis and The Sturgis Area Arts Council

"Samuel Davis Sturgis (June 11, 1822 – September 28, 1889) was an American military officer who served in the Mexican-American War, as a Union general in the American Civil War, and later in the Indian Wars.

Early Life
"Sturgis was born in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania. His parents were Mary Brandenburg and James Sturgis. He entered United States Military Academy at the age of twenty and was graduated in the famous class of 1846 as a brevet second lieutenant in the 2nd U.S. Dragoons. That class also included among its graduates John Gibbon, George B. McClellan, Jesse Reno, and George Stoneman, who would fight on the Union side and Ambrose Powell Hill, Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson, and George Pickett, who would fight on the Confederate side.

"the Mexican-American War, he served with the 1st U.S. Dragoons and was captured and held for eight days as a prisoner of war while making a reconnaissance near Buena Vista, Mexico. After the war, he served in the West, was promoted to first lieutenant and captain, and took part in a number of Indian campaigns. During this time, Sturgis was sent to West Ely, Missouri, where he met Jerusha Wilcox. In 1851 they married and had six children

Civil War
"When the Civil War broke out, Sturgis served in the 1st U.S. Cavalry. He was promoted to major and in August 1861, at the Battle of Wilson's Creek, he succeeded to command of the Federal forces after the death of Brig. Gen. Nathaniel Lyon. In March 1862 he was appointed brigadier general of volunteers to rank from August 10, 1861, the day of the battle.

"After a tour of duty in the Washington, D.C., defenses, he was ordered to the front to support General John Pope's Army of Virginia just prior to the Second Battle of Bull Run. While attempting to secure priority from General Herman Haupt for movement of his troops on the railroad, he was told that he must wait his turn as other troops and supplies were going forward to support Pope. His reaction was his now-famous remark, "I don't care for John Pope one pinch of owl dung."

"Sturgis then commanded the 2nd Division in the IX Corps at the battles of South Mountain, Antietam, and Fredericksburg.

"He went west with IX Corps in 1863 and later had a number of relatively unimportant commands in Tennessee and Mississippi. He also served as Chief of Cavalry of the Department of the Ohio. In June 1864 he was routed by Nathan Bedford Forrest at the Battle of Brice's Crossroads in Mississippi, an encounter that effectively ended his Civil War service.

Postbellum service
"Sturgis was breveted brigadier general (for South Mountain) and major general (for Fredericksburg), regular army, in March 1865 and mustered out of the volunteer service in August. He reverted to his regular rank of lieutenant colonel of the 6th U.S. Cavalry. On May 6, 1869, he became colonel and commander of the 7th U.S. Cavalry and his lieutenant colonel was George Armstrong Custer.

"Sturgis was on detached duty at St. Louis, Missouri when parts of the 7th Cavalry were destroyed at the Battle of Little Big Horn. (One of Sturgis's sons, Second Lieutenant James G. Sturgis, was also an officer with the 7th and was killed in that battle.) Samuel Sturgis then took personal command of the regiment and led the 7th Cavalry in the campaign against the Nez Percé in 1877. Sturgis and his soldiers headed off the Nez Perce and waited to attack them after when they emerged from their passage through the wilderness of Yellowstone Park. The Indians deceived Sturgis with a feint and eluded him, continuing their flight northward toward Canada. Sturgis soon caught up with the Nez Perce but at the Battle of Canyon Creek, the Indians, although outnumbered two to one, again escaped from his grasp.

"Sturgis retired in 1886 and died at Saint Paul, Minnesota. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. His son Samuel D. Sturgis, Jr. became a general in the United States Army, and was a division commander in the American Expeditionary Force during World War I. His grandson Samuel D. Sturgis, Jr. also became a general in the United States Army and served as Chief of Engineers from 1953-1956." ~ Wikipedia

This sttue is titled "HERITAGE" by the sculptor, and has a historic marker on site.
Yext of that marker:
Colonel Samuel D. Sturgis, for whom the town of Sturgis is named, came from a military family that included officers who had served in the American Revolution and the War of 1812. He graduated from West Point in 1846 and was promoted to the rank of Major General during the Civil War. He commanded the famed Seventh U. S. Cavalry from May 6, 1869, until his retirement in 1886. One of his sons was killed in the historic Battle of the Little Big Horn in 1876.

Another son, Samuel D. Sturgis II, was a general in World War I and a grandson, Samuel D. Sturgis III, became a general during World War II. Colonel Sturgis was one of the earliest post commanders at nearby Fort Meade when it was established in 1878 with his Seventh Cavalry as the principal garrison. He was a member of the Townsite Company that founded the town named for him. He was also a vigorous booster of the Black Hills and an active participant in the early development of the region. His retirement at Fort Meade on June 11, 1886, at age sixty-five, marked the end of forty years of outstanding service to his country. He died at St. Paul, MN, on September 29, 1889, and was buried with honors at the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

URL of the statue: [Web Link]

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