Frederick E. Toy
|Frederick E. Toy|
Buffalo, New York, United States
|Died||August 5, 1933
Lewiston, New York
|Place of burial||Riverdale Cemetery|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||c. 1881–1911|
|Unit||7th U.S. Cavalry|
Wounded Knee Massacre
|Awards||Medal of Honor|
Frederick Ernest Toy (1866 – August 5, 1933) was an American officer in the U.S. Army who served with the 7th U.S. Cavalry during the Indian Wars. He was one of twenty-three soldiers received the Medal of Honor for gallantry at what was then called the Battle of Wounded Knee, but now commonly called the Wounded Knee Massacre, against the Sioux Indians on December 29, 1890.
Frederick Ernest Toy was born in Buffalo, New York in 1866. He joined the United States Army in Chicago, Illinois and spent most of his service on the frontier with the 7th U.S. Cavalry Regiment. He took part in a number of campaigns against the Plains Indians and eventually reached the rank of first sergeant by 1890.
Toy was among the cavalrymen ordered to bring in Chief Big Foot and, on December 29, 1890, he and members of the 7th Cavalry surrounded his camp on Wounded Knee Creek with the intention of arresting the Sioux chieftain and disarming his followers. During the disarming process, Toy was one of the officers of Company G under Captain Winfield Scott Edgerly and, officially cited for "conspicuous bravery and coolness in action", he was among the twenty-three members of his regiment to receive the Medal of Honor.
In his later career, Toy served as an orderly to President Theodore Roosevelt and was later appointed an ordnance sergeant. In January 1911, Toy was placed on the retired list after 30 years of military service. He returned to New York after his retirement where he died on August 5, 1933, at the age of 67 and buried at Riverdale Cemetery in Lewiston, New York.
Toy's status as an MOH recipient, as well as the others awarded at Wounded Knee, was brought up during a congressional hearing on July 29, 1993, by Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell who suggested their medals be rescinded given the controversial nature of the battle. This sentiment was echoed by the Niagara Falls Reporter in September 2000 criticizing Toy's inclusion in his hometown's war memorial in Epitaph Park.
Medal of Honor citation
Rank and organization: First Sergeant, Company C, 7th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Wounded Knee Creek, S. Dak., 29 December 1890. Entered service at:--. Birth: Buffalo, N.Y. Date of issue: 26 May 1891.
- "Indian Fighter Quits Army; Sergt. Toy, Medal of Honor Man, Placed on the Retired List.". New York Times. January 15, 1911.
- United States War Department. General Orders and Circulars, Adjutant-General's Office, 1891. Vol. 1. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1892. (pg. 5)
- Jones, J.W. The Story of American Heroism: Thrilling Narratives of Personal Adventures during the Great Civil War as told by the Medal Winners and Honor Men. Springfield, Ohio: J.W. Jones, 1897. (pg. 768)
- Beyer, Walter F. and Oscar Frederick Keydel, ed. Deeds of Valor: From Records in the Archives of the United States Government; how American Heroes Won the Medal of Honor; History of Our Recent Wars and Explorations, from Personal Reminiscences and Records of Officers and Enlisted Men who Were Rewarded by Congress for Most Conspicuous Acts of Bravery on the Battle-field, on the High Seas and in Arctic Explorations. Vol. 2. Detroit: Perrien-Keydel Company, 1906. (pg. 324)
- Chandler, Melbourne C. Of GarryOwen in Glory: The History of the Seventh United States Cavalry Regiment. Annandale, Virginia: The Turnpike Press, 1960. (pg. 398)
- Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs. Medal of Honor recipients, 1863-1978, 96th Cong., 1st sess. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1979. (pg. 319)
- Hannings, Bud. A Portrait of the Stars and Stripes. Glenside, Pennsylvania: Seniram Publishing, 1988. (pg. 400) ISBN 0-922564-00-0
- O'Neal, Bill. Fighting Men of the Indian Wars: A Biographical Encyclopedia of the Mountain Men, Soldiers, Cowboys, and Pioneers Who Took Up Arms During America's Westward Expansion. Stillwater, Oklahoma: Barbed Wire Press, 1991. (pg. 35) ISBN 0-935269-07-X
- Gonzalez, Mario and Elizabeth Cook-Lynn. The Politics of Hallowed Ground: Wounded Knee and the Struggle for Indian Sovereignty. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1999. (pg. 392) ISBN 0-252-06669-3
- Wilson, D. Ray. Terror on the Plains: A Clash of Cultures. Dundee, Illinois: Crossroads Communications, 1999. ISBN 0-916445-47-X
- LaDuke, Winona. Recovering the Sacred: The Power of Naming and Claiming. Cambridge, Massachusetts: South End Press, 2005. (pg. 265) ISBN 0-89608-712-3
- Johansen, Bruce E. The Native Peoples of North America: A History. Vol. 2. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 2006. (pg. 289) ISBN 0-8135-3899-8
- Yenne, Bill. Indian Wars: The Campaign for the American West. Yardley, Pennsylvania: Westholme Publishing, 2006. (pg. 292) ISBN 1-59416-016-3
- Nunnally, Michael L. American Indian Wars: A Chronology of Confrontations Between Native Peoples and Settlers and the United States Military, 1500s-1901. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland, 2007. (pg. 155) ISBN 0-7864-2936-4
- Sterner, C. Douglas (1999). "MOH Citation for Frederick Toy". MOH Recipients: Indian Campaigns. HomeofHeroes.com. Retrieved June 30, 2010.
- Army Times Publishing Company. "Military Times Hall of Valor: Frederick Ernest Toy". Awards and Citations: Medal of Honor. MilitaryTimes.com. Retrieved June 30, 2010.
- Sterner, C. Douglas (1999). "Photo of Grave site of MOH Recipient Frederick Ernest Toy". Medal of Honor recipient Gravesites In The State of New York. HomeofHeroes.com. Retrieved June 30, 2010.
- Hudson, Richard (September 20, 2000). "Falls Medal of Honor winner Toy killed Indians at Wounded Knee". Niagara Falls Reporter.
- "Medal of Honor recipients". Indian War Campaigns. United States Army Center of Military History. June 8, 2009. Retrieved June 29, 2009.