James Vote Bomford

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
James Vote (Voty) Bomford
Born (1811-10-05)October 5, 1811
Governors Island, New York
Died February 6, 1892(1892-02-06) (aged 80)
Elizabeth, New Jersey
Place of Burial Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, NJ
Allegiance United States United States of America
Service/branch United States United States Army
Union Army
Years of service 1832 - 1872
Rank Colonel
Brevet Brigadier General
Commands held 8th Infantry Regiment
Battles/wars Battles: Black Hawk War, Seminole War, Battle of Palo Alto, Battle of Resaca de la Palma, Battle of Monterey, Siege of Vera Cruz, Battle of Cerro Gordo, Battle of Churubusco, Battle of Molino del Rey, Battle of Chapultepec: Wars; American Civil War
Relations George Bomford (father)
George N. Bomford (son)

James Vote (Voty) Bomford (1811–1892) was a distinguished soldier in the United States military, Union Civil War officer, and retired Brigadier General. He graduated from Norwich University in 1828, was graduated from West Point in 1832, and was a Colonel in the 8th United States Infantry. Bomford was twice wounded in action at Perryville (brevetted Colonel) and served in the Mexican-American War. His father was George Bomford, an inventor and military officer in the United States Army that invented the Columbiad cannon. His son, also named George, was expelled but allowed to retire following his involvement in the Eggnog Riot at West Point. George did enter the military and retired as a captain.


James was born 5 October 1811 on Governors Island, New York to George Bomford and Louisa Sophia Catton, daughter of noted English artist Charles P. Catton. They had four children, George Newman Bomford, James Vote Bomford, Jr., Elizabeth Bernardine "Lilly" Bomford, and Fredrika Augusta Bomford.[1]

Military service[edit]

Voty Bomford served gallantly in the Black Hawk War, Seminole War, was in all the major battles of the Mexican war, being the first man to plant the American flag on the citadel of the City of Mexico, and the Civil War. He was a Lieutenant-Colonel of the 8th infantry when Fort Sumter was fired upon and for failure to agree not to fight against the South he was held as a prisoner from April, 1861 to May, 1862. After release he was assigned as executive officer of the Sixteenth Infantry under the command of Colonel (Brigadier-General Volunteers) Andrew Porter.[2]

Military history[edit]

Bomford left West point as a brevet Second Lieutenant of the 2d Infantry on 1 July 1832 and participated in the Black Hawk expedition. He was promoted to 2nd Lt. of the 2d Infantry 6 October 1834 and participated in the Florida war from 1837‑38. He was stationed on the Northern frontier during Canadian border disturbances. Promoted to First Lieutenant (7 July 1838) he became Adjutant of 8th Infantry at Sackett's Harbor, New York.

Still in the 8th Infantry he was promoted to Captain 4 March 1845. In this capacity he served in the war with Mexico and engaged in the Battle of Palo Alto (8 May 1846), Battle of Resaca de la Palma (9 May 1846), Battle of Monterey (21–23 September 1846), Siege of Vera Cruz (9‑29 March 1847), Battle of Cerro Gordo (17‑18 April 1847), the capture of San Antonio and the resulting Battle of Churubusco (both on 20 August 1847), and the Battle of Molino del Rey (8 September 1847). During this battle that included Bomford, General Worth ordered the 500 men of the U.S. 8th Infantry Regiment, commanded by Major George Wright, to initiate the advance against the army of General Santa Ana that had four thousand cavalry and a force of 14,000 men, against the 2800 men General Worth commanded. The battle of Molino del Rey, that was two miles (3 km) from Mexico City, preceded the Battle of Chapultepec (13 September 1847). This is the battle that resulted in the capture of Mexico City, the placement of the American flag by Bomford, and the end of the war. He was Brevetted Major 20 August 1847, for Gallant and Meritorious Conduct in the Battles of Contreras and Churubusco, and Brevetted Lt. Col. 8 September 1847, for Gallant and Meritorious Conduct in the Battle of Molino del Rey.

Assigned to Fort Davis, Texas (1860‑61), and attached to the 6th Infantry, Bomford was promoted to Major on 17 October 1860. When the Civil War started he refused to agree not to fight against the South and along with his regiment was taken prisoner. He was promoted to Lt. Colonel 10 January 1862 and assigned to the 16th Infantry (July–November 1862) and was the Chief of Staff to Major General Alexander M. McCook, a member of the famed "Fighting McCook" family of Ohio, where he fought at Perryville and was wounded twice. Bomford was Brevetted Colonel 8 October 1862, for Gallant and Meritorious Services at the Battle of Perryville, Kentucky. He was assigned as acting assistant Provost Marshal General of Western Division of Pennsylvania, 30 May 1863 to 31 July 1964 during which time he was promoted to Colonel and assigned to the 8th Infantry 18 May 1864.

Bomford also Served: in command of the District of North Carolina from September 20, 1866 to April, 1867; the regiment at Raleigh, North Carolina from April, 1867 to May 18, 1868; of the District of South Carolina from May 18, 1868 to October 23, 1870; of regiment at David's Island, New York Harbor, from November 5, 1870 to July 5, 1872; as Acting Inspector in the Department of the Platte, at Omaha, Nebraska from July 15 to October 1, 1872; in command of regiment at Fort D. A. Russell, Wyoming from October 5, 1872 to November 26, 1873; and on sick leave of absence from November 16, 1873 to June 8, 1874.[3]

The last year as commander of David's Island Rodman Guns (cast 1872) were set up on the island. David's Island was formally Rodman's Island that once belonged to relatives along with nearby Rodman's Neck. Rodmans guns were improvements to the Columbiads that Bomford's father invented.[4] Under the law (17 July 1862), and being over the age of 62, Brigadier General James Bomford was retired from duty 8 June 1872 after 43 distinguished years of service.[5]


Bomford died 6 January 1892, at Elizabeth, New Jersey at the aged of 80 and was buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside.[6]

See also[edit]

Center of Military History


  1. ^ Bomford family-Peterson, Nancy Simons, CG., in association with the Board for Certification of Genealogists; "Guarded Pasts: The Lives and Offspring of Colonel George and Clara (Baldwin) Bomford." National Genealogical Society (NGS) Quarterly 86 (December 1998): p. 286-305. A winner of the NGS Family History writing contest; Retrieved April 28, 2011
  2. ^ The New York Times- Published 28 October 1862; Retrieved April 26, 2011
  3. ^ Cullums Register Retrieved April 28, 2011
  4. ^ Columbiads
  5. ^ [1] Cullums Register: Supplement, Vol. IV: 1890‑1900; Retrieved April 25, 2011
  6. ^ [2] Cullums Register from New York Times, Jan. 7, 1892 obituary. Retrieved April 26, 2011