Template:Did you know nominations/George Ronan

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Round symbols for illustrating comments about the DYK nomination  The following is an archived discussion of George Ronan's DYK nomination. Please do not modify this page. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page; such as this archived nomination's (talk) page, the nominated article's (talk) page, or the DYK WikiProject's (talk) page. Unless there is consensus to re-open the archived discussion here. No further edits should be made to this page. See the talk page guidelines for (more) information.

The result was: promoted by Miyagawa (talk) 11:12, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

George Ronan[edit]

Created by Bigturtle (talk). Nominated by Doug Coldwell (talk) at 13:33, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

  • Symbol question.svg What makes togetherweserved.com a reliable source? Also, that he went to West Point is not explicit from the military career paragraph. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 12:16, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Also, the Taps article does not explicitly mark Ronan as the first. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 12:18, 27 January 2013 (UTC)

Crisco, I’ll try to address your concerns.

  • I believe what makes togetherweserved.com a reliable source is the many reference sources where it obtained the information for George Ronan. These are listed on the lower left panel under Additional Information. Most of the book sources can be found in Google Books. The website togetherweserved.com talks of Professor Victorio Giustino and Ronan Park in Chicago.
  • I believe it is explicit from the military career paragraph (first line) that he went to West Point: George Ronan attended the United States Military Academy for almost three years, from June 1808 to March 1811. This is referenced in togetherweserved.com listed on the lower left panel under Additional Information. They list it in book Biographical Register of the Officers and Graduates in Volume 1 on page 100.
  • The "TAPS" reference has been removed. There are 6 other references that show He is believed to have been the first member of the West Point Corps of Cadets to perish in battle.

Did I sufficiently answer your concerns?--Doug Coldwell (talk) 21:18, 29 January 2013 (UTC)


  • Hi Crisco,

Thanks for your questions. Most of the official records of the United States War Department from prior to 1814 were destroyed in enemy action in 1814 (the U.S. capital of Washington, D.C. was briefly occupied by British troops) and records from before that date have had to be reconstructed. Ensign Ronan was identified (by his rank, as the ensign) as having been killed in the Battle of Fort Dearborn in a private letter written in 1814 and reprinted in the Nellie Kinzie Gordon book that I cited.

He was identified in other reminiscences as a West Point graduate (class of 1811), and these identifications culminated in an investigative report by the Chicago Historical Society (1881) also cited. West Point's alumni association accepts Ronan's status as an alumnus, and he is repeatedly referred to as such in various sources of secondary and tertiary standing that are alumni association publications or rely upon the alumni association.

Archival-quality primary source data of West Point's graduating class in 1811 has been destroyed or is missing. Ensign Ronan was soon thereafter described by survivors and veterans as a West Point graduate at a time when the institution had not yet developed any sort of reputation and there would have been no incentive to falsely attach the two names, of Ronan and West Point, to each other.

With best wishes, Bigturtle (talk) 04:10, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

  • This doesn't change the fact that none of the sources explicitly calls him the first, which is what we need for DYK. You need a new hook. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 01:10, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

Crisco, Here are a couple of the inline references cited that explicity show Ronan was the first West Point graduate to be killed in battle:

  • The United States Army: A Chronology, 1775 to the Present By John C. Fredriksen reads Amoung the slaughtered are noted scout William Wells and Lieutenant George Ronan, the first West Point graduate slain in combat.
  • ^ Kane, Joseph Nathan (1997) (in English). FAMOUS FIRST FACTS, A Record of First Happenings, Discoveries,and Inventions in American History (Fifth Edition ed.). New York: The H. W. Wilson Company. pp. 194, item 3197. ISBN 0-8242-0930-3. reads: First West Point graduate killed in action was George Ronan, killed fighting against Native American allies of the British in the War of 1812. On August 15, 1812, he was mortally wounded during Captain Nathan Heald’s desperate battle near Fort Chicago, IL, against a vastly superior force of Native Americans.
  • The Robert Trent Jones, Sr. West Point Golf Course marker # 2 reads: Lieutenant George Ronan (USMA 1811) was the first West Point graduate killed in action falling near Fort Chicago, Illinois on August 15, 1812.
  • Crane, John; James F. Kieley (1947). "West Point". Chapter Seven - West Point at War. McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc.. http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Gazetteer/Places/America/United_States/Army/USMA/CRKIWP/7*.html. Retrieved January 27, 2013, reads: The first West Pointer to die in battle, ensign George Ronan, Class of 1811, of the First Infantry, fell in the vicinity of the present city of Chicago on aug. 15, 1812, when an American force was wiped out by Indians and British while on a march from Fort Dearborn to Detroit.

Perhaps I don't understand your concern. Can you give me more details what your concerns are. Thanks.--Doug Coldwell (talk) 12:48, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

  • Those references are more recent. The article still says "believed to be", which is a far cry from "was". — Crisco 1492 (talk) 14:24, 3 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Now I see your concerns. Changed "is believed to have been" to "was" in lead. That was a quick and easy fix. Are we good to go now?--Doug Coldwell (talk) 14:45, 3 February 2013 (UTC)