Charles Woodruff (general)

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Charles Albert Woodruff, (1845–1920) Brigadier General in the United States Army, served in the American Civil War, and the Spanish–American War.

Early life[edit]

Woodruff was born in Burke, Vermont on April 26, 1845. He attended elementary schools in Burke, the Lyndon Institute, and St. Johnsbury Academy. He graduated from Bryant & Stratton College which then had a business college in Burlington, Vermont.[1]


He enlisted in the 10th Vermont Infantry at the onset of the Civil War. He served as a private and corporal with that unit until his discharge after the war on August 13, 1865.[1]

He first enlisted, June 5, 1862, in Company A, 10th Vt. Volunteers. He was promoted to corporal June 3, 1863. He was promoted to second lieutenant 117th infantry United States Colored Troops. He never mustered because of wounds received while serving in the 3d and 6th corps of the Army of the Potomac. He had been slightly wounded three times at Cold Harbor, Virginia, June 1, 1864. He was captured and escaped the same night. He was severely wounded June 3, 1864, and never rejoined his company. He was discharged for disability caused by wounds, August 18, 1865.[1]

In 1867 he was appointed to West Point Military Academy. He graduated 11th in his class in 1871. He served from 1874 until 1878 with the Seventh Infantry, the unit to which he was assigned as a second lieutenant upon graduating from West Point.[1]

In 1890 he was cited for gallantry in action during the engagement at the Battle of the Big Hole in Montana during the Indian campaign of 1877.[1]

He served on frontier duty in Montana. He was in charge of a mounted detachment from May, 1872, to August, 1873. He was in command of reconnaissance in the Washington Territory from August to October, 1873. He was acting assistant adjutant-general District of Montana, and acting regimental adjutant July, August, and September, 1874; in command of company, Judith Basin County, Montana, June to October, 1875.[1]

He was adjutant of battalion in the Indian campaigns of 1876 and 1877; with General John Gibbon's command that rescued survivors of Custer's command. He was severely wounded three times at Big Hale, Montana, August 9, 1877.[1]

He was promoted to first lieutenant August 9, 1877. He was appointed captain and commissary of subsistence March 28, 1878. He was in the office of commissary general to August, 1878; depot commissary, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, to October, 1879.[1]

He was acting chief commissary, and acting assistant adjutant-general Department of Missouri summer 1879. He was chief commissary officer in the District of New Mexico in Santa Fe until November, 1884. He was acting assistant adjutant-general and acting engineer officer at different times.[1]

He was the chief commissary for the Department of the Columbia, and depot and purchasing commissary Vancouver Barracks, Washington, to August, 1889. He was 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 the Chinese.

He was purchasing and depot commissary officer, San Francisco, California, until March, 1894. He was promoted to major and commissary of subsistence December 27, 1892. He was the assistant to the Commissary General, Washington, D. C., from March, 1894.[1]

As a major, he spoke before a California chapter of the Grand Army of the Republic. They printed ten thousand copies of his oration, on "American Patriotism" for general distribution to the public.[1]

He retired in 1903.[1]


He married Louise Virginia Duff.[2] They had three sons and two daughters. The sons. James, Edwin and Charles, all served in the US Army. James became a Major General.[3] One daughter, Genevieve, married Malin Craig, who became a General and US Army Chief of Staff.[1]


Death was attributed to heart disease. He was 75. He died in Berkeley, California, August 12, 1920.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Obituary
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ [2]

Further reading[edit]

  • Lawson, Kenneth (April 2013). "A Career of Successful Military Service: Brigadier General Charles A. Woodruff of Burke, Vermont". Vermont's Northland Journal. 12 (1): 27–32.