Theodore Schwan bigraphy, stories - United States Army Medal of Honor recipient

Theodore Schwan : biography

July 9, 1841 - May 27, 1926

Theodore Schwan (July 9, 1841 – May 27, 1926) was a Union Army officer during the American Civil War who received the Medal of Honor for his actions at the Battle of Peebles' Farm. He also served with distinction during the Spanish-American and Philippine-American Wars.

Philippine-American War

With the fighting on Puerto Rico over, General Schwan was transferred to the Philippines, where he became chief-of-staff in the VIII Corps, engaged in the Philippine-American War. He personally directed the first Cavite Expedition then took command of the 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, VIII Corps during the second Cavite Expedition.

Early life and Civil War

Schwan was born in Hanover, Germany, and received his initial schooling in Germany. His family immigrated to the United States in 1857. Upon his arrival in the U.S., Schwan enlisted as a private in the Regular Army at age 16 and served in the 10th U.S. Infantry.

When the Civil War broke out, he served with his regiment, rising from private to Quartermaster-Sergeant by 1863. He was made a First Lieutenant in 1864 and received the Medal of Honor at the Battle of Peebles' Farm for dragging a wounded Union officer to the rear and preventing him from being captured.

Indian Wars

Captain Schwan was assigned to Eleventh U.S. Infantry regiment December, 1869; Commanding Company G, on frontier duty at Fort Griffin, and a subpost Fort Phantom Hill,Anderson, Hugh Allen, Fort Phantom Hill: Outpost on the Clear Fork of the Brazos, The Museum Journal, Volume, XVI , West Texas Museum Association, Lubbock, TX, 1976. Texas, 1870-73 (the intervening ten months having been spent on sick-leave of absence).

During the Red River War, 1874-76 he again was commanding Company G, at Fort Griffin. On February 5, 1874, detachments of Companies A and G, Eleventh Infantry, attacked a camp of hostile Qua ha dee Comanches on the Double Mountain Fork Brazos River, Texas, killed eleven Indians and captured sixty-five horses. One enlisted man was wounded in the fight.

In August and September, 1876, He was sent with the Eleventh Infantry from the Department of Texas to the Department of Dakota for field service in connection with the Great Sioux War of 1876-77 in the Dakota Territory and in Montana. Captain Schwan served at Cheyenne River Agency, D.T., Fort Custer, M.T., Fort Bennett, D.T., and Fort Sully, D.T., 1876-80.

On May 16, 1877, Lt. Gen. Sheridan directed his brother Lt. Col. Michael V. Sheridan to retrieve the bodies of Custer and his officers. On June 20, 1877, About 7 o'clock Company I, Seventh Cavalry (Captain Nowlan), reached the north bank of the Yellowstone, having been detached as the escort of Colonel Sheridan, who was to proceed to the Little Bighorn for the purpose of securing the bodies of the officers who fell in the Custer fight. Later in the day Colonel Sheridan passed up the river on the steamer Fletcher, being accompanied by Captain Schwan, Company G, Eleventh Infantry.

Headquarters of the Military District of Dakota Territory, March 15, 1878, designated Capt. Theodore Schwan to act as Indian agent at the Cheyenne Agency, Dakota Territory. Kingsbury, George Washington, Smith George Martin, History of Dakota Territory, Volume 2, The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1915. On June 20, the commissioner of Indian Affaires instructed Captain Schwan to form an Indian police force on the Cheyenne River Agency in order to reduce the need of a military force at the agency.Report and historical collections, Volume 28, South Dakota. Dept. Of History, South Dakota State Historical Society, State Pub. Co., 1956.

He was then on recruiting service at David's Island N.Y. Harbor 1880-82. Captain Schwan was an instructor on the staff of the United States School of Application for Cavalry and Infantry, at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., 1882-86.

Adjutant-General's Department

Captain Theodore Schwan, of the 11th Infantry, to be assistant adjutant general with the rank of major, July 6, 1886, vice Benjamin, deceased.General orders, United States. War Dept, United States Adjutant-General's Office, United States Military Secretary's Dept Publisher The Dept., 1887

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