Adolphus Greely : biography
In 1882, Greely sighted a mountain range during a dog sledding exploration to the interior of northern Ellesmere Island and named them the Conger Range. He also sighted the Innuitian Mountains from Lake Hazen.
Two consecutive supply parties failed to reach Greely’s party encamped at Fort Conger on Ellesmere Island in 1882 and 1883. In accordance with his instructions for this case, Greely decided in August 1883 to abandon Fort Conger and retreat south with his team. They reached Cape Sabine expecting to find food and equipment depots from the supply ships, but these had not been provided. With winter setting in Greely and his men were forced to winter at Cape Sabine with inadequate rations and little fuel.
A rescue expedition, led by Capt. Winfield Scott Schley on the USRC Bear (a former whaler built in Greenock, Scotland), was sent to rescue the Greely party. By the time the Bear and ships Thetis and Alert arrived on June 22, 1884, to rescue the expedition, nineteen of Greely’s 25-man crew had perished from starvation, drowning, hypothermia, and, in one case, gunshot wounds from an execution ordered by Greely.Schley, Winfield S Commander, US Navy  1884 Greely Relief Expedition Washington Printing Office (via )’ENGLAND’S PRESENT TO AMERICA.; THE STEAM-SHIP ALERT FOR THE GREELY SEARCH EXPEDITION’ 4/23/1884 New York Times.(via )
Greely and the other survivors were themselves near death; one of the survivors died on the homeward journey. The returning survivors were venerated as heroes, though the heroism was tainted by sensational accusations of cannibalism during the remaining days of low food.
In June 1886, he was promoted to Captain after serving twenty years as a Lieutenant and, in March 1887, President Grover Cleveland appointed him as Chief Signal Officer of the U.S. Army with the rank of Brigadier General.
During his tenure as Chief Signal Officer of the Army, the following military telegraph lines were constructed, operated and maintained during the Spanish American War: Puerto Rico, 800 miles; Cuba, 3,000 miles; the Philippines, 10,200 miles. In connection with Alaska, then General Greely had constructed under very adverse conditions a telegraph system of nearly 4,000 miles, consisting of submarine cables, landcables and wireless telegraphy, the latter covering a distance of 107 miles, which at the time of installation was the longest commercial system regularly working in the world.
In 1906, he served as military commander over the emergency situation created by the San Francisco earthquake. On February 10, 1906, he was promoted to Major General and on March 27, 1908, reached the mandatory retirement age of 64.
In 1911 he represented the United States Army at the coronation of King George V.
He died October 20, 1935, in Washington, D.C. and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia. His grave can be found in section 1, lot 129 grid N/O-32.5.