McMasters, William

Place of Birth: Glasgow

Date of enlistment: 14 December 1874

Age given at enlistment: 29

Rank: Private

Company: B

Location on 25 June 1876: Pack train escort & hilltop fight



Name, date and place of birth not yet verified.

A Brick Mason from Glasgow

  • William McMasters claimed to have been born in Glasgow but his place and date of birth have yet to be verified. He was enlisted in the 7th Cavalry in Boston, Massachusetts, by Lt. William Harper, on 14 December 1874, at a stated age of 29, previous occupation a brick mason, and was described as having grey eyes, brown hair, with  a ruddy complexion, standing  5′ 6 1/2″ tall.

The McMaster tartan (a sept of the armigerous Clan McInnes).

  • McMasters joined Company B at Shreveport, Louisiana, on 29 January 1875, which was engaged on Reconstruction duty. Served with the pack train escort and participated in the hilltop fight  for which he received the following citation: For bravery in action against hostile Sioux Indians, Little Big Horn River, Montana (Men With Custer, p. 266).  Much of his service was spent on detached duty with the Quartermaster Department. He was discharged at Fort Yates on 13 December 1879,  “a private character good.”
  • On 12 January 1880, in Chicago, he was  re-enlisted by a Captain Jackson, and was assigned to Company G, 14th Infantry. In turn he was discharged on 11 January 1885 at Vancouver Barracks, Washington (state) – “a private character very good” – and re-enlisted the same day in the same company. His final discharge took place on 12 May 1890, again at Vancouver Barracks, having served an extra four months “to make good time lost by desertion.” (Military Register, p. 205).
  • May have returned to Scotland.  His fate is not known to this writer,


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