Moodie, William

Place of Birth: Edinburgh

Date of enlistment: 15 December 1874

Age given at enlistment: 33

Rank: Private

Company: A

Location on 25 June 1876: In valley fight



Name, date and place of birth not yet verified. For details of his military service consult: (i) ‘Military Register of Custer’s Last Command,’ Roger L. Williams, The Arthur H. Clark Company, Norman, Oklahoma, 2009, p. 220.  (ii) ‘Men With Custer – Biographies of the 7th Cavalry,’ Edited by Ronald H. Nichols with Daniel I. Bird, CBHMA Inc., 2010, p. 280.


"An old English dragoon"

Edinburgh Castle and gardens.

  • William Moodie was enlisted on 15 December 1874 in New York City by Lt. Thomas Gregg and described as having grey eyes, brown hair, a florid complexion, was 5′ 6 1/2″ tall, previously employed as a coachman.
  • He was sent to the St. Louis Depot and transferred to the 7th Cavalry on 29 January 1875. Moodie was assigned to Company A, which he joined at Lexington, Alabama, on 6 February 1875, which was on Reconstruction duty in the South.
  • It is widely reputed that he was shot in the forehead at point-blank range (while lying wounded!) and scalped with a blunt knife by a young Black Elk in the retreat from the valley on the first day of the battle.
  • Although Moodie hailed from Edinburgh, Scotland, Samuel Alcott, a sergeant in Company A, described him as “an old English dragoon”!
  • Listed as W.M. MOODIE on the battle monument.
  • Final Statement of Private William Moodie signed by Captain Myles Moylan, Commanding Company A, at Fort Abraham Lincoln on 7 October 1876.
  • For clothing not drawn in kind … $21.30
  • For deposits with the USA Paymaster May 15, 1872 … $7.00
  • Proceeds of sale of effects [September 1, 1877] … $17.70
  • For tobacco … $1.71



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