Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Find all Shafters in:
 • San Francisco National Cemetery
 • San Francisco
 • San Francisco County
 • California
 • Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Community Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
William Rufus Shafter
Birth: Oct. 16, 1835
Kalamazoo County
Michigan, USA
Death: Nov. 12, 1906
Kern County
California, USA

Civil War Union Brevet Major General. Shafter, a US general and actor, was born in Galesburg, Mich. He served in the Union army during the Civil War and in 1867 joined the regular army, rising to become brigadier general (1897). Shafter was teaching school in Michigan when the Civil War began. He accepted a commission with a Michigan volunteer unit and by war's end, he had earned the rank of brigadier general of volunteers. In the Spanish-American War he was placed in command of the army that in June, 1898, invaded Cuba. After hard fighting at El Caney and San Juan Hill, the expedition entered Santiago on July 17. Shafter was much criticized, however, because the expedition had been poorly prepared and ill-equipped and the mortality rate from disease was high. Shafter retired in 1899 and was advanced to major general on the retired list in 1901. In 1895 Shafter received the Medal of Honor for meritorious service in the Civil War. Shortly after his promotion to major general in 1901, he retired to his sixty-acre farm adjoining his daughter's ranch near Bakersfield, California. On November 12, 1906, Shafter, terribly overweight, died at his daughter Mary's home from an intestinal obstruction complicated by pneumonia. He was buried next to his wife at the presidio in San Francisco, California. His films include: "Surrender of General Toral" (1898) and "Major General Shafter" (1898). In both films he played himself. (bio by: Just another taphophile) 
Family links: 
  Hugh Morris Shafter (1814 - 1882)
  Eliza Sumner Shafter (1814 - 1864)
  Harriet Amelia Grimes Shafter (1840 - 1898)*
  Mary Lovell Shafter McKittrick (1864 - 1931)*
  William Rufus Shafter (1835 - 1906)
  Ann Eliza Shafter Aldrich Decker (1837 - 1889)*
  James Newton Shafter (1841 - 1925)*
*Calculated relationship
San Francisco National Cemetery
San Francisco
San Francisco County
California, USA
Plot: OS, Row 30, Site 2
GPS (lat/lon): 37.79987, -122.46361
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Mar 04, 2000
Find A Grave Memorial# 3541665
William Rufus Shafter
Added by: Linda Carole Mustion
William Rufus Shafter
Added by: Linda Carole Mustion
William Rufus Shafter
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Mary Harrell-Sesniak
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

Colonel Shafter commanded certain of the "Buffalo Soldiers" (i.e., 10th Cav. & 24th Inf.) during "Indian Wars" with the Cheyenne, Comanche, Kickapoo, and Kiowa Indians in Texas.
- pm
 Added: Jun. 19, 2016
As a Colonel, William R Shafter commanded the 17th Regiment, U. S. Colored Infantry at the Battle Of Nashville & the Battle Of Decatur, AL.
- pm
 Added: Jun. 19, 2016
You served our country well.
- Riptidenj
 Added: May. 13, 2015
There are 38 more notes not showing...
Click here to view all notes...
Do you have a photo to add? Click here
How famous was this person?
Current ranking for this person: (3.7 after 26 votes)

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service UPDATED