Captain, commanding Company M, 7th US Cavalry, at the time of the 1876 Battle of the Little Big Horn. Survived the battle.
The son of Thomas and Ellen Burke Foy French. He enlisted 13 Jan 1864 in the 10th US Infantry, and was appointed as 2nd Lt, 10th Infantry, 18 May 1864, and 1st Lt, on 23 June 1864. Participated in seige of Petersburg, the Battle of the Weldon Railroad, and the Chappell House Battle, where he was wounded. Brevetted Captain on 18 Aug 1864. Appointed as Captain, 10th Infantry, on 26 March 1868, and assigned to 7th US Cavalry in January 1871. In the 1873 Yellowstone Expedition. During the June 1876 Battle of the Little Big Horn, he retreated with Reno's Battalion to the hilltop, where he distinguished himself by keeping the men firing and repairing their rifles, while fully exposed to Indian fire. Participated in the 1877 Nez Perce Expedition, where he was wounded on 13 Sept 1877 at the Canyon Creek fight. Court-martialed on 13 Jan 1879 to dismissal from the service for being drunk on duty, drinking with a laundress, and violating the terms of close arrest. Sent to the Inebriate Asylum in 1879. His sentence was commutted by President Hayes to half pay for one year. Retired 5 Feb 1880 as Captain. Died at age 39 at the Planter's House, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Initially buried in Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery, his body was exhumed on 4 March 1891 and reinterred in Holy Road Cemetery, Washington DC. He never married.
Ellen Burke French