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 Richard Isaac Eskridge

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Richard Isaac Eskridge

  • Birth 15 Dec 1840 Shelby County, Missouri, USA
  • Death 29 Aug 1903 Philippines
  • Burial Newport, Newport County, Rhode Island, USA
  • Memorial ID 9293008

United States Army Officer. He grew up on his family farm until he was 19. He enlisted in the 2nd Iowa Volunteer Infantry as a member of the band on Septemer 10, 1861 and served in this capacity until the call of war became too great. He was mustered out on May 1, 1862 and re-enlisted as a private in Company I of the 2nd Missouri Volunteer Cavalry in January of 1864 from which he was dishcarged in February of 1865 to accept a commission as a First Lieutenant in the 14th Missouri Volunteer Cavalry. He advanced to the rank of Captain and was mustered out November 17th, 1865. He was again commissioned as a Second Lieutenant of the 14th United States Regular Infantry in February of 1866 and was promoted to First Lieutenant a month later. In 1873 he was promoted to Captain of the 23rd United States Regular Infantry, he was transferred to the 10th United States Regular Infantry where he achieved the rank of Major in April of 1897 then forged on to earn the ranks of Lieutenant Colonel (23rd Infantry) and lastly full Colonel on February 2, 1901. In July of 1901 he retired from service with 30 years of dedication, his retirement due to disability caused by a wound he obtained at the battle of San Juan Hill, Santiago, Cuba. Early in his career after switching from a band member to a soldier he served with the 2nd Infantry in battles at Columbus, Kentucky as well as the battles at Fort Donaldson and Shiloh. Staying in the Army after the Union victory he remained engaged with the 2nd Cavalry in Missouri and fought in many small battles including skirmishes with Quantrall's Guerillas. He served to further protect the Mexican border with his regiment under the command of General Sheridan. During the fall of 1865 he served on the western plains as an escort to the treaties Commissioner in envoys and summits with the Native American Tribes. From 1866 through 1897 he served with he 23rd US Infanntry in the capacity of securing frontier posts and fought with his men in smaller battles with tribes. He was cited for "conspicuous gallantry in charging a large band of Indians, strongly fortified, in the Infernal caverns, Pitt River, California." He served during the Spanish-American War through 1898 and the Phillipine Occupation after that through to 1900. July 2, 1998 he was critically wounded by a blast from a mortar shell, while he continued to serve in his ailing condition, he was plagued by complications of this injury and it eventually was cause for his retirment and later his death. Eskridge was a very popular officer and kept excellent morale with both his superiors and his enlisted men. His wounds at Santiago did not deter his affability nor his zest for serving his country.His letters to friends and comrades always were very upbeat and he consistantly made light of his condition.Eskridge was dedicated and stalwart with good humor and bravery as his own personal artillery. Even with an unsuccessful attempt at removing the shrapnel he pressed on to join his troops at Jolo in 1899, however upon his arrival to the port of San francisco he was deemed too ill to make the trip and instead was placed in command of the Presidio. He retired as a full bird Colonel in december of 1902 and eventually did make a trip to the phillipines, this time to see his daughter who was living there with her husband (Captain Saltzman). Unfortunately the festering wound that had plagued him for so long and the exhaustion ofhte trip took the life of Colonel Eskridge.Fellow members of the Commandry of the Loyal Legion of the United States eulogized him with the following: "Colonel richard Eskridge was a gallant soldier and a noble gentleman. his general character and affable manners endeared him to all who knew him...for the past five years he has borne without complaint the constant suffering caused by the serious wounds received by him befor Santiago and to the last he was cheerful and serene [still] prepared to answer the call to muster on the other shore. We sadly inscribe his name on the roll of our deceased companions and to his sorrowing wife and children, we extend our sincere sympathy."

Bio by: R. Digati


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Russ
  • Added: 9 Aug 2004
  • Find A Grave Memorial 9293008
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Richard Isaac Eskridge (15 Dec 1840–29 Aug 1903), Find A Grave Memorial no. 9293008, citing Common Burying Ground, Newport, Newport County, Rhode Island, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .