1st Battalion 22nd Infantry

 

 

Second Lieutenant Augustine F. Hewit

22nd Infantry 1879-1882

 

 

Augustine F. Hewit
U.S. Military Academy graduation photo

webmaster's collection

 

 

Born in New York, N.Y., on December 6, 1856, Augustine Francis Hewit was appointed to the US Military Academy
by Ulysses S. Grant. Hewit was a cadet from July 1, 1875 to June 13, 1879, when he graduated number 38 in a class of 67,
and was promoted in the Army to Second Lieutenant of the 22nd Infantry.

Two classmates who graduated with Hewit later commanded the 22nd Infantry, Charles R. Noyes
and Charles M. Truitt, though they were not assigned to the 22nd Infantry
upon graduation. Both Hewit and Noyes served as Sergeants in their graduating Company in 1879.
Hewit was a better than average student, scoring a total of 1309.7 points out of a possible 1950.
His best scores were in Drawing and Mathematics, while his worst were in Tactics and French.
Along with Hewit, one other graduating cadet of the Class of 1879 was assigned
to the 22nd Infantry that year, that cadet being Frank B. Jones.

Originally assigned in the 22nd Infantry to Company F, within a short time Hewit was transferred to Company E.

He was posted to frontier duty at Ft. Gibson, Indian Territory, from September 30 to October 4, 1879,
and served in the Ute Expedition of 1879-1880. He was stationed at San Antonio, Texas, where he died
on June 3, 1882, only 25 years old. He was struck down by what was called "remittent fever", a form of
malarial or yellow fever, which in his case was quite severe, and from which he never recovered.

At the time of his death he was Commanding Officer of Company E 22nd Infantry.

( In many of the records found for Augustine F. Hewit, his name is incorrectly spelled Hewitt.)

 

 

 

The personal sword of Second Lieutenant Augustine F. Hewit was rescued from obscurity by Terence Hammer,
resident of Colorado and collector and preserver of Colorado military history.

Terence writes:

" It is a typical early Model 1860 Officers Sword, made by [the Ames Sword Co. of Chickopee, MA.]
[and retailed by] the firm of Baker & McKenney of N.Y. ,
finely etched in old English is A.F. Hewit U.S.A.

Sword came with the belt which has been attached and tied to the scabbard for a very long time.
Style is consistant with period and very probable that it his belt.

The Ute Campaign arose after the Massacre of Indian Agent Nathan Meeker in the north west part of the State by hostile Ute Indians.
A force of of around 175 soldiers were sent from Fort Steele at Rawling, Wyoming to aid the indian agent as trouble was forseen.
This force, as it made it's way toward the isolated indian agency, was attacked by the Ute's and the commander Major T.T.Thornburgh
was killed. This would be known as the Battle of Milk Creek. Troops were pulled from all over the West in anticipation of a general
uprising in Western Colorado, which included the 22nd Infantry. They arrived in Colorado via rail and would disembark by foot
at Alamosa to march to newly established Fort Lewis (old) which was first located at Pagosa Springs and later moved to the
present day Durango (Colorado). The distance was some 125 Miles and in Winter and deep in the Rocky Mountains. In 1880
when Lt. A.F. Hewit marched his men to this newly created post, Colorado was very much a wild and wooly place. The Utes had a
sizable population and it was feared the Northern and Southern Tribes would unite and drive the whites from this part of the state.

One of those Whites was Prussian Imigrant Charles Sieber who had a butcher shop and billards hall in a small nearby mining town
of Rosita, Colorado. Being in the state (first Territory) since the 1860's he had felt the influence of hostile Indians and the sudden death
that could occur in the wilds and isolation of the plains and mountain from not only indians but outlaws as well. Interesting enough
he lived through these rough times before law and order and would die at the hands of murderer in a gunfight over water in 1902.
Unfortunately his killer was released because of a procedural technicality that the prosecution performed at the murder trial.
The killer would meet his own violent end but that is another story.

Charles Sieber was my great grand father and I would like to thank Lt. A.F. Hewit for his service and sacrifice.
It was men like him that brought law and order to the frontier and I am honored to possess his sword. "

 

 

The Model 1860 Foot Officer's sword, scabbard and belt of Second Lieutenant Augustine F. Hewit
against a period U.S. Army officer's tunic.

Used by permission from the sword's owner Terence Hammer
from the U.S. Militaria Forum website

 

 

 

Second Lieutenant Augustine F. Hewit's name etched on the sword ( "A.F. Hewit")
along with "U.S.A." (United States Army). The blue color in the belt is the Branch color of Infantry.

Used by permission from the sword's owner Terence Hammer
from the U.S. Militaria Forum website

 

 

 

 

The following is Augustine F. Hewit's obituary, complete with mis-spellings and a few inaccuracies,
published in the June 6, 1882 issue of the New York Times:

 

LIEUT. AUGUSTINE F. HEWIT.

Lieut. Augustine F. Hewit, of the United States Army, died on Saturday
in San Antonio, Texas, under peculiary sad circumstances. The deceased
was a Lieutenant of the Twenty-second Infantry, stationed at San Antonio,
and was 25 years of age. He was born in Connecticut, and was appointed
a Cadet in the West Point Academy by Gen. Grant, his father , Dr. Henry S.
Hewit, being at the time a surgeon on Gen. Grant's staff. After graduation
he was sent out with the Twenty-second Infantry to take part in the campaign
against the Modoc Indians. Subsequently removing with his regiment to
Texas, he became acquainted with Col. Branten Duncan, an ex-Confederate
Army officer, and formed a warm attachment for the latter's daughter Katherine,
who reciprocated this affection. It was arranged some months ago that their
marriage should take place on June 5, but the young soldier was taken ill
with remittent fever, and grew rapidly worse. He was taken to Col. Duncan's
house, and there was tenderly nursed by his affianced. On Saturday, he
having failed rapidly, in deference to the wishes of both himself and Miss
Duncan, a marriage was performed by the Rev. Father Johnson. Mr. Hewit
lived but a few hours thereafter, and died with his wife and father-in-law
at his bedside, each holding one of his hands. The news of his death was
telegraphed to his mother in Bridgeport, Conn., and to other relatives at the
North. Lieut. Hewit's funeral will take place on Tuesday, in San Antonio.
Lieut. Hewit's uncle is one of the Paulist Fathers, his father is a physician,
and his grandfather was a Presbyterian clergyman.

 

 

 

The following article appeared in The Evening Light newspaper of San Antonio, Tuesday, June 13, 1882:

 

Resolutions on the Death of the Late Lt. A. F. Hewitt

HEADQUARTERS 22ND U.S. INFANTRY,
Fort Clark, Texas, June 4, 1882
.

It becomes the sorrowful duty of the colonel commanding the regiment, to announce the death of
Second Lieutenant Augustine F. Hewitt, which took place at San Antonio, Texas, the 3rd inst.
Lieutenant Hewitt graduated at West Point in the class of 1879; joined Company E, of the regiment,
at Fort Gibson, I. T., in September of the same year. He participated in the severe winter campaign
in the Ute country of Colorado 1879-80. Returning in the spring to Fort Gibson, his company was
transferred to San Antonio, Texas, where he has since been stationed, and where he was doing
the duty of post commissary of subsistence and commanding his company at the time of his death.

Lieutenant Hewitt's short service in the army was one of honor and credit. Noble in person, and
lovely in amiability and purity of character, he was an ornament to our regiment and did honor to the army.

The officers of the regiment will wear the customary badge of mourning for thirty days in memory of the deceased.

At a meeting of the officers of the 22d infantry at Fort Clark, Texas, the headquarters of the regiment,
on Sunday, June 4, 1882, to express their feelings upon the death of Second Lieutenant Augustine F. Hewitt,
22d infantry, which occurred at San Antonio, Texas, on the 3rd inst., General D.S. Stanley was called upon
to preside and First Lieutenant O.M. Smith to act as secretary. General Stanley stated the object of the meeting
and gave the details of the death of Lieutenant Hewitt. The following resolutions were then unanimously adopted:

Whereas, Almighty God, in His wise dispensation, has been pleased to remove from our midst, our friend
and comrade in arms, Augustine F. Hewitt, lieutenant 22nd infantry; therefore it is
Resolved, That in the death of Lieutenant Hewitt the regiment has suffered the loss of an upright and
efficient officer; the army at large, one who was an ornament to its ranks; his wife, a loving husband,
and his family, a devoted son and brother. It is further
Resolved, That, while sorrowfully bowing with submission to the acts of an all wise Providence, we offer
our heartfelt sympathy to the wife and family of our lamented friend and comrade, in this
their severe and sudden bereavement.

The officers then called up pleasant and complimentary reminiscences of the life of the deceased,
after which the meeting was adjourned.

[Signed] D.S. Stanley.
Colonel 22nd Infantry

 

 

Augustine F. Hewit
U.S. Military Academy graduation photo

webmaster's collection

 

 

The following memorial is from the US Military Academy Association:

 


 

From the 13th Annual Reunion of the Association of the Graduates of the United States Military Academy,
at West Point, New York, June 12, 1882, Times Printing House, Philadelphia

 

 

 

And this, from a geneaology record on ancestry.com:

 

 

The gravestone for Second Lieutenant Augustine F. Hewit

San Antonio National Cemetery

Plot: A 0 59

Photo by Marilyn Dahl from the Find A Grave website

 

 

 

 

 

Terence Hammer from the U.S. Militaria Forum website

 

 

Sources:

Official Register of Officers and Cadets of the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y. June, 1879

Biographical register of the officers and graduates of the U. S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. since its establishment in 1802.
Supplement / by George W. Cullum 1902

13th Annual Reunion of the Association of the Graduates of the United States Military Academy,
at West Point, New York, June 12, 1882, Times Printing House, Philadelphia

Official US Army Register, 1880, 1881, 1882

New York Times June 6, 1882

The Evening Light June 13, 1882

Ancestry.com

Robert Harik

Terence Hammer

 

 

 

 

 


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