William McNamara First Sergeant: Fourth United States Cavalry

Written by Mary Anthony Long Startz

This book is a compilation of information gathered about First Sergeant William McNamara and his service in the Fourth Cavalry United States Army, from December 3, 1856 until his retirement more than thirty years later on August 8, 1887.

From registers of enlistments with the United States Army, a timeline is assembled of William’s service, his postings and the known personal events that parallel his military life. Throughout this story, there are references from books published and primary source documents about the Fourth Cavalry, its’ engagements and postings. These are used along with personal documents to complete the story.

William McNamara was from County Mayo, Ireland according to his Registers of Enlistment. He emigrated to the United States during the end of the Great Famine and sometime before his first military enlistment. While his Civil War service is included, this book primarily focuses on his service during the Indian Wars. Not much focus is placed on the Indian Wars today, as most surveys skip from the Civil War to the Spanish American War, forgetting this tragic time for both sides of this conflict.


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