Sergeant Charles Windolph, Last Survivor of the Battle of the Little Big Horn

by | Jul 28, 2018 | Check This Out | 2 comments

Charles Windolph is buried at the Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis. His grave marker is in the first row as you pull into the cemetery grounds.

Windolph was awarded the Medal of Honor on October 5, 1878, for his part as a member of the sharpshooters who were protecting the water carriers during the Little Bighorn battle in 1876. The Medal of Honor citation read, “With three comrades, during the entire engagement, courageously held a position that secured water for the command.” He was wounded in the buttock during the hilltop fight on June 25 and returned to duty. He was awarded the Purple Heart for this wounded sustained during the Battle of the Little Bighorn. He was discharged on March 21, 1883, at Fort Meade, Dakota, as the First Sergeant of Company H.

After his discharge he was employed by the Homestake Mining Company for 49 years. He resided at 5 Old Abe Street and 614 West Main in Lead, South Dakota. He married Mathilda L. Windolph in 1880. Mathilda died on March 23, 1924 and was buried in the Black Hills National Cemetery, Grave A225. Charles Windolph died on March 11, 1950 and was buried on March 14, 1950 in the Black Hills National Cemetery in Grave A239. He was 5’6” in height with brown hair, brown eyes, and a dark complexion.

There excerpts are from the 7th Cavalry Troopers in South Dakota.

There is a very good book about Charles Windolph and his story of the Battle of the Little Big Horn. Windolph fought in Benteen’s troop on that fatal Sunday and recalls in vivid detail the battle that wiped out Custer’s command. You can purchase the book “I Fought with Custer” on Amazon.

Other Notable Interments at the Black Hills National Cemetery

U.S. Senator Francis Higbee Case, World War I veteran, U.S. Representative for the 75th–81st congresses, United States Senate from 1951 until his death in 1962.
U.S. Brigadier General Richard E. Ellsworth
U.S. Lieutenant Commander John Charles Waldron, Distinguished Flying Cross

2 Comments

  1. TIM ALLGOOD

    The great historian Robert Utley actually met Windolph as a teen, in 1947 I believe. Mr. Utley is still alive and at a robust 90-something lives in Scottsdale, Arizona. Tim Allgood

    Reply
  2. everythingsd

    Very cool to hear that, thanks Tim!

    Reply

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