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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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GATES, George

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GATES, George. (Delaware County, OH, July 30, 1844--Mar. 18, 1915). Gates enlisted in the United States Army on September 4, 1866 in Dubuque and served in Troop "F" of the Eighth U.S. Cavalry. His act of valor occurred at Picacho Mountain, Arizona, on June 4, 1869. Companies E, F and K of the Eighth U. S. Cavalry had arrived at Camp Hualapai, Arizona Territory, in May of 1869. From there, a combined detachment comprised of Troop C, Company F, Eighth U. S. Cavalry; Troop E, First U. S. Cavalry; and part of Company F, Fourteenth U. S. Infantry, all under the command of Captain G. B. Sanford, First U. S. Cavalry, left Camp Hualapai to stop Apache uprisings to the south.

Few details of the event were recorded. The troops fought a band of Apache near Picacho Mountain, located in southern Arizona, Pinal County. During the Medal of Honor engagement, one soldier was wounded, four Indians were captured and twenty were killed, including Chief Squirrel Rifle.

The Eighth U. S. Cavalry was the most decorated of the Indian Wars, with 94 members of the regiment having received the Medal of Honor. Six of those 94 had attachments to the state of Iowa.

Gates’ MEDAL OF HONOR was issued on March 3, 1870, along with that of his partner in the act of valor, Private Joseph Watson.

Information provided by Richard G. Bridges.