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Manuscripts by Subject - Military - #10079

Title: Charles S. Farnsworth

Dates: 1891-1894

Collection Number: 10079

Quantity: .25 feet

Abstract: Consists of a letterpress book containing copies of Farnsworth’s outgoing correspondence from December 29, 1891 to August 14, 1894. He was transferred to Fort Shaw (Mont.) to Fort Buford (N.D.) on August 31, 1891 where he was in charge of the quartermaster stores and commissary and was post treasurer. In September 1893 he was transferred to the University of North Dakota where he became the school’s first professor of military science and tactics. The letters are both personal and professional in nature, covering his time at Fort Buford and UND.

Provenance: The State Historical Society of North Dakota acquired this collection from Robert J. Farnsworth in 1958.

Property Rights: The State Historical Society of North Dakota owns the property rights to this collection.

Copyrights: Copyrights to this collection remain with the donor, publisher, author, or author's heirs. Researchers should consult the 1976 Copyright Act, Public Law 94-553, Title 17, U.S. Code or an archivist at this repository if clarification of copyright requirements is needed.

Access: This collection is open under the rules and regulations of the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

Citation: Researchers are requested to cite the collection title, collection number, and the State Historical Society of North Dakota in all footnote and bibliographic references.


Maj. Gen. Charles Stewart Farnsworth, of Altadena (Calif.) one of the nation’s outstanding Army men before his retirement in 1925, died December 19, 1955 at Coronado Naval Hospital after a four month illness. He was 93 years old.

General Farnsworth was a graduate of West Point in 1887. He served in Dakota Territory and Montana and North Dakota until 1893. He then was Professor of Military Science and Tactics at the University of North Dakota for four years.

During the Spanish-American War he acted as quartermaster in the Santiago, Cuba campaign and as aide to Gen. Adna R. Chaffee.

Varied assignments moved General Farnsworth to Alaska where he constructed Fort Gibson; to the Philippine Islands where he built Fort William McKinley; to San Francisco where he constructed Presidio cantonments, and to Montana, Michigan and Kansas. He was graduated from the Army School of the Line in 1909, from the Army Staff College a year later and from the Army War College in 1916.

He served as a field commander and a supply base commander during General of the Armies John J. Pershing’s Mexican expedition in 1916.

It was in World War I that General Farnsworth attained his highest honors. He commanded the 37th Division of the American Expeditionary Force and took part in the St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne and Ypres-Lys campaigns. At the end of the war Belgium made him a Commander in the Order of Leopold for meritorious service. France awarded to him the Croix de Guerre with Palm and made him a Commander in the Legion of Honor. He won the United States Distinguished Service Medal.

The General returned to the United States and constructed and commanded this country’s largest Army school of the time, Fort Benning, Ga. By 1920 he had advanced in ranks to become chief of all American infantry forces from 1920to 1925.

General Farnsworth was born in 1862 in Lycoming County, Pa. His first wife, Laura J. Osley, died in 1890. He married Miss Helen Bonsard in 1894. She died in 1951. He leaves a son, Robert James Farnsworth, artist and designer, of Altadena.

Box / Folder Inventory

Box 1:

1 Letterpress book 1891-1894
2 Official Orders, 1891
3 Incoming correspondence 1905-1915

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