28 October 2005 by Published in: Union Cavalry 10 comments

In the course of researching the Sixth Pennsylvania Cavalry (also known as Rush’s Lancers), I found the story of Theodore J. Wint. This man fascinates me, and it’s really a shame that his story has been forgotten by history. I intend to rectify this.

Wint, who was born near Scranton, Pennsylvania on March 8, 1845, enlisted as a private in the Lancers at age sixteen in 1861. By June 1864, he wore a sergeant’s chevrons, and he was then commissioned first lieutenant on July 1, 1864. He served honorably until the expiration of his term of service on September 30, 1864, when he mustered out of the volunteer service as a nineteen-year-old lieutenant. On February 20, 1865, he enlisted as a private in the General Mounted Service of the United States Army, and served in this role until November 24, 1865, when he received a commission as a second lieutenant in the 4th U. S. Cavalry. In May 1866, he was promoted to first lieutenant, serving as regimental adjutant from August 1868 to December 31, 1871, serving under, and gaining regular praise from, Ranald S. MacKenzie, generally considered to be the most successful Indian fighter in the Army. On April 21, 1872, he was promoted to captain, and then in May, 1892, he was promoted to major and transferred to the 10th U. S. Cavalry, one of the famous “buffalo soldier” regiments consisting of African-American soldiers led by white officers.

In April 1899, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and was again transferred, this time to the 6th U. S. Cavalry. He was promoted to colonel on February 2, 1891, and to brigadier general on June 9, 1902. Wint served in the frontier Indian Wars (1866 to 1888)(where he served with great distinction), in Cuba, during the Spanish-American War (1898)(where he was badly wounded in battle when a Mauser bullet broke his thighbone), China (1900-1901), the Philippine insurrection (1901-1904)(where he distinguished himself by capturing one of the leaders of the insurgency) and the Army of Cuban Pacification (1906-1907). Ironically, while operating in both Cuba and the Philippines, Wint served under the command of General Joseph Wheeler, a former Confederate cavalry officer who again donned the blue uniform of the United States Army. The U. S. Army’s Philippines fortifications were named Fort Wint in his honor. General Wint died suddenly of heart disease at the relatively young age of 62 on March 21, 1907, while still on active duty in the field. He was not scheduled to retire until 1909, when he would have been 64, and was a few months shy of receiving one final promotion, this time to major general, had he lived to finish out his career. “General Wint was a quiet man who did things,” said Secretary of War William Howard Taft upon hearing of Wint’s passing.

Although he has been almost entirely forgotten by history, General Wint was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, where one of the largest and most handsome monuments in the entire cemetery marks his grave.

Other than the six months from the end of his term of service with the Lancers and his re-enlistment in the U. S. Army, Wint spent his entire adult life as a soldier, a career that spanned 46 years. No member of the Lancers achieved higher military rank than did General Wint. Few American cavalrymen accomplished more than he did.

Here’s a tribute to a forgotten hero. Let’s hope that he’s not forgotten again.

Scridb filter


  1. Jay Ward
    Mon 20th Mar 2006 at 9:19 am

    Very nice rundown on this man. I’m researching the 4th US Cavalry Regiment for the same reason you stated regarding Wint; so these men won’t be forgotten by history. Good luck with your research.

  2. Zeno
    Wed 05th Dec 2007 at 5:05 pm

    A friend of mine has owned one of his U.S. Army trunks for many years.
    In the 1980’s I had to research to find a biography for him.

  3. debbie
    Sat 11th Oct 2008 at 1:17 am

    theodore j wint is a relative of mine. I am in washington this weekend and I am going up to see the monument. He was related on my moms side.

  4. Al Nofi
    Mon 12th Aug 2013 at 11:27 am

    In his “My Life Before the World War” Pershing says Wint was wounded in one leg during the CW, which gave him a bit of a limp.

    And that during the Battle of San Juan Heights Wint was wounded in the other leg, which evened up his gait.

  5. patricia wint smith
    Mon 19th Jan 2015 at 10:21 pm

    This must be a relative on my father’s side.Hilary H. Wint . His father’s name was FREDRICK JACOB WINT

  6. Stan Jones
    Sat 09th May 2015 at 10:52 pm

    My grandmother’s maiden name is Wint. She passed in 1979. I just recently learned that Theodore Wint is related to me. This fact is interesting to know and I’m very proud. I hope to research this man further. I too am retired military, but can’t hold a candle to this man.

    Stan Jones
    Drums, Pa

  7. Stan Jones
    Mon 07th Sep 2015 at 1:00 pm

    Upon further and extensive research, Theodore Wint is definitely related me. My grandmother was Lillian (1912-1980) Wint (who married Stanley E. Jones Sr). Lillian’s father was Walter Emerson Wint (died in 1922 on a construction site). His father was Carmen Emerson Wint (1855-1923). Carmen’s father was William Romig Wint (1823-1885). William and his wife Elizabeth Romig Wint had many children and one of them was Jonathan Romig Wint (1808-18880). Jonathan and Euphemia Johnston Wint (1818-1892) are parents of Theodore Jonathan Wint, Louis Henry Wint (a civil war hero in his own right), Erwin, and Irving. Thank You.

  8. Stan Jones
    Thu 03rd Dec 2015 at 12:26 pm

    I’m retired Air Force and was stationed at Goodfellow AFB in San Angelo, Tx for many years. I recently found out that Gen Wint (my relative) was stationed at Fort Chadbourne and Fort Concho, Texas. These forts are about 25 miles from each other and part of the “old forts trail” designed to protect settlers. Fort Concho is in the middle of San Angelo. All the while I was there I had no idea of the family significance of the area. I’m now sitting in PA with memorabilia from those forts and previously didn’t know how significant those trinkets would be. I’m amazed!

  9. Joyce Foote
    Fri 22nd Jan 2016 at 6:14 pm

    Stan Jones, my great grandfather was Carmen Emerson Wint. My grandmother was Mildred Wint Whipple.

  10. Stan Jones
    Thu 28th Apr 2016 at 5:37 pm

    Joyce Foote, very interesting and glad you placed a comment. My great grandfather was Walter Emerson Wint, the brother of your grandmother Mildred. I’m taking a risk here, but you may email me at gaspumps@ptd.net should you like to “talk.” I would love to hear from you.

    Stan Jones

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