Samuel Baldwin Marks Young

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Samuel Baldwin Marks Young
General Samuel B. M. Young, official portrait by Marion Potter Sharpe
Born (1840-01-09)January 9, 1840
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Died Script error: The function "death_date_and_age" does not exist.
Helena, Montana
Place of burial
Service/branch United States Army
Union Army
Years of service 1861–1865, 1866–1904
Rank US-O9 insignia.svg Lieutenant General
Commands held Chief of Staff of the United States Army
Battles/wars American Civil War

Samuel Baldwin Marks Young (January 9, 1840 – September 1, 1924) was a United States Army general. He also served as the first president of Army War College between 1902 and 1903. He then served from 1903 until 1904 as the first Chief of Staff of the United States Army.[1]


Young was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to John Young Jr. and Hannah Scott Young. He was educated at Jefferson College (now Washington & Jefferson College) and married Margaret McFadden in 1861.

On the outbreak of the Civil War, he joined the 12th Pennsylvania Infantry in April 1861 as a private. After the expiration of his term he was commissioned Captain, 4th Pennsylvania Cavalry in September. He served with distinction in the Army of the Potomac throughout the war, receiving promotion to major in September 1862, to lieutenant colonel in October 1864 and to colonel in December 1864. Young was wounded four times in 1864 and 1865.[2] He served in brigade command in the cavalry corps during the last days of the Appomattox Campaign.[2] He was mustered out of the volunteers on July 1, 1865.[2]

After the war, Young joined the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States - a military society for officers who had served the Union in the Civil War.

After the Civil War he rejoined the Regular Army as a First Lieutenant in May 1866, and was promoted to Captain of the 8th U.S. Cavalry in July 1866. On December 11, 1866, President Andrew Johnson nominated Young for appointment to the brevet rank of Brigadier General of Volunteers, to rank from April 9, 1865, in recognition for his services in the Siege of Petersburg and the Appomattox Campaign and the U.S. Senate confirmed the appointment on February 6, 1867.[3]

Young served with distinction throughout the Indian Wars and was regularly promoted (to Major in 1883 and to Lieutenant Colonel in 1892), rising to the rank of Colonel of the 3rd U.S. Cavalry in 1897.

On the commencement of hostilities with Spain he was promoted Brigadier General of Volunteers in May 1898, and in July was made Major General of Volunteers while he commanded a division in Cuba during the Santiago Campaign of the Spanish–American War. That same year, he became a Veteran Companion of the Missouri Commandery of the Military Order of Foreign Wars.

Young's former residence in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, D.C.

During the Philippine–American War, he returned to the rank of Brigadier General of Volunteers and commanded brigades in the Northern Luzon District, of which he was made military governor.

From February 1901 to March 1902, he commanded the military district of California from the Presidio of San Francisco. Under the new General Staff System, he was appointed as the first Chief of Staff of the General Staff in August 1903, a position he held until retirement in January 1904.[1]

From 1909 to 1910, he was president of the board of inquiry that investigated the alleged riot of black soldiers of the 25th U.S. Infantry at Brownsville, Texas, August 13, 1906, and affirmed the subsequent dishonorable discharge of 159 men by order of President Theodore Roosevelt.

As Acting Superintendent of Yellowstone National Park at Fort Yellowstone in 1897 (after a stint in the same role at Yosemite in 1896) Colonel Young introduced fish conservation measures. In 1907 after his retirement, he was appointed full Superintendent by the Secretary of the Interior. He served as full Superintendent for two years.[4] He died at his house in Helena, Montana, and was honored with a state funeral in Washington, D.C., and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.


In 1886 his daughter Burton Young (1868–1944) married George Windle Read, who attained the rank of major general and was a division and corps commander of the American Expeditionary Force during World War I.[5] Their children included Burton Young Read (1889–1981), a career soldier who served from the early 1900s through World War II before retiring as a Colonel,[6][7][8] and George Windle Read, Jr., a career soldier who served in both world wars and attained the rank of Lieutenant General as commander of the US Army Armor Center and the Second United States Army.[9][10][11]

In 1901 his daughter Marjorie married army surgeon John Heysham Gibbon, nephew of fellow Civil and Indian War commander John Gibbon.

Dates of rank


See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Although other sources claim Young was the 1st Chief of the Staff of the U.S. Army, in reality, the Department of the Army did not come into existence until 1947. In 1903, the U.S. War Department adopted a General Staff organization to which Young was appointed Chief of [General] Staff. Major General Otto L. Nelson, Jr. (1946). National Security and the General Staff. Washington D.C.: Infantry Journal Press. p. 74.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Eicher, John H., and David J. Eicher, Civil War High Commands. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-8047-3641-3. p. 585
  3. Eicher, 2001, p. 762
  4. Kiki Leigh Rydell; Mary Shivers Culpin (2006). "Administration in Turmoil-Yellowstone's Management in Question 1907-1916". Managing the Matchless Wonders-History of Administrative Development in Yellowstone National Park, 1872-1965 YCR-CR-2006-03. National Park Service, Yellowstone Center for Resources. pp. 51–74.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Early Marriages of El Paso County, Texas, Book 1 (1876–1880)
  6. 1910 United States Federal Census, entry for Burton Y. Read
  7. U.S. Army Adjutant General, Official U.S. Army Register, 1946, page 366
  8. California Death Index, 1940–1997, entry for Burton Y. Read
  9. The Monthly Supplement: a Current Biographical Reference Service, published by Who’s Who, Inc., 1944, Volumes 5-6, page 247
  10. Newspaper article, Maj. Gen. G.W. Read is Dead at Capital; World War Officer Succumbs, New York Times, November 7, 1934
  11. U.S. Census entry, 1910, family of George Windle and Burton Young Read


Further reading

External links

Military offices
Preceded by
Nelson A. Miles
(Commanding General of the United States Army)
Chief of Staff of the United States Army
Succeeded by
Adna Chaffee