Clan Boyd Society, International
"CAVALRY LIFE IN TENT AND FIELD"
Mrs. Orsemus Bronson Boyd (Frances Anne Mullen Boyd).
Orsemus Bronson Boyd
Photo courtesy Charles R. Novak
|Orsemus Bronson Boyd,
son of Henry and Eliza (Bronson) Boyd was born in 1844 near Croton (now
called Treadwell), New York. At the start of the Civil War he enlisted
in the Eighty-Ninth Regiment, New York Volunteers with his father and older
brother Amos who died in the field of battle. In 1863 he accepted
an appointment at West Point. Orsemus' grandparents were Amos Boyd
and Celestia (Steele) Boyd. Amos was the son of William and Marjary
(Taylor) Boyd of E. Springfield, Massachusetts. William's parents
were John and Margaret (Long) Boyd who were married in Boston, Suffolk
Co., Massachusetts on 11 April 1731. John is believed to be son of
Capt. James Boyd born 1669 in Scotland.
Orsemus Boyd was unjustly accused of theft while at West Point and ostracised by fellow cadets for years until he was exonerated by the admission of guilt of a fellow cadet named JOHN JOSEPH CASEY who committed the deed. On his sick-bed, in a delirium, Casey confessed to the crime of planting the evidence which convicted Boyd. Casey died less than a year later by a bullet from a gun of one of his own men. His confession was made to a fellow Cadet named Hamilton and Hamilton didn't tell anyone about it for several years.
Orsemus graduated in 1867 and was appointed a second lieutenant in the Eighth Cavalry. He was promoted to 1st Lieutenant in 1868 and remained in that rank for fourteen years, receiving appointment as Captain in 1882. After a brief illness while on campaign against Geromino, he died at a military camp near Grafton, New Mexico on July 23, 1885, at the age of forty-one.
graduation from West Point in 1867, Orsemus B. BOYD married Frances Anne
MULLEN, a woman who would prove his equal in stamina and courage for eighteen
years of army life in the West. She accompanied him on bruising and treacherous
journeys across the Sierra Nevada and Mojave Desert to live in some of
the most remote outposts the army saw fit to garrison: Camp Halleck in
Nevada, Camp Date Creek in Arizona, Fort Stanton, Fort Union and Fort Bayard
in New Mexico and Fort Clark in Texas. Her home in Nevada was a two-room
tent with a barley sack carpet. The better part of social life in
Fort Clark was the exchange of grievances. They eventually had three children:
"Intensely proud of
her husband, Mrs. Boyd endured much for his sake: severe heat and cold,
drudgery, a poor and monotonous diet, frustration, disappointment, malaria
and filth. By the time she reached Texas she had become so accustomed
to making much out of little that she could prepare custards and other
dainties in a tent stove. "Her depictions of army life, of the landscapes
of the Southwest, and of rough western travel are exceptional, but no less
so is her portrait of herself as the steadfastly loyal wife of an unjustly
dishonored officer. Her rage and bitterness at their treatment by
the army were gradually tempered by her affection and respect for other
army wives, her own sense of duty, and her deep
*He had served in the Civil war along with his father Henry Boyd and his older brother Amos Boyd, who was killed in action.
There is a reprint available by University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, 1982. Bison Press reprint of original edition of 1894). 370 pages.
BOYD, FRANCES ANNE MULLEN (1848-1926).
Frances (Fannie) Boyd, writer, was born in
New York City on February 14, 1848. Her father owned a bakery there,
and the family was well-to-do.
In December 1875 Mrs. Boyd and their daughter
and son accompanied Lieutenant Boyd to a new assignment at Fort Clark,
Texas. The post, located forty miles from the Rio Grande near the site
of present-day Brackettville, guarded the San Antonio-El Paso road. For
six months in 1879-80 the Boyds lived at Fort Duncan, a small garrison
at Eagle Pass, where troops patrolled the international boundary. After
two of the children were stricken with malaria in 1881, Frances Boyd took
them all back to New York. The family
Left a widow at age thirty-seven, Frances Boyd took up residence in Washington, D.C., where she had social connections, and later lived in New York City. Her descendants remember that she traveled extensively in Europe. Her Cavalry Life in Tent and Field, a tribute to her husband that describes her experiences in the West as an officer's wife, was published in 1894. It is considered one of the finest of the genre. Early in the new century, perhaps in 1908, she bought a house and land in Boonton, New Jersey, where she lived for the rest of her life. She died in Elizabeth, New Jersey,on May 2, 1926.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Orsemus B. Boyd File, United
data on this line..........
From: Charles Novak CapPeleg@aol.com
Just stumbled across your listing on Orsemus Boyd. I am the ggggrandson of Orsemus Boyd. I have some of his personal papers and other documents. Is this something that would interest you?
Charles R. Novak
I viewed some of your information; very impressive. I just recently ordered the Springfield, MA vital records. I ordered them for a different family line, but will look for Boyds in these records. Any request?
I also have more detailed information about Orsemus Boyd's ancestors. I'm not sure if Amos Boyds wife was Celesta Steele. I have some records that state her as Celesta Adams.
A few years ago I was in contact with an individual descendant from Reuben Boyd and Rebecca Bond. He sent me alot of information. Interested?
Charles R. Novak
File: Boyd.doc (66048
Dr. Mr. Boyd,
I am attaching to this note the file I have on the Boyds. Its what I have written up on them, but not everything I have.
Years ago I was in contact with Arlo Thomas a descendant of Reuben Boyd.
His address is the following:
Here is a brief listing of
what he gave me.
Reuben Maton Boyd
Electa 30 Sept 1814
m. Orson Bartlett
I'll be back shortly
File: Obboyd1.tif (101846
There are other descendants in Boonton, New Jersey. One, Jeffrey Howard Boyd has the original chalk drawling of Frances Mullen Boyd. This is the one you have on your website.
The other Boyd person I've been in contact with is
She is descendant from Lavelle Henry Boyd, Orsemus Boyds half brother.
Unfortunately not much Boyd stuff survived in my family. I do have some of Orsemus Boyds personal papers including a letter written about the scandal and his promotion to Captain and the certificate.
Charles Novak CapPeleg@aol.com
Date: 99-04-27 09:14:23 EDT
File: WMBOYD.WRI (63872
Mary Brewer MBrewer655@Aol.com