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Thomas Benton Weir
Personal Information
Born: 1838
Place of Birth: {{{place of birth}}}
Died: 1876
Place of Death: {{{place of death}}}
Nickname:
Birth Name: {{{birth name}}}
Other Information
Allegiance: United States of America
Union
Participation(s): {{{participations}}}
Branch: United States Army
Union Army
Service Years: {{{service years}}}
Rank: Captain (Regular Army)
Service number : {{{servicenumber}}}
Unit:
Commands: Company D, 7th U.S. Cavalry
Battles: American Civil War

Indian Wars

Awards:
Relations: {{{relations}}}
Other work: {{{otherwork}}}


Captain Thomas Benton Weir (1838–1876) was an officer in the 7th Cavalry Regiment (United States), notable for his participation in the Battle of the Little Bighorn, also known as Custer's Last Stand. A hill on the battlefield, Weir Point, is named in his honor.

Civil War Experience[]

Weir graduated from the University of Michigan in June, 1861. He enlisted to fight in the American Civil War in late August, and was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant in October. In June 1862 Weir was promoted to 1st Lieutenant.

Shortly afterwards he was taken prisoner by the Confederate States Army and was promoted again, to Captain, during the seven months he was held captive. After his release, Weir was given the job of Assistant Inspector General on the staff of (brevet) Major General George Armstrong Custer.[1]


Battle of the Little Bighorn[]

During the Indian Wars on the Great Plains, Weir commanded Company D of the 7th Cavalry under Custer, joining him in the attack on a large Native American encampment on the Little Bighorn River in Montana on June 25, 1876. Subordinate to Major Marcus Reno and Captain Frederick Benteen, Weir disobeyed orders to remain on what is now called Reno Hill. Instead, Weir (and eventually other soldiers including Benteen) moved north to attempt to support Custer, who had led a detachment to attack the encampment from that direction. The effort was too late to save Custer and over 200 of his men, all of whom were killed.[2]

Weir Point[]

Also known as Weir Ridge, Weir Point is about three miles south from where Custer and the soldiers with him were killed after they had first attacked the Native American village. At Weir Point the relief force is said to have realized that not only was Custer beyond help, but that Native American warriors were present in very large numbers. From this area the surviving members of the 7th Cavalry withdrew back to the already-established defensive positions on Reno Hill.

In the present era, Weir Point is a modest pull-off on the paved lane that ends at Reno Hill, also known as the Reno-Benteen Battlefield. Weir Point is marked with an illustrated roadside sign naming the hill and showing an artist's rendition of what the artist believed Weir and those with him saw: clouds of dust rising from the bluffs to the north where Custer and his men were wiped out.

Weir's Decline and Death[]

Deeply shaken by his experiences in the famous battle, Weir's mental health declined rapidly. Weir wrote letters to Custer's widow, Elizabeth Bacon Custer, hinting at untold matters regarding her husband's death. In the final months of Weir's life he refused to go outside, and was unable to swallow. He died in New York City less than six months after Custer, reportedly in a state of extreme depression.[2]

References[]

  1. "Thomas Benton Weir (1838-1876)". http://custer.over-blog.com/article-15667694.html. Retrieved July 15, 2010. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Connell, Evan (1984). Son of the Morning Star. New York: North Poin Press. pp. 281–283. ISBN 0 86547 510 0.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Connell" defined multiple times with different content
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