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First Name: Richard

Last Name: Dodge

Birthplace: NC, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Irving

Date of Birth: 19 May 1827

Date of Death: 16 June 1895

Rank: Colonel

Years Served:
Richard Irving Dodge


Richard Irving Dodge
Colonel, U.S. Army

Richard Irving Dodge was born on 19 May 1827 in North Carolina.

Dodge married into a distinguished military and political family on 3 March 1858 in New York City. His wife, Julia Rhinelander Paulding, was the granddaughter of General William Paulding of the War of 1812 and one-time Mayor of New York City; and the great-granddaughter of General William Paulding of the American Revolution and one of the first members of the Provincial Congress. The author and Secretary of the Navy under President Van Buren, James Kirke Paulding, was Julia's great uncle. John Paulding, a captor of the British spy John André, was a cousin of her grandfather.

To protect settlers traveling to the American west, the Army set up camps and forts along the favored routes. In Kansas in 1851 on the Santa Fe Trail, a Colonel I. Dodge established Fort Dodge which lasted a short time. In 1864, General Grenville M. Dodge established a large fort in the same area on the north bank of the Arkansas River. The site was selected by Colonel James Hobart Ford for whom the county was later named, and the fort was named Fort Dodge in the General's honor. Fort Dodge was one of the most important forts on the Western frontier.

Commanders at the Fort included George Custer and Colonel William H. Lewis. In July 1872, Richard Irving Dodge was in command at Fort Dodge and the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway needed a station on the Arkansas River. A site was selected five miles west of the Fort and a town company organized by Dodge and his officers. R.M. Wright was elected president, and the quartermaster, Major E. B. Kirk, was secretary and treasurer. The town was named Dodge City in Richard Dodge's honor. Dodge City later became famous for its wildness, its Boot Hill cemetery, and gunslinging lawmen like Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson.

Dodge was Aide-De-Camp to General William Tecumseh Sherman from 1881-82. In the second publishing of his memoirs, General Sherman wrote, "... the vacancy made by Colonel McCook was filled by Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Irving Dodge, Twenty-third Infantry then serving at a cantonment on the Upper Canadian-an officer who had performed cheerfully and well a full measure of frontier service, was a capital sportsman, and of a perfect war record. He also remained with me until his promotion as Colonel of the Eleventh Infantry, 26 January 1882."

Colonel Dodge retired from the Army on 19 May 1891.


A 1906 Presidential Proclamation named a butte in Wyoming as Devils Tower National Monument based on the description of it by Lieutenant Colonel Richard Irving Dodge in 1875. There has been a dispute over the name since that time.

In 1882, he published "Our Wild Indians: Thirty Three Years Experience Among The Red Men Of The Great West," an acclaimed primary source about U.S. Army operations of the time and the lives of the Native Americans Warriors of the Plains.

Death and Burial

Colonel Richard Irving Dodge died on 16 June 1895. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.

Honoree ID: 2431   Created by: MHOH




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