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First Name: George

Last Name: Yates

Birthplace: Albany, NY, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Wilhelmus Mancius

Date of Birth: 26 February 1843

Date of Death: 25 June 1876

Rank: Captain

Years Served:
George Wilhelmus Mancius Yates

•  Indian Wars (1775 - 1924) intermittent
•  American Civil War (1861 - 1865)


George Wilhelmus Mancius Yates
Captain, U.S. Army

George Wilhelmus Mancius Yates was born on 26 February 1843 in Albany, NY.

Yates met George Armstrong Custer in Monroe, MI, and they became close personal friends. During the American Civil War, Yates was a Second Lieutenant in the 4th Michigan Cavalry. Custer helped Yates secure a position on General Pleasanton's staff. Yates earned several brevet promotions in rank for his actions during the war. He fought at the First Battle of Manassas, Antietam, Fredericksburg, and Gettysburg.

After the Civil War, in 1866 Yates was appointed a Captain in the 7th Cavalry. He served under Lt. Colonel Custer, commanding F Company. He was a member of the so-called "Custer Clan" or "Custer Gang" of close-knit friends and relatives of the General. Yates was killed during the Battle of the Little Bighorn and fell near Custer. According to some accounts, he is said to have taken command of the battalion after the initial fighting at Medicine Tail Coulee, where Custer may have been wounded. Other accounts suggest that he commanded a wing of Custer's battalion, composed of Companies E and F. He was initially buried on the battlefield, but was later reinterred in Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery in Fort Leavenworth, KS.

He left a widow and three children. His wife ironically would spend many years as a teacher at the Carlisle Indian School in Carlisle, PA. She would later be crushed to death in a New York City Subway accident in 1914. Yates' brother-in-law, Richard Roberts, had accompanied the Custer column as a civilian herder and part-time correspondent for the New York Sun, but had to drop out 70 miles from the Little Bighorn when his pony gave out, thereby sparing his life.


Fort Yates in the Dakota Territory was named in his memory and honor, as well as Battery Yates at Fort Baker in Marin County, CA, overlooking San Francisco Bay.

Death and Burial

Captain George Wilhelmus Mancius Yates was killed in action on 25 June 1876 in Montana. He is buried at the Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery in Fort Leavenworth, KS.

Honoree ID: 3251   Created by: MHOH




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