No Shave November – Thomas Childs Woodbury

No Shave November
Each Saturday in November, an Old Guard veteran will be featured that sports impressive facial hair.

Thomas Childs (T.C.) Woodbury was born in 1850 in Kentucky. Both his father and grandfather graduated from West Point Military Academy, in 1836 and 1814, respectively. T.C. Woodbury attended West Point, graduating in 1872. He was assigned to the 16th Infantry Regiment, serving with the unit along the Gulf Coast, in Indian Territory and in Utah. Woodbury deployed as to Cuba in the War with Spain and was wounded at the Battle of San Juan Hill in 1898.
The following year he deployed again, this time as part of the Army’s response to the Philippine Insurrection. He was promoted to major while in the Philippines and commanded the 3d Battalion, 19th Infantry. Woodbury served as military governor of the Island of Bohol for just over a year following the surrender of the insurrectionists. He returned to the U.S. in 1903 and took command of the 3rd Infantry Regiment the following year. The Old Guard was supposed to deploy for duty along the Panama Canal, but instead deployed to the Alaskan frontier.
Woodbury commanded the 3rd Infantry during a trying time. They traveled by steamship from San Francisco to Camp Skagway, Alaska until Fort William H. Seward was completed (present-day Haines, AK). The discovery of gold in the Yukon was a draw for thousands flooding into the frontier. The Army maintained 1,500 miles of telegraph lines connecting Juneau, Valdez, and Sitka, with the Old Guard running lines all the way to Nome. One additional mission was to restrict over-harvesting of the caribou population native to the region. In order to accomplish its mission, the Regiment was broken up, with companies serving at outposts stretched far apart. During the two-year deployment, elements of the Regiment served at Forts Liscum, Davis, Egbert, Gibbon, and St. Michael. The unit returned to Washington State in 1906, many seeing their families for the first time in two years.
Woodbury served in Washington State for two years commanding the Department of the Columbia from 1907-1908. Woodbury was tasked to return to the Philippines to serve on the general staff. His service was cut short by illness. During the trip on the transport back to the United States, he was struck by paralysis, succumbing to his illness on September 26, 1911, at the age of 61. He was later laid to rest in Oak Hill Cemetery in Washington D.C. beside his father.

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