Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Fort Boise Founder Pinkney Lugenbeel Assigned to Other Duties

On October 1, 1863, a correspondent for the Evening Bulletin in San Francisco, California sent in a brief report from Portland. It began, “By a late communication addressed to the Executive of this State, from Provost-Marshal Gen. Fry, we are informed that the Brevet-Major Pinkey Lugenbeal [sic] of the regular army has been designated to superintend the execution of the Conscription act in Oregon and Washington Territory.”

Major Pinkney Lugenbeel had, of course, selected a spot for a new Fort Boise on July 4th and immediately began construction. Born in Maryland, Lugenbeel received an appointment to West Point from Ohio and graduated in 1840, when he was 21 years old. Lieutenant Lugenbeel served at posts in Florida, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Texas before the Mexican War in 1846. He was wounded during the war, and brevetted first to captain and then major for “gallantry and meritorious conduct.”
Pinkney Lugenbeel.
U. S. Army Archives.

After that duty, Lugenbeel served at several posts around the country before being assigned to the Pacific Northwest in 1855. By then he had the standard rank of captain. When the Civil War began, he stayed in Washington Territory and Oregon to train Volunteer units.

Toward the end of the War, Brevet Major Lugenbeel was reassigned to a fort near Detroit, Michigan. He then joined a front-line unit and saw action in northern Georgia. After the war, he served in Oklahoma and Arkansas, rising to the rank of Regular Army colonel. He retired in 1882, and passed away four years later.

References: Carolyn Thomas Foreman, “Colonel Pinkney Lugenbeel,” Chronicles of Oklahoma, Vol. 24, No. 4, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City (1946).
 "Matters in Oregon," Evening Bulletin, San Francisco, California (October 8, 1863).

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