Grave location: Black
Hills National Cemetery, Sturgis, SD
Coordinates: N44 22.206 W103 28.476
Mathilda Windolph - wife of
He left Germany in 1871 and enlisted in the 7th Cavalry on July 23,
1872, under the name Charles Wrangel in Nashville, Tennessee by
Captain Frederick Benteen. His previous occupation was shoemaker. He
had deserted from Company A, 2nd Infantry. He participated in the
Black Hills Expedition of 1874 and also the Nez Perce Campaign in
1877. His last re-enlistment was on March 22, 1878. He was awarded
the Medal of Honor on October 5, 1878, for his part as a member of
the sharpshooters who were protecting the water carriers during the
Little Bighorn battle in 1876. The Medal of Honor citation read,
“With three comrades, during the entire engagement, courageously
held a position that secured water for the command.” He was wounded
in the buttock during the hilltop fight on June 25 and returned to
duty. He was awarded the Purple Heart for this wounded sustained
during the Battle of the Little Bighorn. He was discharged on March
21, 1883, at Fort Meade, Dakota, as the First Sergeant of Company H.
After his discharge he was employed by the Homestake Mining Company
for 49 years. He resided at 5 Old Abe Street and 614 West Main in
Lead, South Dakota. He married Mathilda L. Windolph in 1880.
Mathilda died on March 23, 1924 and was buried in the Black Hills
National Cemetery, Grave A225. Charles Windolph died on March 11,
1950 and was buried on March 14, 1950 in the Black Hills National
Cemetery in Grave A239. He was 5’6” in height with brown hair, brown
eyes, and a dark complexion.
Notes – I went to Lead, SD looking for the former houses of
Windolph. The house at 614 West Main still stands. Nice front porch
and easy to find. The house on Old Abe Street was not located. The
numbering there now begins at 300. I drove up there (tight winding
streets) and saw that no #5 exists. Either the house is there and
they have changed the street numbers or the house was swallowed up
by the Homestake Gold Mine. Where those lower numbered houses would
have been on Old Abe Street is now part of the open-pit created by
Headstone for Charles Windolph at the Black Hills National
Cemetery - Sturgis, South Dakota
Windolph’s former home at 614 West Main Street in Lead, South
FINDING WINDOLPH - driving west of Rapid City, South
Dakota, towards Sturgis on I90. Take
EXIT 34 to the Black Hills National Cemetery and park at the
visitor center. Charles Windolph is buried
directly across from the visitor center.
Purple Heart" by Michael L. Nunnally. This article
appeared in the newsletter of the LBHA.
Thanks to the author, Michael L. Nunnally, and to LBHA newsletter
editor Rod Thomas for granting permission to post the article.