This website is dedicated to the 7th Cavalry troopers who are buried in South Dakota. From the tragic death of Abram Brant only hours before he was to receive his Medal of Honor to the murder of Elijah Strode, the lives of these 7th Cavalrymen is anything but boring. Together, their lives span from before the Civil War, through Wounded Knee and up to the 1950s. Even though their lives didn't grab the headlines like General Custer, their stories are worth exploring, even more so in my opinion.
"The battlefields are silent now. The graves all look the same." -- Motorhead,Voices from the War
Born: 1848 (New York City, NY)
Died: August, 5, 1918 (Yankton, SD)
Grave location: South Dakota Human Services Center Cemetery, Yankton, South Dakota
Grave GPS Coordinates: N42 54.553 W097 24.422
He enlisted in the 7th Cavalry on December 3, 1867, in New York City. He was discharged on December 3, 1872 in Louisville and re-enlisted the same day by Lt. Cooke. He listed his previous occupation as gasfitter. He was promoted to sergeant on November 10, 1876. He was discharged on December 3, 1877, at camp near Fort Buford, D.T., on expiration of service, as a sergeant of excellent character. He had blue eyes, brown hair, dark complexion, and was 5’ 8 ¼” tall. His civil occupation was as a packer and teamster. He resided in Bismarck until June 28, 1878. He applied for a pension in 1891 but was denied. He is listed elsewhere as James H. Rooney and Roonay. He served in the QMD, Fort Meade, SD, in 1908. He was admitted to the Yankton State Hospital in July 1911. He died at age 74 (which is at odds with his supposed date of birth) at 3:45pm on August 5, 1918, at Yankton State Hospital. Cause of death was carcinoma of the lip. Buried in Grave 593, Yankton State Hospital Cemetery (now South Dakota Human Services Center). At the time of the Little Bighorn battle, he was a private in F Company assigned to the pack train and took part in the hilltop fight.
From the book, Camp, Custer, and the Little Bighorn by Richard G. Hardorff -- "The men who went back to check on the pack that was lost were Sgt. William A. Curtiss and Privates James M. Rooney, William Brown, Patrick Bruce, and Sebastian Omling, all of F Company."
Headstone for James Rooney at the South Dakota Human Services Center Cemetery - Yankton, South Dakota