b. 17/12/1842 Hartford, Connecticut. d. 22/03/1908 San Diego, California.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 25/11/1876 Powder River, Wyoming.
Thomas Hall Forsyth was born on December 17, 1842, to a wealthy family in Hartford, Connecticut. He later enlisted in the United States Army in St. Louis, Missouri and had a long and successful military career serving with 4th U.S. Cavalry on the Texas frontier. A commissary sergeant at Fort Davis, his privileged background allowed him a certain lifestyle above that of the average enlisted man. He “enjoyed dancing and music”, played chess and subscribed to several eastern newspapers. He also directed the post talent show and was a member of the local lodges of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Good Templars.
Twice wounded in campaigns during the Indian Wars, Forsyth held a commendable service record as an experienced Indian fighter. While battling the Cheyenne at Powder River in the Wyoming Territory, on November 25, 1876, Forsyth took command of Company M when First Lieutenant John A. McKinney was mortally wounded. As McKinney lay dying by the river, Forsyth and two other men, Sergeant Frank Murray and Corporal William J. Linn, remained at his side despite all being wounded themselves. After the battle, all three were recommended for the Medal of Honor by Lieutenant Harrison G. Otis. The War Department failed to acknowledge their actions, however, for nearly 20 years. It was not until 14 July 1891, after a petition by former adjutant Joseph H. Dorst and other officers, that Forsyth finally received the award. He was the only participant in the conflict to receive an honor.
Though dangerously wounded, he maintained his ground with a small party against a largely superior force after his commanding officer had been shot down during a sudden attack and rescued that officer and a comrade from the enemy.
BURIAL LOCATION: MOUNT HOPE CEMETERY, SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA.
MASONIC SECTION P, PLOT 5, GRAVE 6
LOCATION OF MEDAL: UNKNOWN.