DeLancey Floyd-Jones..Commanding Officer/Battle Of Yorktown..American Civil War
DeLancey Floyd-Jones was born January 20, 1826, in South Oyster Bay, New York. As a young man of fifteen, he entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, graduating in 1846 in a class that contained such military luminaries as George B. McClellan, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, A.P. Hill, and George S. Pickett. With the outbreak of the Civil War, He was promoted to major of the 11th U.S. Infantry. He commanded the 11th Infantry at the battles of Yorktown, Gaines Mill and Malvern Hill. He was brevetted to Lieutenant Colonel on July 4, 1862 for gallant and meritorious service during these campaigns. He served in the Second battle of Bull Run, and his regiment was engaged at the Battle of Antietam, at a position east of Sharpsburg. He was active at Rappahannock and the Mud March, as well as the Battle of Chancellorsville. At the Battle of Gettysburg, he led his men into action near Wheatfield, suffering substantial casualties. He was brevetted to Colonel, July 2, 1863, for gallant and meritorious service at Gettysburg. He was brevetted Brigadier-General on March 13, 1865 and became commander of the 19th Infantry in April 1865.
After the war he served in a variety of administrative posts, commanding Newport Barracks in Kentucky, and the occupation garrison of Little Rock, Arkansas. He served as Superintendent of Indian Affairs in Idaho Territory, from June 1869 to November 1870, and at various times commanded Fort Dodge, Fort Hays, the post at Holly Springs, Mississippi, Jackson Barracks in Louisiana, and the garrison in Helena, Montana. In 1871 he was assigned to the 3rd U.S. Infantry where he remained until his retirement on March 20, 1879.
Floyd-Jones traveled around the world many times. He documented his journeys in letters home, and frequently had his observations and descriptions published in local newspapers. He also published a well-reviewed book about his travels to India, China, and Japan, entitled “Letters From The Far East.”
He was founder and builder of the Delancey Floyd-Jones Free Library, one of the oldest libraries in the Town of Oyster Bay, an the first free library on the south shore of Long Island.
He was among the establishers of The Aztec Club of 1847, an early networking organization for veterans, whose distinguished membership grew to include many Congressmen and three presidents. In 1885, he was elected treasurer of the club; in 1892 he presented the club with a silver centerpiece manufactured by Tiffany’s representing an ancient Aztec Teocali. The centerpiece is still used at the annual meetings to this day. He was a lifetime member of the Sons of the Revolution, the Loyal Legion of the United States, The St. Nicholas Society, and the South Side Sportsman’s Club.
DeLancey Floyd-Jones was the fifth child of Major General Henry Onderdonk Floyd-Jones and Helen M.Watts. He was married twice, the first time on June 24, 1852 to Laura Jane Whitney of Rochester, New York, who died tragically three months after their wedding, and then on April 29, 1878 to Minnie Oglesby of New Orleans, Louisiana, though they separated only a few years after their marriage but never divorced.
A note on the hyphenation of his last name: DeLancey Floyd-Jones is descended from Major Thomas Jones, Welsh privateer and soldier, for whom Jones Beach ,Long Island is named; and Colonel Richard Floyd.
DeLancey Floyd-Jones was related through direct line or marriage to William Floyd and Philip Livingston, both signers of the Declaration of Independence; writer James Fennimre Cooper; John Loudon McAdams; Daniel Webster, Governor DeWitt Clinton of New York, Edith Wharton Jones, and Alexander Hamilton.