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Loomis Lyman Langdon dedicated himself to the service of his country, achieving the rank of brigadier general in the U.S. Army after a distinguished military career. His service record reflects his involvement in many historic and tumultuous events in the history of Florida and of the nation. Langdon was born in Buffalo, New York on October 25, 1830. Graduating from West Point in 1850, he went on to serve the United States in numerous military engagements, most in Florida.
In December 1854, Lt. Langdon set sail with companies L and M of the First Artillery Regiment bound for Ft. Dallas, Florida and the Third Seminole War. It was not until April 1856, though, that he saw real military action in the Big Cypress Swamp.
After the fighting ended, Langdon returned to Ft. Dallas. He then left the state until the outbreak of the Civil War. Over the course of the next thirty-one years, he served in nine other places in the state. He participated in the repulse of the Confederate attack on Santa Rosa Island and in the bombardments of the Navy Yard and Fort Barrancas at Pensacola. In 1864, he was breveted major "for gallant and meritorious service at the Battle of Olustee." He also commanded Fort Pickens during the yellow fever outbreaks and during Geronimo's captivity. He commanded Apache prisoners in St. Augustine and Fort Marion, as well.
After a long and distinguished career, Langdon retired in 1904 with the rank of brigadier general. He died on January 7, 1910 and was buried at his alma mater, West Point.
The collection contains the letters of Loomis L. Langdon of the First U. S. Artillery. Though they span the years 1856 and 1906, the letters deal principally with Langdon's activities in Florida during the Third Seminole War and the Civil War. A letter to his father of April 9, 1856 recounts the fighting at Big Cypress Swamp with the Seminoles. Included also is his report, dated February 20, 1864, of the Battle of Olustee and a general order issued by Secretary of War W. C. Endicott and printed in "The Pensacola Commercial" (July 20, 1888). Miscellaneous items include Langdon's summary of history of Battery "M" from 1861 to 1866; an exhibit citation for a shell collection gathered by Geronimo, Langdon's prisoner at Ft. Pickens; and a photograph of Langdon (along with the original negative).
Folder listing available.
Additional Physical Form:
Location of Originals/Duplicates:
Originals In possession of donor.
Wickman, Patricia R. "A Trifling Affair: Loomis Lyman Langdon and the Third Seminole War." The Florida Historical Quarterly, 63 (January, 1985).
Electronic Records Access:
Subject Access Fields:
Geronimo, Apache Chief, 1829-1909
United States. Army. --Artillerty Regiment, 1st. United States. Army. --Artillery Regiment, 1st (1861-1865)
Seminole War, 3rd, 1855-1858. Olustee (Fla.), Battle of, 1864. Big Cypress Swamp (Fla.), Battle of, 1856. Seminole Indians Wars
Florida History Civil War, 1861-1865 Pensacola (Fla.) Fort Pickens (Fla.) Santa Rosa Island (Fla.) Fort Dallas (Miami, Fla.)