Posted on July 23, 2015
Campbell D. Emory & Camp Chehalis
I have always thought that my earliest ancestor in Washington State was George Meade Emory, who arrived in Seattle in 1889. However, I recently found out about an ancestor (George Meade’s father) who was in the Pacific Northwest (albeit for a short time) much earlier.
Campbell Dallas Emory was my gg grandfather. He was born in Philadelphia in 1839. In May of 1861, at the age of 22, he graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. The photo below was most likely taken close to his graduation from West Point.
The Civil War had just begun in April of 1861, and Emory was immediately promoted to Second Lieutenant, 6th Infantry and became part of the “Rebellion of the Seceding States”. As early as July of 1861 he served on frontier duty at Ft. Vancouver, Washington Territory as part of the 9th Infantry.
In August of 1861 Emory was transferred to the recently abandoned Camp Chehalis. The post, located near the mouth of the Chehalis River near present day Hoquiam, Washington Territory, had been established as an U.S. Army Camp in 1860 to provide protections for settlers.
Fort Chehalis, W.T. (1860-1861) C1943.158.5. Washington State Historical Society Featured Collections. http://www.washingtonhistory.org/research/. Accessed July 22, 2015.
Emory was instructed “to restore confidence to the settlers in that quarter and to afford protection to the Indian agent and his party….” He was further instructed to “keep your men under strict discipline and well in hand to meet any emergency, always having a sentinel on post by night and day.” The men “should be prepared to bake their own bread.”
Emory remained at Camp Chehalis until the end of October 1861, when the post was permanently closed. He continued his military career acting as Aide-to- Camp to Major General George Meade between the years 1864 to 1871. In 1865 he was decorated in Petersburg, Virginia and achieved the position of Brevet Lieutenant Colonel for Faithful and Distinguished Service in the Field during the Rebellion.
He died in 1878 in San Antonio, Texas from a heart condition at the age of 38. He left behind a wife and five children.