The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 69, July 1965 - April, 1966 Page: 73
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Notes and Documents
Relief expeditions in 1882 and 1883 failed to make contact
with the Greely group and it suffered severe hardships. Of the
twenty-four-member team only six survived.
Greely was in disfavor for some time after his return but finally
was promoted to captain in 1886, and the following year to
brigadier general-the first volunteer private soldier to receive
that distinction-and Chief Signal Officer. Under his charge the
Signal Corps built over twenty thousand miles of communica-
tion lines in Alaska, Cuba, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and
In 1888, the general was instrumental in founding the National
Geographic Society and later the Cosmos Club. At the Interna-
tional Telegraph Conference held at London in 1903, Greely
was the official delegate from the United States. The following
year he was appointed to serve on a board for the regulation of
wireless telegraphy in the United States.
The soldier-scientist also had active and scholarly interests in
history. Before the American Historical Association he read a
paper on "Public Documents of the Early Congresses, with Special
References to Washington's Administration." The Association
published that work as well as Greely's Papers Relating to Early
Congressional Documents.32 Close to one hundred articles, on a
wide range of subjects, are credited to him.
On October 21, 1935, less than seven months after receiving
the Medal of Honor, General Adolphus W. Greely died. In mak-
ing the war department's official tribute, Harry H. Woodring, the
acting secretary of war, stated:
The career of General Greely is a striking example of the con-
tributions a soldier may make to civilization. The army salutes a
brave comrade, a great leader, a distinguished scientist, a devoted
servant of the Republic.33
3""Public Documents " was published in the Annual Report of the American
Historical Association for the Year 1896 (2 vols.; Washington, x897), I, 1log-1248.
The second work appeared in the Annual Report of the American Historical
Association for the Year 1903 (2 vols.; Washington, 1904), I, 343-406.
"3Quoted in the New York Times, October 22, 1935.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 69, July 1965 - April, 1966, periodical, 1966; Austin, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117144/m1/91/?rotate=90: accessed June 24, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.