Wyoming War Hero Salute: Brig. Gen. Charles DuVal Roberts
This Wyoming War Hero Salute goes back to when the state was still very young. In 1873, Cheyenne was a newborn town and Charles DuVal Roberts was born on base where his father served, Fort D.A. Russell (Warren AFB), and he would go on to see battle all over the world and even witness a historic surrender.
As a child, he spent his youth at Army posts scattered all along the West. It was when he was 12 that he witnessed the historic moment that forever changed his life, perhaps even inspiring his dedication to the Army. Charlie was with his father, who was an aide to General Crook at the time, when they accepted the surrender of the famous Apache Chief Geronimo in Mexico.
If it could be said of anyone, "He was 'born' into the Army," this is that guy. Fort D.A. Russell was where Roberts would enter the service, himself, after graduating West Point in 1897. He would attend Army School of the Line (1912), Army Staff College (1913) and Army War College (1920).
First commissioned in 1897 as Second Lieutenant, Infantry, Roberts would advance through ranks to Brigadier General by 1929. Earlier commands had been at Havana Harbor in the Spanish-American War and the Panama Canal Division.
The General would retire from active duty in 1937, but during his career, he would receive the Medal of Honor, Croix de Guerre (France), and Officer of the Order of Leopold (Belgium). The Medal of Honor was for July 1, 1898, while with the 17th U.S. Infantry, at El Caney, Cuba. Roberts had “gallantly assisted rescue of the wounded from in front of the lines under heavy enemy fire.”
He died on Oct. 24, 1966 at Silver Spring, Maryland, and was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery, at age 68.
The General's father, Cyrus Swan Roberts, Brigadier General, United States Army, had come to Fort D.A. Russell after the Civil War. He had been buried first at the military cemetery in Arlington.
After Charles D. Roberts had served 40 years, a young relative, Cyrus Swan Roberts IV, would become First Lieutenant, U.S. Air Force. Cyrus IV, however, died in service, in a 1966 aircraft accident in Southeast Asia. A classmate of “Cy’s” left a photo of his burial marker here.
We're thankful for American families of military heritage who've sacrificed for us down through generations.