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US Military Academy at West Point/William Wagner Graduate of USMA???


QUESTION: I was reading through a transcript between my uncle and my great uncle made in 1963. My great uncle states that his grandfather came over from Prussia and went into West Point, was an Army office that went west from fort to fort. Then settled in Wisconsin and moved to California. His name was William Wagner. It also states that he sold his ranch in Ventura and became Superintendent of the San Francisco Mint.

I would like to know if he is listed as a graduate of West Point. He arrived in California in 1870 to 1880. I do not have any information on his birth date or death date.

I have not been able to verify his  name as a Superintendent of the San Francisco Mint.

ANSWER: It's good to hear from you Patricia.  Thanks for your interest in West Point.

My primary reference is the "Register of Graduates and Former Cadets of the US Military Academy," published annually by the West Point Association of Graduates.  Per the "Register" there are no graduates or former cadets (attended but did not graduate) with the last name Wagner and first name William.  In fact our of 73 graduates with the last name Wagner there are only two that date to the 19th Century.

    Wagner, Arthur L (1875)
    Wagner, Orlando G (1859)

It may very well be that William Wagner served at West Point, but was not a Cadet.

I'm sorry that the news isn't better.  Good luck in your quest.

Best Regards,

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you so much for looking this up. I am checking to see if Orlando could possibly be the person I am looking for, since his son was named Gustavus (thinking that I have the wrong first name and his son was named after his middle name - a possibility). The only thing I have to go on is he was a Captain in the Army, he lived in Wisconsin and Ventura CA and owned an avacado ranch east of San Diego.

Can you recommend a website I can look on to see if he was a Captain in the army?

Thanks for the follow-up question, Patricia.

The details from the "Register" for "Orlando Wagner" are as follows:

Born in Pennsylvania; commissioned in the Topographical Engineers; served at National Military Headquarters 1859-1861; assigned as Assistant Topographical Engineer for the Peninsula Campaign in 1861; received two Brevet promotions; mortally wounded at Yorktown; Died April 21st, 1862 with the rank of Brevet Major at age 25.

That doesn't sound like your ancestor, having died so young, but you never know.

You should also check the National Archives military records starting at:

In addition, I would Google "military records 19th century" where you will find numerous other sites that may have information for you.

Again, good luck in your quest.

Best Regards,

US Military Academy at West Point

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Bill Taylor


I can answer questions about admissions to West Point; about the history of West Point; about how to travel to West Point, where to eat, where to stay, etc.; and about West Point`s alumni organization, the West Point Association of Graduates.


I am a 1970 Graduate of West Point. I served six years on active duty and another 8 years in the active reserve. I have been actively involved as a Field Admissions Representative for over 20 years and have participated on my Congressman's Academy Selection Panel for over 25 years. I am actively involved in West Point Alumni affairs, serving in roles both with the West Point Association of Graduates and the local alumni chapter in Annapolis, MD. I also have two sons who graduated from West Point in 1995 and 2001. Both are veterans of the Iraq War and Afghanistan War. The 1995 Grad continues to serve on Active Duty in the Army.

Bachelor of Science, US Military Academy, 1970 Master of Science (Computer Science), The Johns Hopkins University, 1980

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