December 8: Malbone Francis Watson (1891)

Malbone F. Watson was a U.S. Army officer who was brevetted Major for his service in the Battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War. Watson was badly wounded and lost his right leg. A day after his amputation, Watson sent a ragged note to his ordnance officer and closed with, “They got one of my pegs, but I did not peg out. Yours – ‘Peggy’.” From that point on, he was known as Peggy Watson. Malbone Francis Watson was the son of a prestigious Judge of the Supreme Court of New York. He had no trouble getting an appointment to the United States Military Academy. He graduated from the famous West Point class of 1861 with the May graduating class. Other classmates graduated in June of 61. Watson served in the First U.S. Cavalry before transferring to the Fifth U.S. Artillery. After his injury, Watson returned to West Point and taught French. He retired in 1870, became assistant engineer of New York City’s Department of Docks under Mayor George B. McClellan and then became the commissary officer of the Soldier’s Home in Dayton, Ohio in 1882.

Malbone Francis Watson and Mary Byvanck Codwise were married at the Church of the Epiphany on March 25, 1862. Mary and her family were parishioners there. She and her sister were confirmed at the church in 1860. Mary Watson’s funeral was at Epiphany in 1890. A year and a half later, Malbone “Peggy” Watson died of Bright’s disease. His funeral was at Epiphany before his interment in Oak Hill Cemetery.

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