Fort Smith National Cemetery
Sebastian County,

MAJOR United States Army
1832 – 1861

Civil War Confederate
1861 – 1865

January 18, 1809 – September 8, 1896

Section 4 Site 1926B

Richard Caswell Gatlin was born in Kinston, Lenoir County, North Carolina to John Slade Gatlin and Susannah Caswell Gatlin. His maternal grandfather was the first governor of North Carolina, Richard Caswell. The state of North Carolina appointed him to the United States Military Academy and he graduated 35th in the class of 1832. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Seventh Infantry and served in the Indian Territory until being transferred to Florida and participating in the Seminole Wars until 1842. He served in Louisiana from 1842 until he transferred to the army of occupation in Texas during the war with Mexico where he was promoted to captain and was engaged in the defense of Fort Brown, Texas in May of 1846. During the Mexican War he was wounded in the Battle of Monterey, California and was promoted to brevet major. He declined the offer for commission of colonel in the First North Carolina Volunteers and went to Missouri, back to Louisiana and once again engaged in the Seminole Wars in 1849 and 1850. He then returned to the frontier and served in Kansas, Indian Territory, Arkansas, and Dakota until 1857 when he marched with General Albert Sidney Johnson to participate in the Utah War, also known as the Mormon War or Buchanan’s Blunder. In 1860 Gatlin marched to Fort Craig, New Mexico and was promoted to major of the Fifth Infantry. After the start of the Civil War he made a visit to Ft Smith, Arkansas and on April 23, 1861 he was captured by state forces. He was paroled and resigned his commission and tendered his services to his home state. He was appointed adjutant-general of North Carolina with the rank of major general of the militia. The regular army of the confederate States awarded him a commission of colonel. Subsequently he was promoted to brigadier general to command the department of North Carolina and the costal defenses of the state. In March of 1862 he was suffering from a severe illness and was relieved of duty. In 1862 he resigned completely and served as inspector general of North Carolina for a period of time. After the war, he moved to Sebastian County and farmed until 1881 and then moved into Ft Smith. He first married Scioto Sandford and she died from complications of childbirth in January of 1852. He then married Mary Ann Gibson of Arkansas on January 20, 1857. Mary Ann is buried next to him; Scioto is buried very close by and with their infant son, Alfred Sandford Gatlin, who died at 15 days old and eight days after his mother.


Contributed on 9/26/08 by tomtodd
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Record #: 66420

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Additional GATLIN Surnames in FORT SMITH NATIONAL Cemetery

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Submitted: 9/26/08 • Approved: 11/27/10 • Last Updated: 8/3/12 • R66420-G0-S3

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