Grand Army of the Republic
John Rigdon King
Commander-in-Chief 1905

John Rigdon King was born June 24, 1844, in Hagerstown, Maryland. He died of heart attack in the corridor of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. August 1934.

When 17 years old, he enlisted in the 6th Maryland Volunteer Regiment and served with Company H for almost three years. He was wounded three times and was a prisoner for more than a year. He rose to the rank of Captain during the war. General King organized and commanded the first company of the Boys in Blue which grew the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR). In addition to serving as Commander-in-Chief of the National Organization of the GAR, he also served as the Commander of Wilson GAR Post #1 within the Department of Maryland, Commander of the Maryland Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion (MOLLUS), and Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief of the National Organization of the MOLLUS. After the war, Mr. King became a railroad employee in Philadelphia and then was appointed clerk in the United States Appraiser's office in Baltimore. In 1902 he received an appointment as United State pension agent in Washington and in 1913 was made a store keeper in the customs service. He retired in 1924. He was awarded the Purple Heart in 1932 in recognition of his services in the Civil War.

Mr. King was a member the Maryland Masonic Order and took an active part in the De Molays.


Information Submitted by: Elizabeth Foster
Descendant of John Rigdon King

Photograph Submitted by: George G. Kane
July 2001

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