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Claron Augustus Windus (1850 - 1927)

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Claron Augustus (Gus) Windus
Born in Janesville, Wisconsin, United Statesmap
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Died in Brackettville, Kinney County, Texas, United Statesmap
Profile last modified 8 May 2019 | Created 22 Jun 2016
This page has been accessed 472 times.



Gus Windus was awarded the Medal of Honor.
Gus Windus served with the United States Volunteers during the Spanish-American War.
Service Started: 1898
Unit(s): 9th United States Volunteer Infantry (Colored), Company I
Service Ended: 1899
Gus Windus served in the United States Civil War.
Enlisted: 1864
Mustered out: 1865
Side: USA
Regiment(s): 5th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment

Claron Augustus "Gus" Windus

Born: January 10, 1850, Janesville, Wisconsin
Died: October 18, 1927
Decoration: Medal of Honor
Rank: Captain
Allegiance: United States of America
Battles and wars: American Civil War, American Indian Wars, Spanish–American War
Service/branches: Union Army, United States Army

Claron "Gus" Windus was born in Janesville, Wisconsin in 1849. His parents were JW and Mary Windus[1]

He was educated in the newly formed Janesville public schools.

In 1864, at age 15, he ran away from home. He was desperate to join the State Volunteers, so he lied about his age and got into the Fifth Wisconsin Infantry as a drummer. He was excited for combat. His wish came true during the siege of Petersburg, Virginia, and he liked the combat.[2]

After the war, he lied about his age again and joined the United States Army. At the age of seventeen, Claron Windus was sent to Texas as a bugler with Company L of the Sixth United States Cavalry. [3]

The hard and often monotonous life of frontier duty didn't sit well with the teenager - He was court-martialed in 1868 for desertion and theft. His punishment was twelve months hard labor. It straightened him out. Ready and willing to return to the Cavalry, By 1870, Claron Windus was back in the saddle with company L.

Here's the official account of what happened next... Under the command of Capt. Curwen B. McLellan, a mixed troop from Companies A, H, K, and L was dispatched to recover the mail from Indians who had attacked a mail coach near Fort Richardson on July 6, 1870. The force of fifty-eight men followed the trail of a small group of Indians until July 11, when nightfall found them on the south bank of the North Fork of the Little Wichita River, some forty miles northwest of Fort Richardson. On July 12, after they were unable to cross the river because of heavy rains on July 10 and 11, they were attacked by a band of Kiowa. The ensuing battle came to be known as the Battle of the Little Wichita River. Windus was both bugler and orderly and assisted the wounded army surgeon, George W. Hatch, in caring for the soldiers. He also assisted in successfully clearing of enemy snipers from prominent elevations. On the morning of July 13, Windus, Doshier, and Sgt. George Eldridge volunteered to go to Fort Richardson for help. They eluded several Indian search parties and brought relief to the beleaguered command. Windus and twelve others were recommended for the Medal of Honor by McLellan for "conspicuous acts of bravery.

Windus was awarded the Medal of Honor on

Murder, Mayhem, and Madness

Private Adam Paine of the United States Cavalry's Indian Scouts was a Mascogo - an African-American born Seminole ( descendants of slaves and free Africans that joined the Seminole Nation in Florida in the 1700's and 1800's). Adam was described by his commanding officer, Colonel Ranald S. Mackenzie, as having more cool daring than any scout I have ever known.

In 1877, Claron Windus was the deputy sheriff of Brackettville, Texas - a small town near the United States-Mexican border - and Adam Paine was a fugitive from the law. Paine was discharged from the Cavalry in 1875. He had spent the past year drifting back and forth across the border with a known cattle thief named Frank Enoch. Paine had reportedly stabbed and killed a white soldier in Brownsville and now he had returned with Enoch and two other ex-scouts to celebrate New Years with the Seminole people (the Mascogo community of Brackettville). Windus got word of the fugitive's arrival and made plans to arrest them.

Early on New Years morning, 1877, Claron Windus and a small posse arrived at the Mascogo's New Years celebration. Windus saw Paine, walked up to him, stuck a two barrelled shotgun in his belly and pulled the trigger. The ex-Buffalo Soldier was shot at such close range that his clothing caught fire. Windus then turned, pulled out a six shooter and shot Enoch. In the ensuing confusion, the other two men, Isaac Payne (another Medal of Honor recipient) and Dallas Griner, leapt on nearby horses and fled to Mexico. They later were cleared of charges of horse theft and re-enlisted as scouts.

"Less than a month after Adam Paine's death Claron Windus resigned as Deputy Sheriff in order to become Kinney County Assessor of Taxes. The next month he married Agnes Ballantyne and within a few years had become one of the largest landowners in the county by purchasing land sold at delinquent tax sales. By 1897 he was so wealthy that his house was the first in Brackettville to have indoor plumbing.

In 1898 he volunteered for the Spanish-American War and spent a year there - his third, and final war."

Claron Windus was born and raised a Wisconsinite, but he died a Texan... in 1927 in Brackettville - a town that has the unusual distinction of having the gravestones of five Medal of Honor recipients.

It is also the site of the only known killing of one Medal of Honor recipient by another.

Four of the five Medal of Honor recipients buried in Brackettville were Seminole Mascogo Indian Scouts: Adam Paine, Isaac Payne, John Ward and Pompey Factor. The fifth is Claron Windus.


Spouse: Agnes Ballantyne Windus (1859 - 1940)
Agnes M. Windus Dooley (1878 - 1919)
Lucy Amy Windus Welch (1883 - 1948)
Cora Edith Windus (1887 - 1975)

Claron Augustus "Gus" Windus] is buried in Masonic Cemetery, Brackettville, Kinney County

Texas (GPS (lat/lon): 29.3151, -100.4025)[4]


  1. 1860 U.S. census, population schedule. NARA microfilm publication M653, 1,438 rolls. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.; Note: Claron is listed as Charles, age 11. His brother, George is age 9
  2. Claron Windus on wisconsinology blogspot
  3. Claron Windus on Handbook of Texas Online
  4. Find A Grave: Memorial #18145
Claron Windus on Handbook of Texas Online
Claron Windus on wisconsinology blogspot
General Index to Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Soldiers who Served During the War with Spain. Microfilm publication M871, 126 rolls. ARC ID: 654543. Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1780s–1917, Record Group 94. The National Archives at Washington, D.C.

Register of Enlistments in the U.S. Army, 1798-1914; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M233, 81 rolls); Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, 1780’s-1917, Record Group 94; National Archives, Washington, D.C.

Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910 (NARA microfilm publication T624, 1,178 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C. For details on the contents of the film numbers, visit the following NARA web page: NARA.

1860 U.S. census, population schedule. NARA microfilm publication M653, 1,438 rolls. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.

Fourteenth Census of the United States, 1920. (NARA microfilm publication T625, 2076 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C. For details on the contents of the film numbers, visit the following NARA web page: NARA. Note: Enumeration Districts 819-839 are on roll 323 (Chicago City).

Social Security Applications and Claims, 1936-2007.

Texas Department of State Health Services. Texas Death Certificates, 1903–1982. iArchives, Orem, Utah.

Texas General Land Office. Abstracts of all original Texas Land Titles comprising Grants and Locations. Austin, TX, USA.

U.S., Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. T288, 546 rolls.

Texas Department of Health. Texas Death Indexes, 1903-2000. Austin, TX, USA: Texas Department of Health, State Vital Statistics Unit.

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