Probably taken shortly after enlisting in the Army; son of a Civil War General, nephew of another.
William Ralph Abercrombie (1857 -1943), was the son of Civil War General, J.J. Abercrombie (who was son-in-law to General Robert Patterson). William was born at Fort Ripley, Minnesota 17 August, of 1857, while his father was stationed there. He entered the U.S. Army with the rank of 2nd lieutenant on March 1, 1877, and assigned to the 2nd U.S. Infantry, then engaged in the Nez Perce campaign in Montana and the surrounding region.
He proceeded to the Pacific coast shortly after, and did serve in several Indian Campaigns. After the war he served in a number of assignments including, many expeditions in the Northwest and Alaska. He saw service in the Philippines
Abercrombie was part of the Copper River Exploration Expedition in Alaska, and led the 1898 expedition seeking “an all-American route from coastal Alaska to the Klondike.” The next year Abercrombie was responsible for constructing a military route to Eagle on the Yukon River, as Chief Engineer of the Department of Alaska. Commanded Fort Reno, Oklahoma, and Fort George Wright in Washington State. Abercrombie retired in 1910
He died in Spokane on November 7, 1943. Fort Abercrombie, Alaska Territory was name in his honor.
William was the nephew of General Robert Patterson, and this image of him came from the Patterson Family Album. He wrote on the back, “Aunt Mary” (Mary Patterson, General Robert Patterson’s daughter). Photographed by F. Gutekunst, Philadelphia. Taken circa, 1877 just before heading west to join his regiment.
Condition is very good + with central crease unfortunately.