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David Legge Brainard Edit Profile

army officer

David Legge Brainard, American army officer. Awarded the Back Grant of Royal Geog. Fellow American Geography Society; member National Geography Society.


Brainard, David Legge was born on December 21, 1856 in Norway, New York, United States. Son of Alanson and Maria C. (Legge) Brainard.


Educated State Normal School, Cortland, New York.


Private, corporal and sergeant Troop L, 2d Cavalry, September 18, 1876-July 31, 1884. Sergeant Signal Corps, August, 1884-October 21, 1886. Second in command Lieutenant 2d Cavalry, October 22, 1886.

Brigadier general, N.A., October 2, 1917. Brigadier general United States Army, July 25, 1918. Retired July 27, 1918.

Participated in Sioux, Nez Perce and Bannock campaigns, 1877-1878. Wounded in face and right hand. Detailed for duty with Howgate Arctic exploring expedition, 1880.

With Lady Franklin Bay Arctic Expedition, under Lieutenant Greely, 1881-1884. Associated with Lieutenant Lockwood in exploring interior of Grinnell Land and the northwest coast of Greenland. On May 13, 1882, reached the then highest point North ever attained, 83° 24′ 30′′.

Was one of 7 survivors rescued by Commander W. S. Schley, June 1884. Second in command Lieutenant 2d Cavalry “for distinguished and meritorious services in connection with the Arctic Expedition, 1881-1884.”.


  • Other Work

    • Author: Outpost of the Lost (Arctic Journal), 1929. Six Came Back, August 1940. The only survivor of the Greely Arctic Expedition.


Fellow American Geography Society. Member National Geography Society. Clubs: Explorers, Military-Naval (New York).


Married Sara H. Guthrie, June 1917.

Alanson Brainard

Maria C. (Legge) Brainard

Sara H. Guthrie