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N.A.M. Dudley is unknown except to some military historians who are familiar with the last half of the nineteenth century and to Billy the Kid buffs, and they mostly know him for his misdeeds in Lincoln Country, New Mexico. But there is much more to Dudley than that. Except for the Civil War, in which he played an active role and was sometimes known as "Gold Lace Dudley," he was for decades an officer of the frontier Army, commanding black troops as well as white. He was in the so-called Mormon War, the Sioux War, campaigned against Apaches, and last smelled the smoke of battle against the Crow. He was physically strong, brave, often at odds with his fellow officers, admired by his troops, and he drank too much. He retired as Colonel of the First U.S. Cavalry, and was promoted to brigadier general on the retired list. His remains lie in Arlington National Cemetery under a tombstone of his own design.
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