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RG4467.AM:  Victor (Jean-Baptiste Victor) Vifquain, 1836-1904

Papers:  1862-1939

Saline County, Neb.:  Army officer

Size:  0.25 cu.ft.


Victor Vifquain was born in Brussels, Belguim, on May 20th, 1836. He received a military education in Belgium and graduated as a 2nd Lieutenant of cavalry at the age of 20. Upon spending one year in the Belgian army, Vifquain migrated to the United States and settled on a homestead on the West Blue River in Saline County, Nebraska. In 1861 he enlisted in the Union Army as a private in Company “C,” 53rd New York Infantry and embarked upon an active military career. Vifquain distinguished himself in battle, was awarded the Medal of Honor, and had obtained the rank of Brigadier General by the close of the war. In 1886 he was appointed by President Cleveland as U.S. Consul at Baranquilla and Colon, South America, and in 1893 as Consul General to represent the United States at Panama. Vifquain served as Adjutant General of Nebraska from 1891 to 1892. When the Third Nebraska was recruited in 1898 for the Spanish American War, Vifquain received a commission as Lieutenant Colonel and was promoted to the rank of Colonel during that conflict. He died on January 7, 1904, in Lincoln, Nebraska.


This collection consists of one box of manuscript material relating to the military career of Victor Vifquain. Materials include military addresses, Civil War reminiscences, military certificates, e.g. discharge papers and citations for bravery, and newspaper clippings regarding his career. In addition, there is correspondence from Addison E. Sheldon regarding additions to the Vifquain collection.


Box 1


  1. Correspondence, 1891-1939 (includes letter from Governor John M. Thayer regarding finances on the Adjutant General’s Office; letter from Addison E. Sheldon regarding the personal papers of Vifquain and a list of his papers at the Nebraska State Historical Society)

  2. Biographical (includes obituaries of Vifquain and family genealogy)

  3. “Link From a Broken Chain,” Vifquain’s historical reminiscences of the Civil War, 196 pages

  4. Military certificates, 1862-1902 (includes discharge papers; citations for bravery) (see also oversize)

  5. Addresses, 1865-1870 (includes Farewell address of Vifquain to the 97th Illinois Volunteers; Speech regarding Spanish American War)

  6. Newspaper clippings relating to Vifquain’s military career

  7. Items relating to the Indian campaigns in the winter of 1890-1891



Indians of North America — Nebraska

Indians of North America — Wars, 1890-1891

Spanish-American War, 1898 — Nebraska

United States — History — Civil War, 1861-1865 — Personal narratives

Vifquain, Jean-Baptiste Victor, 1836-1904


DAB/DJR/ab   04-05-1967

Encoded TMM   12-05-2006

Revised TMM   06-11-2010; 07-25-2013