Poindexter Military Roll of Honor

In its original form, the family name is spelled "Poingdestre." Our earliest beginnings trace to the Isle of Jersey in 1309, with the appearance of a Pierre Poingdestre. While precise translations of the name vary from the most common "Right Fist," to the rough equivalent of "Hot Spur," the most compelling theory is that our name was first bestowed as a battle honor. On old Poingdestre family coats of arms, a gauntleted right, or dexter, fist is prominently featured. As history tells us, the right hand has always been viewed as the side of honor and strength, for this is the sword arm of a warrior. Or, if it indeed harkens to the eager spurs of a young hot-blood, one should consider that in medieval times, the combination of spurs and horses were predominantly the province of soldiers, and not a common workingman.

The suggestion either way is that our name has its origins in the martial endeavors of some long-forgotten soldier, who attracted notice by his bravery or prowess of arms. It is not beyond possibility that our first Poingdestre fought for William the Conqueror, and so was awarded the first family lands upon Jersey.

While the mystery of our origins may remain obscured in the mists of time, the family since has remained true to its martial heritage, and especially so in the United States. This page is by no means a concise listing of Poindexter soldiers, nor is it intended to be. But I do wish it to be a salute to all of our clan, who, throughout the evolution of this Nation, rose to the call of battle.


Poindexters in the wars with England were many. No less than fourteen of them served in the American Revolution either under arms, or in support roles. By the time the growing colonies had enough of King George, the children of the immigrant, George Poindexter, had given their sweat and toil to this land for over a century. Their forebears had been Englishmen second, and Jerseymen first, so no doubt these grandchildren and great grandchildren counted Virginia as no less their home. No list of Loyalists has been found containing a Poindexter name, so it would appear that the Poindexter loyalty to the crown had long since withered of neglect.

Poindexters who served included soldiers under Washington and civil servants who supplied those soldiers. Some collected grain while others proved more common go", and others spilt their blood for freedom. One of George Poindexter's great-grandsons, Chapman Poindexter, was wounded, by some accounts quite severely, and taken prisoner by the British in 1781. Yet he survived to raise a large family who carried on the family traditions, and he survived well into the next century.

POINDEXTER, Bond V. Louisa Co.
POINDEXTER, George Beskin New Kent Co.
POINDEXTER, Henry New Kent Co.
POINDEXTER, John Louisa Co.
POINDEXTER, John (Commissioner of the Grain Tax) Louisa Co.
POINDEXTER, John Jr. Louisa Co.
POINDEXTER, Joseph (Poyndexter) Bedford Co.
POINDEXTER, Joseph Campbell Co.
POINDEXTER, Nimrod New Kent Co.
POINDEXTER, Philip Mecklenburg Co.
POINDEXTER, Philip Jr. Mecklenburg Co.
POINDEXTER, Thomas Louisa Co.
POINDEXTER, William Louisa Co.
POINDEXTER, William New Kent Co.
POINDEXTER, John, Captain (Military Officer) Louisa Co.
POINDEXTER, Richard, Soldier, Cav.
POINDEXTER, Lovel, Soldier, Inf.
POINDEXTER, Jonathan, Sergeant, Inf., New Kent Co.
POINDEXTER, Gabriel, Soldier, Inf.
POINDEXTER, Jacob, Sergeant, Art.
POINDEXTER, John, Soldier, Cav.
POINDEXTER, Joseph, Cpl.

WAR OF 1812

During the war of 1812 perhaps another dozen Poindexters bore arms, and at least one, Meriweather Poindexter, lost his life in service to his country. He died in the battle of Battle of Raison River. His commander was General William H. Harrison, who would later become a U.S. president.

As Poindexters gave of themselves to the building of a nation, so they would also take part in a later conflict which would threaten to tear it apart. Yet always, they viewed themselves as patriots, and remained true to those beliefs.

Bondville POINDEXTER, 3 Regiment Artillery, Virginia Militia.
Carter B. POINDEXTER, Detachment of Cavalry (1813-14), Virginia Militia.
Bondville POINDEXTER, Capt. SIMS' Co., Artillery, Virginia Militia.
Edward POINDEXTER, 63 Reg't (CHRISTIAN'S) Virginia Militia.
Edwin POINDEXTER, 5 Reg't (MCDOWELL'S) Virginia Militia.
Lewis D. POINDEXTER, 1 Reg't Cav. (HOLCOMBE'S) Virginia Mil.
MAJOR C. POINDEXTER, 2 Reg't (SHARP'S) Virginia Militia.
Nicholas J. POINDEXTER, 40 Regiment Virginia Militia.
Phillip POINDEXTER, 22 Reg't, Virginia Mil.
Richard POINDEXTER, 4 Reg't (GREENHILL'S) Virginia Militia.
Richard A. POINDEXTER, 9 Regiment (BOYD'S) Virginia Militia.
William G. POINDEXTER, 7 Reg't (GRAY'S) Virginia Militia.
Gabriel POINDEXTER, 3 Reg't (DICKINSON'S) Virginia Militia.
George B. POINDEXTER, 1 Corps d'Elite (RANDOLPH'S), Virginia Militia.
John POINDEXTER, 1 Corps d'Elite (RANDOLPH'S) Virginia Militia.
William POINDEXTER, 1 Corps d'Elite (RANDOLPH'S), Virginia Militia.
John POINDEXTER, 8 Reg't (WALL'S) Virginia Militia.
Thomas POINDEXTER, 8 Reg't (WALL'S) Virginia Militia.
John P. POINDEXTER, 52 Reg't (CHRISTIAN'S)Virginia Militia.
Lightfoot POINDEXTER, 52 Reg't (CHRISTIAN'S) Virginia Militia.
Richard POINDEXTER, 1 Reg't (TRUEHEART'S) Virginia Militia.
Thomas POINDEXTER, 1 Reg't (TRUEHEART'S) Virginia Militia.

John POINDEXTER, 5 Reg't (BOOTH'S) East Tennessee Militia.
Samuel POINDEXTER, 1 Reg't (WYNNE'S) W. Tennessee Militia.
Samuel POINDEXTER, 3 Reg't (ROULSTON'S) West Tennessee Mil.

John POINDEXTER, 17 Reg't (FRANCESCO'S) Kentucky Militia
Samuel POINDEXTER, 17 Reg't (FRANCESCO'S) Kentucky Militia.
Merriwether POINDEXTER, 1 Rifle Reg't (ALLEN'S), Kentucky Vols.
Robert POINDEXTER, 13 Reg't (DUDLEY'S) Kentucky Militia.

Francis A. POINDEXTER, 5 Reg't (ATKINSON'S) North Carolina Mil.
William POINDEXTER, 5 Reg't (ATKINSON'S) North Carolina Mil.
Archer POINDEXTER, 8th Regt. 2nd Co - Detached from 2nd Surry Co. Regt.
Francis A. POINDEXTER, Surry Co. 2nd Regt.

1838 INDIAN REMOVAL from North Carolina

General Winfield Scott, Commanding
North Carolina Regiment, Company L, Macon County Volunteers, NC

FLORIDA, Seminole Indian Wars



Harrison S. POINDEXTER, Pvt., Capt. Smith's Co., Col. Fry's Regt. Mounted Volunteers. (NOTE; My great-great uncle, later enlisted in 116th IL Infantry during the Civil War.


C. B. POINDEXTER, Lt., US Navy, Sloop "Falmouth" (NOTE; Son of Carter B. above. Career Navy, later resigned to serve Virginia in the Confederate Navy.)
Clinton POINDEXTER 4th Illinois Infantry
James POINDEXTER 1st Kentucky Cavalry
John POINDEXTER 1st Mississippi Infantry
L. POINDEXTER 1st Kentucky Cavalry
Lawrence POINDEXTER 1st Illinois Foot Volunteers (NOTE; Most probably my great-great uncle, who later moved to Modoc Co. CA.)
Ruben M. POINDEXTER 2nd Illinois Foot Volunteers
Thomas I. POINDEXTER 1st Texas Mounted Volunteers
(illeg.) POINDEXTER 2nd Texas Mounted Volunteers
W. G. POINDEXTER Unit not noted
W. J. POINDEXTER Chevallies Batt'n Texas Mounted Volunteers
William J. POINDEXTER Hill's Company Texas Mounted Volunteers
Zedock POINDEXTER 3rd Regiment Missouri Infantry


Rather than attempting the daunting and possibly impossible task of naming every Poindexter who served in this, America's most defining conflict, please allow me make a brief summary. The full numbers of our family members who wore either Union blue or Confederate gray have never been compiled in one place, and perhaps may never be completely known.

Broadfoot's Roster of Confederate Soldiers lists no less than 192 Poindexters. Even allowing for duplications of names, or men who served in more than one unit, that is still a fair crowd. Sadly, no such roster seems to exist for Union soldiers. However, the fact remains that a remarkable number of us took up arms for this fight, and I believe were probably represented on virtually every major battlefield of the war.

At Gettysburg alone there are believed to have been at least 9 Confederate Poindexters present, several whom of took place in Pickett's Charge on July 3, 1863. During that three-day battle, Capt. James Edward Poindexter of H Co. 38th VA Infantry, Armistead's Brigade, Pickett's Division, was wounded and taken POW. His young brother Sgt. William R. Poindexter, also of H Co., was wounded but numbered among the few to retreat from Pickett's field. Pvt. Pleasant H. Poindexter of G Co. 28th NC Infantry, Pender's Division, was listed WIA, while his brother Pvt. William G. W. Poindexter of the same unit was hit on July 3rd, most likely also during Pickett's Charge, and died two days later. Given the numbers of Virgina troops on that field, it is probable that actual numbers of Poindexters present is much, much higher.

Nor is this to detract in any way from our brave Union lads. While the far greater numbers of Poindexters fought for their Southern homeland, in the generations since the Revolutionary War, there were also many who had moved northward with their families. My gr.gr. grandpa's brother, S. H. POINDEXTER lied about his over-limit 47 years in order to enlist with an Illinois regiment, only to suffer a badly-wrenched ankle which refused to heal, thus ending his brief military career. One George S. POINDEXTER served out his three-year term and was discharged as a 2nd Lieutenant, only to come back as a Private and finish out the war. Brothers John and Randall POINDEXTER served as surgeons for the men in blue. At least two other Union soldiers, Joseph POINDEXTER and Madison POINDEXTER, were freed men in the US Colored Troops, risking terrible peril if they ever fell into the hands of the enemy, yet willing to fight for the magnificent hope represented to them by the Stars and Stripes.

Both sides believed they stood true to the ideals of our Founding Fathers. Both sides felt steadfastly that they fought for a just Cause. And both sides saw young men who wore the battle-honored name of Poindexter pay dearly, in blood and life. We rose to the martial call as our consciences required, and served the flag we felt best served us. We were part and parcel of the creation of this Nation's Democratic process, growing pains and all.


Lawrence Allen POINDEXTER, Private, I Co. 76th Infantry
Earl Chester POINDEXTER, service presently not known
Please note; I do not know of any rosters or databases for soldiers who actually served in this Great War. Draft registrations are not guarantee that they actually were inducted. Therefore I can only begin this roster with my own kinfolks. If you have a Poindexter ancestor whom you know to have served in WWI, I would like to hear from you, that I may here post his name and service.


Major James Noble POINDEXTER, US Army Air Corps. Ace Fighter Pilot, Eighth Air Force.
2nd Lt. Arthur Andrews POINDEXTER, USMC (later Col., retired, deceased.) Decorated for Valor, Wake Island, POW of the Japanese.
Seaman 1st Class Herbert J. POINDEXTER, Jr., USN. Killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec 7, 1941. Purple Heart Medal.
Private Raymond Leroy POINDEXTER, US Army Signal Corps. Survived to become my dad!
2nd Lt. Audry D. POINDEXTER, Texas. 20th Bomber Squadron, 2nd Bomber Group. Died Mar 14 1945, buried Lorraine, France. Purple Heart, Air Medal.
PFC Ernest POINDEXTER, West Virginia. 95th Evacuation Hospital. Died June 26, 1945, buried Lorraine, France.
1st Sgt. Ollie J. POINDEXTER, Indianna. 411th Infantry, 103rd Division. Died Nov 16, 1944, buried Epimal, France. Purple Heart Medal.
1st Lt. William O. POINDEXTER Jr., Georgia. Headquarters 305th Bomber Wing. Missing Aug 17, 1945, Florence, Italy. Air Medal.


E4 Rufus C. POINDEXTER, US Army Reserve. Missing Dec 31 1953. Age 29, North Carolina


Spec 4 Moses Leon POINDEXTER, US Army. Killed in Action 22 May 1967 Age 21, Virginia


PFC Jason T. POINDEXTER, US Marines. Died due to enemy action in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. 12 September 2004 Age 20, Texas

Most Recently

Captain Allen Goodwin "Dex" Poindexter, USN (Pilot), NASA Astronaut
Died On July 1, 2012, due to injuries he received from a personal watercraft accident in Little Sabine Bay off Pensacola Beach, Florida. He was 51.
Astronaut Alan G. Poindexter, USN

To All Who Have Served, THANK YOU. We owe you our faith, our respect, our honored remembrance. We still hear Freedom ring, but let us never forget that it is a fragile old bell, whose tones echo with the voices of all who have laid down their lives to preserve it.

Gloria Atwater

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Jean Poingdestre 1609-1691
George Poingdestre/Poindexter 1627-1690
George Littleton Poindexter, Governor of Mississippi 1779-1853
Reverend James Preston Poindexter 1819- 1907
John A. Poindexter, Colonel, CSA 1825-1869
James E. Poindexter, Captain, CSA 1839-1911
Meredith Poindexter Gentry, Congressman 1809-1866
Joseph Boyd Poindexter, Governor of Hawaii 1869-1951
Time Magazine

Miles Poindexter, Ambassadore 1868-1946
John Marlan Poindexter, Admiral (Retired)
Alan G. Poindexter, Astronaut, USN 1961-2012
John B. Poindexter, Captain, USA
President Obama and John B.Poindexter

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