Museum presents Col. Michael McCarthy, Capt. Charles Bendier


WALLA WALLA — Fort Walla Walla, 755 Myra Road. will present Col. Michael McCarthy, portrayed by Robert Bennett at 2 p.m. Saturday and Capt. Charles Bendier, portrayed by Patrick Brennan at 2 p.m. Sunday.

Fort Walla Walla and the townspeople living nearby had a relationship that was sometimes difficult to keep on good footing.

During the 1860s and 1870s, the town filled with travelers to the gold fields in Orofino, Idaho, as well as others less reluctant to challenge local authority.

Laws were often trampled. The difference between military justice and civilian justice often caused controversy.

Michael McCarthy was a soldier stationed at Fort Walla Walla with the 1st U.S. Calvary. As a Sergeant during the Nez Perce War in 1877, he was involved in the fierce struggle at Whitebird Canyon near Lewiston, where the cavalry lost 34 men.

He was later awarded a Medal of Honor for his heroism in saving many troopers’ lives during that battle, and retired in Walla Walla as a colonel.

Charles Emil Bendire, was born April 27, 1936, in Germany. He came to the United States in 1853 and enlisted in the Army at 18. He was promoted to captain in 1873. Most of his service was in the West He also served in the Army of the Potomac during the Civil War.

He came to Fort Walla Walla in 1878 and stayed until transferred to Fort Klamath, Ore., in 1882.

He developed skills in identifying and collecting bird eggs, and began sending his findings to the National Museum. Three species of birds are dedicated to him as well as is one mammal, a fish and three fossil trees.

He went on the become the honorary curator at the U.S. National Museum and organized the collection of eggs there. He presented his personal collection of more than 8,000 eggs to the Museum.

He gathered his observations into a book “Life Histories of North American Birds.”

He died Feb. 4, 1897.

Call Fort Walla Walla Museum at 509-525-7703 or email


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