Retired Army Col. Peyton G. Nevitt, 85, a longtime official of the D.C. National Guard who served as its adjutant general before retiring in 1949, died Dec. 1 at Montgomery General Hospital. He had an aneurysm.
Col. Nevitt first became affiliated with the D.C. National Guard as a civilian employe in the property office in 1912. For a time, in 1917, because the Guard was called to active service, he was in charge of headquarters.
He served in the Army during World War I, then received a commission in the Guard. By 1920 he was a captain in the Quartermaster Corps and later was assistant adjustant general under Maj. Gen. Anton Stefan.
Col. Nevitt also was adjutant general of the 29th "Blue and Gray" Infantry Division before World War II. During World War II, he rose to the post of adjutant general of the 13th Air Force in the Southwest Pacific.
After the war, he became adjutant general of the D.C. National Guard. In the spring of 1949 he became embroiled in what became known as the "Battle of Colonels." He and another Guard colonel, Leroy S. Mann, argued bitterly over who commanded the Guard while its commander, Brig. Gen. Albert L. Cox, was in Europe on a business trip.
Col Nevitt had a letter from Gen. Cox authorizing him to take command of the Guard, but Col. Mann claimed that under military regulations, as senior line commander, he should be acting commander.
The dispute was settled in August 1949 when President Harry S Turman appointed Brig. Gen. William H. Abendroth as the Guard's first fulltime active status commander, arming him with a mandate to stop the feuding between the Guard colonels.
Gen. Abendroth relieved Col. Nevitt of his duties as the Guard's adjutant general on Aug. 19, 1949.
Col. Nevitt was a native of Washington and a resident Clarksburg, Md. He was a graduate of the University of Maryland.
Survivors include two daughters, Catherine Sherwood of Silver Spring, and Anna M. Burkett of Clarksburg; four grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.