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About Arthur MacArthur, Jr.
Lieutenant General Arthur MacArthur, Jr. (June 2, 1845–September 5, 1912), was a United States Army General. He became the military Governor-General of the American-occupied Philippines in 1900 but his term ended a year later due to clashes with the civilian governor, future President William Howard Taft. His son, Douglas MacArthur, was one of only five men ever to be promoted to the five-star rank of General of the Army. In addition to their both being promoted to the rank of general officer, Arthur MacArthur, Jr. and Douglas MacArthur also shared the distinction of having been the first father and son to each be awarded a Medal of Honor.
Born in Chicopee Falls, then part of Springfield, Massachusetts, MacArthur was the father of General Douglas MacArthur, as well as Arthur MacArthur III, a captain in the Navy who was awarded the Navy Cross in World War I. His own father, Arthur MacArthur, Sr., was the fourth governor of Wisconsin (albeit for only four days) and a judge in Milwaukee.
At the outbreak of the Civil War, he was living in Wisconsin and immediately joined the 24th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment, seeing action at Chickamauga, Stones River, Chattanooga, the Atlanta Campaign and Franklin.
At the Battle of Missionary Ridge on November 25, 1863 during the Chattanooga Campaign, the 18-year-old MacArthur inspired his regiment by seizing and planting the regimental flag on the crest of Missionary Ridge at a particularly critical moment, shouting "On Wisconsin." For these actions, he was recommended for the Medal of Honor. He was brevetted colonel in the Union Army the following year. Only 19 years old at the time, he became nationally recognized as "The Boy Colonel" (not to be confused with Henry K. Burgwyn, known as the "Boy Colonel of the Confederacy"). 27 years later, MacArthur was finally awarded the Medal of Honor for his acts of valor during the Battle of Missionary Ridge.
With the conclusion of the Civil War in June 1865, MacArthur resigned his commission and began the study of law. After just a few months, however, he decided this was not a good fit for him, so he resumed his career with the Army. He was recommissioned on February 23, 1866 as a second lieutenant in the Regular Army's U.S. 17th Infantry Regiment, with a promotion the following day to first lieutenant. Because of his outstanding record of performance during the Civil War, he was promoted in September of that year to captain. However, he would remain a captain for the following two decades, as promotion was slow in the small peacetime army.
Between 1866 and 1884, Captain MacArthur and his wife (Mary Pinkney Hardy MacArthur) completed assignments in Pennsylvania, New York, Utah Territory, Louisiana, and Arkansas. Three children were born during this time:
Arthur MacArthur III (born on August 1, 1876) Malcolm MacArthur (born October 17, 1878, died 1883 of measles) Douglas MacArthur (born January 26, 1880), at the Arsenal Barracks in Little Rock, Arkansas
In 1884, MacArthur became the post commander of Fort Selden, in New Mexico. The following year, he took part in the campaign against Geronimo. In 1889, he was promoted to Assistant Adjutant General of the Army with the rank of major, and was promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1897.
During the first part of the Spanish American War, MacArthur was serving as the adjutant general of the III Corps in Georgia. In June, 1898 he was promoted to a temporary Brigadier General in the volunteer army and commanded the Third Philippine Expedition. When he arrived in the Philippines he took command of the 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, VIII Corps and led it at the Battle of Manila (1898). He was appointed Major General of volunteers when the Spanish-American War ended.
MacArthur was stationed in the Dakota Territory when the Spanish-American War broke out in 1898 and was commissioned a Brigadier General of U.S. Volunteers. He led the U.S. 2nd Division, VIII Corps during the Philippine-American War at the Battle of Manila (1899), the Malolos campaign and the Northern Offensive. When the American occupation of the Philippines turned from conventional battles to guerrilla warfare, MacArthur commanded the Department of Northern Luzon. In January 1900, he was appointed Brigadier General in the regular army and was appointed military governor of the Philippines and assumed command of the VIII Corps, replacing General Elwell S. Otis.
He authorised the expedition, under General Frederick Funston, that resulted in the capture of Emilio Aguinaldo. MacArthur persuaded the captured Aguinaldo to cease fighting and to swear allegiance to the United States. He was promoted to major general in 1902.
After the war, President William McKinley named him Military Governor of the Philippines, but the following year, William Howard Taft was appointed as Civilian Governor. Taft and MacArthur clashed frequently. So severe were his difficulties with Taft over U.S. military actions in the war that MacArthur was eventually relieved and transferred to command the Department of the Pacific, where he was promoted to lieutenant general.
Return to the United States
In the years that followed, he was assigned to various stateside posts and in 1905 was sent to Manchuria to observe the final stages of the Russo-Japanese War and served as military attaché to the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. He returned to the U.S. in 1906 and resumed his post as Commander of the Pacific Division. That year the position of Army Chief of Staff became available and he was then the highest ranking officer in the Army as a lieutenant general (three stars). However, he was passed over by Secretary of War William Howard Taft. He never did realize his dream of commanding the entire Army.
MacArthur retired from the Army on June 2, 1909, the day that he turned 64. On September 5, 1912, he went to Milwaukee to address a reunion of his Civil War unit. While on the dais, he suffered a heart attack and died there, aged 67. He was originally buried in Milwaukee on Monday, September 7, 1912, but was moved to Section 2 of Arlington National Cemetery in 1926. He is buried among other members of the family there, while his son, Douglas chose to be buried in Norfolk, Virginia.
Awards and honors
Military awards and decorations include the Civil War Campaign Medal, Indian Campaign Medal, Spanish Campaign Medal, Philippine Campaign Medal, and the Medal of Honor. Fort MacArthur, which protected the San Pedro, California harbor from 1914 until 1974, was named after General Arthur MacArthur
Medal of Honor citation
Rank and Organization:
First Lieutenant, and Adjutant, 24th Wisconsin Infantry. Place and date: At Missionary Ridge, Tenn., November 25, 1863. Entered service at: Milwaukee, Wis. Birth: Springfield, Mass. Date of issue: June 30, 1890. Citation:
"Seized the colors of his regiment at a critical moment and planted them on the captured works on the crest of Missionary Ridge". Just over four decades later, his son, Douglas MacArthur, would also gain fame for leading U.S forces to victory in the Philippines. Arthur MacArthur, Jr. and Douglas MacArthur were the first father and son ever to each be awarded a Medal of Honor. To date, the only other father and son to be given this honor are former President Theodore Roosevelt and his son, Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.
First Lieutenant, 24th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Union Army-August 4, 1862 Major, 24th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Union Army-January 25, 1864 Brevet Lieutenant Colonel and Brevet Colonel-March 13, 1865 Lieutenant Colonel, 24th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Union Army-May 18, 1865 Colonel, 24th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Union Army-June 13, 1865-Commissioned but not mustered
United States Army
Second Lieutenant-February 23, 1866 First Lieutenant-February 24, 1866 Captain-July 28, 1866 Major-July 1, 1889 Lieutenant Colonel-May 26, 1896 Brigadier General of Volunteers-May 27, 1898 Major General of Volunteers-August 13, 1898 Brigadier General (Regular Army)-January 2, 1900 Major General-February 5, 1901 Lieutenant General-September 15, 1906
Lt. Gen. Arthur MacArthur, Jr.'s Timeline
June 2, 1845
Chicopee Falls, Hampden, Massachusetts, United States
May 19, 1875
New Orleans, LA
October 17, 1878
New Britain, Hartford, Connecticut, United States
January 26, 1880
Little Rock, Pulaski County, Arkansas, United States
September 5, 1912
Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
Arlington, VA, USA