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 promoted to the five-star rank of General of the Army during World War II. In addition to their both being promoted to the rank of general officer, Arthur MacArthur Jr. and Douglas MacArthur also share the distinction of having been the first father and son to each be awarded a Medal of Honor.
MacArthur was born in Chicopee Falls, then part of Springfield, Massachusetts. His father was Arthur MacArthur Sr., a Scottish-born American lawyer, judge, and politician who served as the fourth governor of Wisconsin (albeit for only four days) and a judge in Milwaukee.
His mother was Aurelia Belcher (1819–1864), the daughter of a wealthy industrialist Benjamin B. Belcher. From his parents' marriage, he had one brother, Frank. After his mother's death in 1864, his father remarried to Mary E. Willcut.
On August 4, 1862, at the age of 17, his father secured a commission for him as a first lieutenant and appointed as adjutant of 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 awarded 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").
On January 25, 1864, he was promoted to major and about a year and a half later, on May 18, 1865, to lieutenant colonel – shortly before he was mustered out of service on June 10, 1865. In recognition of his gallantry in action he received brevets (honorary promotions) to lieutenant colonel and colonel dated March 15, 1865.
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.
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.
Following the outbreak of the Spanish–American War, MacArthur was serving as the adjutant general of the Third Army Corps in Georgia. In June 1898 he was brevetted to brigadier general in the volunteer army. He was appointed as commanding general of the 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, Eighth Army Corps and led it to victory at the Battle of Manila on August 12, 1898. He was promoted to major general on August 13, 1898.
He led the 2nd Division of Eighth 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 with command of Eighth Corps, replacing General Elwell S. Otis.
He authorized 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 the Regular Army on February 5, 1901.
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 who he had clashed with in the Philippines. He never did realize his dream of commanding the entire Army.
MacArthur retired from the Army on June 2, 1909, having reached the mandatory retirement age of 64. He was one of the last officers on active duty in the Army who had served in the Civil War.
MacArthur was elected a member of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS) in 1868 and was assigned insignia number 648. On May 6, 1908 he was elected commander of the Wisconsin Commandery of MOLLUS. He was elected as the Order's senior vice commander in chief on October 18, 1911, and became the Order's commander in chief upon the death of Rear Admiral George W. Melville on March 17, 1912.
- Arthur MacArthur III (1876–1923), a captain in the Navy who was awarded the Navy Cross in World War I.
- Malcolm MacArthur (1878–1883), who died young of measles.
- Douglas MacArthur (1880–1964), who was born at the Arsenal Barracks in Little Rock, Arkansas
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 the hometown of his mother, Mary Pinkney Hardy, and the site of the Hardy family home Riveredge.
Awards and honors
- Medal of Honor
- Civil War Campaign Medal
- Indian Campaign Medal
- Spanish Campaign Medal
- Philippine Campaign Medal.
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.
Just over eight decades later (1864–1945), 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.
Fort MacArthur, which protected the San Pedro, California, harbor from 1914 until 1974, was named after General Arthur MacArthur. Camp MacArthur, a World War I training camp in Waco, Texas, was also named for the General.
One of MacArthur's fellow officers in the 24th Wisconsin was future United States Senator John L. Mitchell. Mitchell was the father of controversial Army aviator Brigadier General Billy Mitchell. MacArthur's son General Douglas MacArthur was a member of the younger Mitchell's court martial in 1925.
|First Lieutenant||24th Wisconsin||24 August 1862|
|Major||24th Wisconsin||January 25, 1864|
|Brevet Colonel||Volunteers||13 March 1865|
|Lieutenant Colonel||24th Wisconsin||18 May 1865|
|Second Lieutenant||Regular Army||23 February 1866|
|First Lieutenant||Regular Army||24 February 1866|
|Captain||Regular Army||28 July 1866|
|Major||Regular Army||21 July 1889|
|Lieutenant Colonel||Regular Army||26 May 1896|
|Brigadier General||Volunteers||27 May 1898|
|Major General||Volunteers||28 August 1898|
|Brigadier General||Regular Army||2 January 1900|
|Major General||Regular Army||5 February 1901|
|Lieutenant General||Regular Army||15 September 1906|
- 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
- Mustered out of Volunteer service – June 10, 1865
- Colonel, 24th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Union Army – June 13, 1865 (Commissioned but not mustered)
- 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
In popular culture
- MacArthur was portrayed by James Paolleli in the 2012 Filipino film, El Presidente.
- MacArthur was portrayed by Miguel Faustmann in the 2015 Filipino film, General Luna.
- MacArthur was a character in the alternate history novel 1901 by Robert Conroy
- "McArthur, Arthur 1815 - 1896". Wisconsin Historical Society. Archived from the original on February 2, 2014.
- Perret, Geoffrey (1996). Old Soldiers Never Die: The Life of Douglas MacArthur. New York City: Random House, Inc. p. 3. ISBN 9780679428824.
- Wurts, John S. (1945). Pedigrees of the Barons (1942). Brookfield publishing Company. p. 438. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
- Young, Kenneth R. (1994). The General's General: The Life and Times of Arthur Macarthur. Westview Press. p. 4. ISBN 9780813321950. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
- Marble, John Emerson (1943). The New England Historical and Genealogical Register. New England Historic Genealogical Society. p. 343. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
- MacArthur 1964, pp. 13–14.
- James 1970, p. 25.
- James 1970, p. 23.
- "From Turbulence to Tranquility: The Little Rock Arsenal Part 2". MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History. Archived from the original on July 6, 2008. Retrieved May 23, 2010.
- Americancivilwar.com (2010). "Civil War Medal of Honor citations". Americancivilwar.com. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
- Congressional Medal of Honor Society (2010). "MacArthur, Arthur Jr". Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina: Congressional Medal of Honor Society. Retrieved May 23, 2010.
- "Medal of Honor recipients: Civil War (M-Z)". Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, DC: United States Army Center of Military History. May 21, 2010. Archived from the original on June 4, 2010. Retrieved May 23, 2010.
- "Camp MacArthur". Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved April 16, 2012.
- Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army, 1789–1903. Francis B. Heitman. 1903. Volume 1. pg. 652.
- James, D. Clayton (1970). The Years of MacArthur. 1. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0-395-10948-5. OCLC 60070186.
- MacArthur, Douglas (1964). Reminiscences of General of the Army Douglas MacArthur. Annapolis: Bluejacket Books. ISBN 1-55750-483-0. OCLC 220661276.
- Young, Kenneth Ray (1994). The General's General: The Life and Times of Arthur MacArthur. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press. ISBN 0-8133-2195-6.
- "Bio and gravesite photo of Arthur MacArthur Jr". Retrieved September 24, 2010.
- "Civil War Medal of Honor recipients (M-Z)". Medal of Honor citations. United States Army Center of Military History. August 3, 2009. Archived from the original on July 7, 2010. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
- "Photograph on the cover of the New York Tribune, Memorial Day". May 30, 1909. Retrieved September 24, 2010.
Elwell Stephen Otis
| Military Governor of the Philippines
May 5, 1900 – July 4, 1901
William Howard Taft