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Adams, Charles (19 December 1845–19 August 1895), soldier and diplomat, was born Karl Adam Schwanbeck in Anclam, Pomerania, Germany, the son of Karl Heinrich Schwanbeck, a cabinetmaker, and Maria J. Markman. Adams was educated at the Gymnasium in Anclam and graduated with very high marks, especially in Greek, Hebrew, and Latin. Soon after his graduation in 1862, he moved to the United States. He had not been in the New World long before he enlisted in the Union army, serving in the Sixth Massachusetts Regiment. He fought in the Civil War for the remainder of the conflict and was wounded two times....

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Bacon, Robert (05 July 1860–29 May 1919), banker, diplomat, and soldier, was born in Jamaica Plain near Boston, Massachusetts, the son of William Benjamin Bacon and Emily Crosby Low. Raised in an old Massachusetts family long prominent in business, he was educated at Hopkinson’s School and at Harvard, graduating in 1880. Although his intellectual abilities were considerable, he won attention for his athletic ability, personality, and good looks, as he would throughout life. After graduation he traveled around the world, then joined the banking firm of Lee, Higginson, and Company. In 1883 he became a member of E. Rollins Morse and Brother. That year he married Martha Waldron Cowdin; they were the parents of three sons and a daughter....

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Bliss, Tasker Howard (31 December 1853–09 November 1930), soldier, scholar, and diplomat, was born in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, the son of George Ripley Bliss, a Baptist clergyman and professor at Lewisburg Academy (now Bucknell University), and Mary Ann Raymond. After attending Lewisburg Academy for two years, Tasker Bliss was admitted to West Point, where he excelled in foreign languages and finished eighth in his class in 1875. After graduating, he was assigned to the First Artillery in Savannah, Georgia. The next year he returned to West Point for a four-year tour as an instructor in modern languages. His grasp of other tongues included not only his beloved Greek, which he studied relentlessly, but also Latin, French, Spanish, Italian, and Russian. The Custer massacre in 1876 prompted him to request active duty at a frontier post, but Major General ...

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McCoy, Frank Ross (29 October 1874–04 June 1954), soldier and diplomat, was born in Lewistown, Pennsylvania, the son of Thomas Franklin McCoy, an attorney, and Margaret Eleanor Ross. Inspired by his father’s volunteer service in both the Mexican War and the Civil War, McCoy decided at an early age to become a soldier. Appointed to West Point, McCoy graduated with the class of 1897 and was commissioned a second lieutenant of cavalry. One year later, he was deployed to Cuba with the expedition that was mounted to liberate that island from Spanish rule. On 1 July 1898 McCoy was wounded at Kettle Hill. Following convalescence in the United States, he returned in 1899 to Cuba, where he became an aide and staff officer of General ...

Article

Scott, Hugh Lenox (23 September 1853–30 April 1934), soldier and diplomat, was born in Danville, Kentucky, the son of William McKendry Scott, a Presbyterian minister, and Mary Elizabeth Hodge. After William Scott’s death, the family moved, and Hugh Scott was reared in Princeton, New Jersey, attending Edgehill and Lawrenceville academies before graduating from the U.S. Military Academy in 1876. Until 1898 most of his service was on the frontier in the West, where he became a keen student of Indian customs and a leading expert on the Indian sign language. In 1880 he married Mary Merrill, daughter of General Lewis Merrill. The couple had five children....

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Hugh Lenox Scott. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-107734).

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Smith, Walter Bedell (05 October 1895–09 August 1961), military officer, ambassador, and government official, was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, the son of William Long Smith and Ida Francis Bedell, who earned a comfortable living as silk buyers. A relative had fought in every American war since the Revolution, and all that Bedell, as he was called from childhood, ever wanted to be was an army officer. An exceptionally bright but indifferent student who trained as a machinist at vocational high school, he lacked the influence to secure an appointment to West Point. The day he turned sixteen, therefore, Smith enlisted in the Indiana National Guard. Within a year he was made company sergeant, and in 1916 he accompanied the expedition to Mexico....

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Walter Bedell Smith Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-93383).