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The text that follows is reproduced from (the report of the) Sixty-first Annual Reunion of the Association of the Graduates of the United States Military Academy, June 11, 1930.

 p234 

[image ALT: A half-length photograph of a man of about 50 in a U. S. Army uniform, seated. He has flat wavy hair parted in the middle and a discreet brush moustache and looks straight at the camera with a gentle and alert expression. He wears six medals hanging from ribbons over his left breast, and a military cross from his neck. He is Dwight Edward Aultman, the subject of this webpage.]

Dwight Edward Aultman

 p235  Dwight Edward Aultman
No. 3576 Class of 1894
Died at Walter Reed Hospital, Washington, D. C., December 12, 1929,
aged 57 years.

Dwight Edward Aultman was a product of the Keystone State, being born in Alleghany, Pennsylvania, February 2, 1872, and receiving his early education in the public schools and high school of that city. In the year 1890, he found himself the proud possessor of an appointment to the Military Academy from his state and district, and four years later he graduated, Number 14 in a class of fifty-four members. Throughout his academic career, he maintained very creditable grades in his studies, particularly in drawing in which he excelled; a generous share of demerits for petty irregularities; and reached the rank of cadet-lieutenant in his graduating year. He took a wholesome interest in cadet athletics, particularly football, played on the varsity team against the Navy, and won his coveted letter "A". He continued this interest in football throughout his life, and when subsequently stationed at Fort Warren, Mass., as a lieutenant, played on the team of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Commissioned temporarily, Second Lieutenant of Cavalry, he was transferred to the 2nd Artillery, September 13, 1894, and did garrison duty at several posts, including Fort Riley, where he saw his first service with field artillery, his future specialty. Then came the Spanish War of 1898, and he was lucky enough to accompany our first overseas expedition to Santiago-de‑Cuba, serving with the Second Artillery throughout the battle of San Juan Hill, and in the subsequent siege of the city of Santiago. Many years year, Aultman was awarded a silver star citation for gallantry in these battle operations.

Followed, a return to the United States, and later brief periods of service as aide-de‑camp to Generals Wheaton and Keiffer in Cuba, with regimental duty in Havana until August 1, 1901. Meanwhile, he had been promoted 1st Lieutenant, 2d Field Artillery, March 2, 1899, and Captain, Artillery Corps, July 1, 1901. Then, came a great opportunity: He was designated to organize, command, and train the first Cuban artillery, and during the next five or six years, was indefatigable in this important work, which involved personal translation of our training regulations into Spanish, and their application to new officers and troops. Here began also, Aultman's proficiency in Spanish, and the inception of making that language the language of his household — a practice continued until the day of his death,  p236 parents and three children using no other tongue among themselves. This facility brought about Aultman's detail as instructor, Department of Languages, Fort Leavenworth, 1907 to 1911. He attained his majority, May 3, 1911, served in the Philippines with the 1st Field Artillery, 1911‑13 in Hawaii until September, 1913, and at the School of Fire, Fort Sill, until November of the same year.

His reputation as an artillerist was such that with the outbreak of the World War, Major Aultman was sent to Germany as an observer, 1914‑15, and, returning to the United States, became a student-officer and an instructor at the Army War College, 1915‑17. He had attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and of Colonel in the years 1916 and 1917, and during June-July of the latter year, was honored by appointment as aide to the Honorable Arthur J. Balfour, during the latter's return to England from his mission to the United States.

Colonel Aultman was not long kept idle after our entry into the World War, and in October, 1917, joined the 5th Field Artillery at Camp du Valdahon, France, commanding and fighting his regiment until April, 1918 on the Lunéville front, in the Toul Sector, and in Picardy (opposite Montdidier). His appointment as Brigadier General, N. A., followed April 12, 1918, and he brilliantly commanded the 51st Field Artillery Brigade in the Toul Sector, in the operations west of Chateau-Thierry, and in the Marne-Vesle offensive. For his splendid artillery support of the infantry of the 29th and 42nd Divisions during these important operations, the French awarded General Aultman the Croix-de‑Guerre, with Palms.

Thereafter, he took part with his command in the St. Mihiel offensive, commanded the Aisne Grouping, 1st Army Artillery, in the first stages of the Meuse-Argonne offensive, and became Chief of Artillery, 5th Army Corps, in the final operations until the Armistice, — being appointed Chief of Artillery, 2nd Army, December 1, 1918. The importance attached to his work by the American High Command, is shown in the citation wording of the Distinguished Service Medal awarded him:

"For exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services. As Chief of Artillery, of the 5th Corps, in the operations against the enemy in November, 1918, by his exceptional skill as an artillerist he was largely responsible for the rupture of the enemy's position, and the breaking of his resistance."

Returning to the United States and reverting to his peace-rank of Colonel, Aultman was a student at the Army War College, 1919‑p23720, a member of the War Department General Staff Corps until 1921, and received appointment as a permanent Brigadier General, U. S. Army, in the latter year, commanding the 10th Infantry Brigade, the post of Fort Benjamin Harrison, Ind., and Camp Knox, Ky. In the summer of 1927, he was ordered to command the 4th Brigade, 2nd Division, at Fort D. A. Russell, Wyo., and in February, 1928, became Commandant of the Field Artillery School, at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. This was his last duty. The Senior Brigadier General in the Army he died, after a prolonged illness at Walter Reed Hospital, Washington, December 12, 1929, surrounded by a sorrowing family — Mrs. Alma Hickok Aultman, sister of the late Colonel Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Howard R. Hickok, U. S. A.; Edith, wife of Captain Mark H. Doty, F. A.; and Anita, wife of Lieutenant Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Robert A. Howard, Infantry. A son, Dwight E. Aultman, Jr., Oklahoma City, Okla., was prevented by time and distance from being present at his father's bedside.

In his long and distinguished career, marked by unflagging industry, keen ability, and brilliant accomplishment, it was one of General Aultman's traits of character, never to shirk responsibility. It is related of him that at the time of the great fire and earthquake in San Francisco, Aultman, a subaltern, seeing that a large section south of Market Street was being rapidly isolated and destroyed by the flames, took half a dozen soldiers and forcibly drove the residents from their doomed homes, assembled them in the yards of the Southern Pacific Railroad, and assumed the responsibility of feeding some 7,000 refugees, for a number of days, from food-stuffs secured by breaking open the railroad warehouses. Later, fortunately, the owners of the supplies were reimbursed from public relief funds.

Upon announcement of General Aultman's death, the press of the country gave much space to his passing. The Army and Navy Journal, Army and Navy Registrar, the New York Times, and the New York Herald-Tribune, contained biographical sketches, outlining his distinguished service for the country, — The Tribune stating that "he had one of the most distinguished records of any officer in the Army"; and that "as an artillerist, General Aultman was among the most distinguished in the military service." The Indianapolis News stated editorially that, "in the death of Brigadier General Dwight E. Aultman, the army lost an artillery officer who stood second to none in the world." And again, that Aultman "won his way in the Army by his professional distinction, and in civilian affairs by his cordial manner, genuine enthusiasm for community betterment, and capacity for friendship." He was a member of Hancock Lodge, Fort Leavenworth, A. F. & A. M., Army Consistory  p238 Number 1, of which he was a charter member, and was a Shriner of Lulu Temple, Philadelphia.

Interment, with the highest military honors took place at Arlington National Cemetery, attended by a large number of officials and friends, the honorary pall-bearers being fellow-officers of distinguished service, headed by the Chief of Staff of the Army.

Thus lived and died an able and accomplished officer and gentleman, a devoted husband and father, and a loyal friend to many, in every walk of life. In that anxious period in the army hospital when the days lengthened into weeks and the weeks into months, it required more than ordinary fortitude to face the uncertainties of the disease with which Aultman was afflicted. And when uncertainty became certainty, and he felt the presence of the Grim Reaper, he accepted it with the physical and moral courage which marked all his battle experience, and passed to the Great Beyond, a smile on his lips, upholding the loftiest traditions of his beloved alma mater.

Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Charles D. Rhodes


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Page updated: 30 Jan 18