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 [decorative delimiter] Class of 1873

Vol. III

(Born Ten.)

William H. Carter

(Ap'd at Large)


William Harding Carter, Born Nov. 19, 1851, Nashville, TN.​a

Military History. — Cadet at the Military Academy, July 1, 1868, to June 13, 1873, when he was graduated and promoted in the Army to

Second Lieut., 8th Infantry, June 13, 1873.

Served: on frontier duty at Ft. D. A. Russell, Wy., Sep. 29, 1873, to Feb. 22, 1874, — Scouting, and at Red Cloud Agency, Dak., and Camp Robinson, Neb., to July 13, 1874, — Camp McDowell, Ara., Sep. 28, 1874,

(Transferred to 6th Cavalry, Nov. 28, 1874)

to Jan. 23, 1875, — Camp Verde, Ara., Feb. 13, 1875, to May 28, 1877 (Scouting, May to Nov., 1875, and Apr. to July, 1876), — Camp Apache, Ara., June 9, 1877, to Sep. 1, 1878 (constructing Telegraph Lines, July 13 to Oct. 4, 1877), — Camp Lowell, Ara., Sep. 10, 1878 (Regimental Quartermaster, Apr. 14, 1879, to Apr. 3, 1887), to June 18, 1880,

(First Lieut., 6th Cavalry, Apr. 14, 1879)

Scouting, to Oct. 15, 1880, — on leave of absence, and conducting Recruits to Regiment, to Jan. 4, 1881, — Ft. Lowell, Ara. to June, 1881, — Ft. Apache, Ara., to Sep. 18, 1881, being engaged against the Apaches, Aug. 30 and Sep. 1, 1881, — in the field as Chief Quartermaster and Commissary of the District of Apache, to Oct., 1881, — Fts. Apache and Lowell, Ara., to Dec. 6, 1881, — Ft. Apache, Ara., to Oct. 1, 1882, — Ft. Lowell, Ara., and Scouting, to May 31, 1884, — Ft. Bayard, N. M., to Sep. 1, 1887 (leave of absence, to Oct. 1, 1887), — Recruiting, to Oct. 2,

(Captain, 4th Cavalry, Nov. 20, 1889)

1889, — and Ft. Lewis, Col., Nov. 28, 1889, to –––––.

Vol. IV
[Supplement, Vol. IV: 1890‑1900]

Military History. —

Medal of Honor

for distinguished bravery in action against hostile Apache Indians in rescuing, with the voluntary assistance of two soldiers, the wounded from under a heavy fire of hostile Indians, at Cibicu Creek, Ariz., Aug. 30, 1881; while serving as 1st Lieutenant and Regimental Quartermaster and Acting Adjutant, 6th Cavalry.

Served: Commanding Troop M, 6th Cavalry, Fort Lewis, Colo., Jan. 1 to Sept. 15, 1890, when troop was "skeletonized;" commanding Troop F, Fort Wingate, N. M., to Dec. 1, 1890; in the field, Pine Ridge campaign (Sioux), to Feb. 2, 1891, participating in fight on White River, near mouth of Wounded Knee Creek, S. D., Jan. 1, 1891; Fort Niobrara, Neb., to April 16, 1893; on Board purchasing horses, June 20 to Aug. 17, 1891, at Omaha, Neb.; in the field, Wyoming "Rustler" troubles; with troop at dedication World's Fair, Chicago, Ill., and again on Board purchasing horses, summer and autumn, 1892; Fort Leavenworth, Kan., to March 27, 1897 (Assistant Instructor, Department Cavalry, Infantry and Cavalry School, Sept. 1, 1893 to June 21, 1895);

(Major, Staff —
Asst. Adjutant-General, Jan. 29, 1897)

duty in A. G. O. March 29, 1897 to ––––

(Lieut.‑Colonel, Staff —
Asst. Adjutant-General, May 18, 1898)

Vol. V
[Supplement, Vol. V: 1900‑1910]

Military History. — Duty connected with army legislation resulting in Acts of March 2, 1899​b and Feb. 2, 1901.​c — Prepared scheme of establishment of garrison schools and co‑ordinating them with service schools and war colleges, 1901.

 p209  (Colonel, Staff — Asst. Adjutant-General, April 15, 1902)

— Member first War College Board July 1, 1902, — Detailed to act as Adjutant-General of the Army during absence of Adjutant-General in Europe, July 22, 1902.

(Brig.‑General, U. S. A., July 15, 1902)

— Submitted scheme for establishment of training school for farriers and blacksmiths, 1902. — Prepared legislation for establishment of General Staff, 1903. — Extract from Annual Report, Secretary of War:

"Special credit is due to Brigadier-General William H. Carter for the exceptional ability and untiring industry which he has contributed to the work of devising, bringing about and putting into operation the general staff law. He brought thorough and patient historical research and wide experience, both in the line and the staff, to the aid of long-continued, anxious and concentrated thought upon the problem of improving military administration, and if the new system shall prove to be an improvement the gain to the country will have been largely due to him."

— Commanding Department Visayas, P. I., 1904‑05. — Command of troops engaged in suppressing Pulajan insurrection, Samar, 1905. — Leave in China and Japan, Nov. and Dec., 1905. — Commanding Department of Lakes, Feb., 1906 to Nov., 1908. — Commanding Camps of Instruction for Army and National Guard, Indianapolis, Ind., 1906 and 1908. — Commanding Department of the Missouri, Dec., 1908 to Jan. 27, 1909. — En route to and in the Philippines, Commanding Department of, Jan. 27, 1909 to –––––.

(Major-General, U. S. A., Nov. 13, 1909)

Vol. VI
[Supplement, Vol. VI: 1910‑1920]

(William Harding Carter, Born Nov. 19, 1851)

Military History. —

Medal of Honor

Brigadier-General, U. S. A., July 15, 1902.

Commanding Philippine Division, April 6‑23, 1909, and Department of Luzon, April 6, 1909, to

(Major-General, U. S. A., Nov. 13, 1909)

March 15, 1910; General Staff, Feb. 17, 1910; en route to U. S., March 15, 1910: Acting Chief of Staff, June 8 to July 23, 1910; Member Joint Board, Army and Navy, July 30, 1910; assigned as Aide-de‑Camp to President of Chile during his visit to U. S., August, 1910;​d at San Antonio, Texas, commanding Division (14 regiments), March 7 to Aug. 3, 1911; relieved from General Staff Corps and assigned to command of Central Division, Aug. 27, 1912; on leave of absence, Aug. 27 to Dec. 3, 1912, during which time he was employed in writing The American Army; commanded Central Division, Dec. 5, 1912, to Feb. 6, 1913, when its title was changed to Central Department; at Texas City and Galveston, Texas, commanding 2nd Division to Feb. 1, 1914;​e relinquished command of Central Department Feb. 28, 1914; in Hawaii, commanding Hawaiian Department, March 13, 1914, to Nov. 5, 1915; en route to U. S., Nov. 5‑13, 1915;

Major-General, U. S. A., Retired, Nov. 19, 1915,
By Operation of Law.

At Washington, D. C., on duty with Senate Military Committee, assisting in preparation of National Defense Act which subsequently became a law, and for these services receiving letter of thanks from Chairman of Committee, Jan. 19 to June 1, 1916; recalled to active service; at Chicago, Ill., in command of Central Department, comprising fifteen states, and engaged in fitting out and moving to camps and cantonments about 150,000 troops, Aug. 26, 1917, to March 20, 1918; President of Board to examine General Officers as to fitness for overseas service, March, 1918, to June 3, 1918, when he was relieved from active duty, having on June 2nd completed fifty years of service in the Regular Army.


Distinguished Service Medal

"For especially meritorious and conspicuous services as department commander, Central Department, between August 26, 1917, and March 13, 1918. He handled many difficult problems arising in that department with rare judgment, tact and great skill."

 p187  Civil History. — Awarded prize, Reeve Memorial Essay, 1914; awarded silver medal, Military Service Institution, for Essay, Can the General Staff Fulfill its Mission, 1917; and again awarded silver medal for Essay, "Prophets of Preparedness," 1917; author of Horses, Saddles and Bridles; From Yorktown to Santiago with the Sixth Cavalry; Old Army Sketches; Giles Carter of Virginia (Genealogical memoirs); The American Army; Life of Lieutenant-General Chaffee, 1918; contributor to magazines and encyclopedias.

Vol. VII
[Supplement, Vol. VII: 1920‑1930]

Military History: —

Medal of Honor

Distinguished Service Medal

Major-General, U. S. A., Retired, Nov. 19, 1915,
By Operation of Law.

Died, May 24, 1925, at Washington, D. C.: Aged 73.

Portrait and obituary in Annual Report, Association of Graduates, for 1926.

Buried, Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA.

Thayer's Notes:

a Gen. Carter's birthplace is from his AOG obituary.

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b See Ganoe, The History of the United States Army, pp399‑400.

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c See Ganoe, The History of the United States Army, pp411‑413.

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d The man was Pedro Montt, one of the great Presidents of that country; for his life, see Galdames, History of Chile, pp289‑304). A very ill man, he was on his way from Chile to Germany for treatment, a trip which at the time required a change of ships in New York. President Montt died in Bremen within a few hours of landing.

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e A show of force to forestall troubles on the Mexican border, then as now a flashpoint; see Ganoe, The History of the United States Army, p446.

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