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Arthur MacArthur

Awarded Congressional Medal of Honor.
Civil War Lieutenant at 17.

The life of Arthur Macarthur is overshadowed by the brilliant career of his son Douglas, Commander in Chief of the Allied Forces in the Pacific during World War II. However, father Arthur’s career is nearly as remarkable if not nearly so flamboyant. ■ Arthur MacArthur was born June 2, 1845, in Springfield, Massachusetts. His father came to Massachusetts with his widowed mother from Scotland in 1825. His father was a distinguished lawyer and federal judge. At age 17, Arthur was commissioned a second lieutenant in the 24th Wisconsin Infantry at the outbreak of the Civil War. He saw action in several campaigns and was mentioned in dispatches for gallantry and meritorious service. ■ At age 20, he was promoted to the rank of colonel. Macarthur was cited for bravery at the Battle of Missionary Ridge and was given the nation’s highest military award, the Congressional Medal of Honor. ■ For the next 20 years he was stationed in the West and Southwest where he took part in several Indian campaigns. When the Spanish-American War broke out, he was appointed general and assigned to the Philippine Islands. He was later commissioned a major general and appointed military governor of the Philippines. ■ In 1906 he was made assistant chief of staff of the U.S. Army with the rank of lieutenant general. During the Russo-Japanese War (1905), he served as a special observer. ■ He retired from active service in 1909 and died in Milwaukee on September 5, 1912. Arthur Clayton James said, “Few families in American history have produced more capable leaders in three successive generations than the MacArthurs.”

Wayne Rethford, President Emeritus
Illinois Saint Andrew Society
Scottish-American History Club
2800 Des Plaines Avenue
North Riverside, IL 60546