• West Point Class 1886
  • Commanded the Gordon Scouts mounted infantry in Panay

    U.S.M.A. Class of 1886

    Vol. III
    p401 3148 - (Born Mis.) - Walter H. Gordon - (Ap'd La.) - 52

    Military History. — Cadet at the Military Academy, July 1, 1882, to July 1, 1886, when he was graduated and promoted in the Army to

    Second Lieut., 12th Infantry, July 1, 1886.

    Served: in garrison at Madison Barracks, N. Y., Sep. 23, 1886, to July 25, 1887; and on frontier duty at Ft. Yates, N. Dak., to –––––.

    Vol. IV
    p430 [Supplement, Vol. IV: 1890-1900]

    Military History. — Served: at Fort Yates, N. D., to Nov. 19, 1890; under instruction at the Torpedo School, Willet's Point, N. Y., Dec. 1, 1890 to Oct. 1, 1891; garrison duty at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., Nov. 4, 1891

    (First Lieut. of Infantry, 18th Infantry, Nov. 30, 1892)

    to June 6, 1893; on duty at Chicago, Ill., with the World's Columbian Exposition, June 16, 1893 to March 31, 1894; garrison duty at Fort Bliss, Tex., May 2 to Sept. 10, 1894; Professor of Military Science and Tactics at the Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, La., Sept. 14, 1894 to Sept. 1, 1895; garrison duty at Fort Sam Houston, Tex., to Dec. 16, 1896; Professor of Military Science and Tactics at the Delaware College, Newark, Del., Jan. 26, 1897 to April, 1898; on mustering duty in Delaware to June, 1898;

    (Major, 1st Delaware Volunteer Infantry, June 29, 1898)

    (Colonel, 1st Delaware Volunteer Infantry, Sept. 21, 1898)

    with regiment at Middletown, Del., June to Aug. 20, 1898, at Camp Meade, Pa., to Oct. 3, 1898, and at Wilmington, Del., until

    (Honorably mustered out of Volunteer Service, Nov. 16, 1898)

    — On leave, Dec. 2, 1898 to Jan. 25, 1899;

    (Captain of Infantry, 18th Infantry, March 2, 1899)

    en route to and with regiment in the Philippines to –––––

    Vol. V
    p393 [Supplement, Vol. V: 1900-1910]

    Military History. — Served: En route to join regiment (18th Infantry), in Philippine Islands, Jan. 16 to March 25, 1899 Quartermaster and Commissary, U. S. A. Transport Senator, Jan. 26 to March 23, 1899.

    (Captain, 18th Infantry, March 2, 1899)

    — With regiment, commanding company, March 25, 1899 to Nov. 8, 1899; participated in campaign against insurgents on Island of Panay, from March 25, 1899 to Sept. 16, 1901; absent, sick in United States, from Aug. 7, 1900 to Dec. 6, 1900; en route to join regiment, Dec. 7, 1900 to Feb. 23, 1901; Quartermaster and Commissary, U. S. A. Transport Thyra, Dec. 13, 1900 to Feb. 20, 1901; joined regiment at Iloilo, Panay, P. I., Feb. 23, 1901; on D. S., commanding Detachment of Mounted Scouts, 18th Infantry, Nov. 9, 1899 to June 23, 1900, and from Feb. 23, 1901 to Sept. 10, 1901; with regiment, commanding company, from Sept. 10, 1901 to May 11, 1903; at Iloilo, Panay, P. I., Sept. 11 to 15, 1901; en route to Fort D. A. Russell, Sept. 16 to Oct. 24, 1901; at Fort D. A. Russell, Wyo., Oct. 25, 1901 to March 18, 1903; (with regiment at Fort Riley maneuvers, Sept. 20, Oct. 9, 1902); en route to Philippine Islands, March 19 to May 5, 1903; at Camp Bumpus, Leyte, May 6 to 11, 1903; on D. S., at Iloilo, P. I., Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Headquarters, Department of the Visayas, May 12, 1903 to May 5, 1904; Regimental Adjutant, May 6, 1904 to Nov. 30, 1907; at Camp Bumpus, P. I., May 6, 1904 to Jan. 4, 1905; en route to Fort Leavenworth, Kas., Jan. 5 to Feb. 27, 1905; at Fort Leavenworth, Kas., Feb. 28, 1905 to Sept. 29, 1907; (maneuvers, Fort Riley, Kas., July 19, 1906 to Sept. 30, 1906); en route to Philippine Islands, Sept. 30 to Nov. 3, 1907; absent, sick in Division Hospital and at Los Banos, Nov. 4 to Nov. 30, 1907; detailed on General Staff, Nov. 25, 1907; resigned appointment of Regimental Adjutant, Nov. 30, 1907; sick in hospital, Los Banos, Dec. 1 and 2, 1907; at Headquarters, Philippines Division, in Office of the Chief of Staff, Dec. 3, 1907 to –––––; in charge of the Military Information Division, Feb. 15, 1908 to –––––.

    Vol. VI
    p436 [Supplement, Vol. VI: 1910-1920]

    (Walter Henry Gordon, Born June 24, 1863.)

    Military History. —

    Captain, 18th Infantry, March 2, 1899.

    At Hdqrs. Philippines Division, in office of Chief of Staff, Dec. 3, 1907, to Feb. 14, 1908; in charge of Military Information Division, Feb. 15 to Nov. 14, 1908; en route to Washington, D. C., Nov. 15 to Dec. 24, 1908; at Army War College, with Military Information Division, General Staff, Dec. 25, 1908, to

    (Major, 2d Infantry, March 23, 1909)

    (Transferred to 18th Infantry, April 15, 1909)

    May 2, 1909; sick May 3, 1909, to March 13, 1910; at Washington, D. C., in office of Inspector-General, March 14 to April 1, 1910;

    (Inspector-General, by Detail, April 2, 1910)

    at St. Paul, Minn., Inspector-General, Department of Dakota, April 3, 1910, to July 4, 1911; at Washington, D. C., in office of Inspector-General, July 26, 1911, to Aug. 14, 1913, when he was relieved from detail as Inspector-General;

    (Assigned to 3d Infantry, Aug. 15, 1913)

    student officer, Army War College, Aug. 15, 1913, to June 30, 1914; on leave of absence to July 31, 1914; at Madison Bks., N. Y., commanding 3rd Infantry, Aug. 1 to 1914;º en route to Plattsburg Bks., N. Y., and return, commanding regiment during maneuvers, Aug. 20 to

    (Lieut.-Colonel, 3d Infantry, Sept. 13, 1914)

    Oct. 3, 1914; at Madison Bks., with 3rd Infantry, to Aug. 20, 1915;

    (Transferred to 27th Infantry, Sept. 1, 1915)

    on leave of absence to Sept. 30, 1915; en route to Philippines to Nov. 5, 1915; at Manila, with 8th Infantry, commanding Cuartel de España, Nov. 6, 1915, to March 5, 1916, and with 27th Infantry, March 6 to

    (Colonel of Infantry, July 1, 1916)

    July 31, 1916; at Fort William McKinley, P. I., organized 31st Infantry, and on duty with same, Aug. 1, 1916, to June 29, 1917;

    (Transferred to 15th Infantry, June 30, 1917)

    en route to Tientsin, China, June 30 to July 6, 1917; at Tientsin, commanding 15th Infantry, July 7 to

    (Brigadier-General, National Army, Aug. 5, 1917)

    Aug. 31, 1917, and commanding Post and China Expedition, Aug. 14 to Sept. 13, 1917; en route to Camp Meade, Md., Sept. 14 to Oct. 17, 1917; at Camp Meade, commanding Depot Brigade, Oct. 18 to Dec. 27, 1917; p437 at Chickamauga Park, Ga., commanding 10th Infantry Brigade, 5th Division, Jan. 1 to April 14, 1918; en route to Brest, France, via Hoboken, N. J., to May 1, 1918; in France, commanding 10th Infantry Brigade, May 1 to Aug. 26, 1918; in Training Area, Bar-sur?Aube, May 2 to 31; on Vosges front, Hdqrs. at Moosch, under 7th French Army, 33rd French Corps, and 77th French Division, June 1 to 14; with Hdqrs. at Le Collet, under 21st French Division, June 15 to July 14; at St. Dié, under 5th American Division, 7th French Army, 33rd French Corps, July 15 to

    (Major-General, U. S. A., Aug. 8, 1918)

    Aug. 26; in command of troops, Frapelle engagement, Aug. 17 to 24; assigned to and commanded 6th Division, from Aug. 27, 1918; at Remiremont, Vosges, under 7th French Army, 33rd French Corps, Aug. 27 to Sept. 3; at Gérardmer, Vosges, Sept. 4 to Oct. 12; attached to 1st French Army Corps, Oct. 1; assigned to 1st American Army, Oct. 31; in Remiremont Training Area, Oct. 13 to 26; Reserve of 1st American Army Corps at Beauchamp Farm, Argonne, Oct. 27 to Nov. 1; Reserve of 1st American Army Corps in Meuse-Argonne operations, from Beauchamp Farm to Artaise and Stonne; attached to 5th American Corps in Argonne; en route from Artaise and Stonne to Champ Mahaut, Nov. 9 to 11; attached to 2nd French Colonial Corps at Verdun, Nov. 11 to 21; assigned to 8th American Army Corps, 1st American Army, Nov. 21, 1918; en route from Verdun to 14th Training area, Nov. 22 to Dec. 6; in 14th Training Area, with Hdqrs. at Aignay-le-Duc, from Dec. 7, 1918, to –––––


    Distinguished Service Medal

    "for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services. As brigade commander of the 10th Infantry Brigade, he showed great energy and zeal in the conduct of his brigade during the major part of its maneuvers. Later, as division commander of the 6th Division, by his painstaking efforts, he brought his division to a marked state of efficiency, rendering services of great value to the American Expeditionary Forces."

    Vol. VII
    p242 [Supplement, Vol. VII: 1920-1930]

    Military History: —

    Distinguished Service Medal

    Colonel of Infantry, July 1, 1916.

    Major-General, U. S. A., Aug. 8, 1918.

    In 14th Training Area, with Headquarters at Aignay-le-Duc, Dec. 7, 1918, to Apr. 26, 1919; with Army of Occupation at Bad Bertrich, Germany, commanding p243 Sixth Division in Fifth Corps to May 25; at Brest and en route to New York in command of Sixth Division, to June 15, 1919;

    Returned to Grade of Colonel, June 15, 1919.

    at Fort George Wright, Wash., commanding 21st Infantry to

    Inspector-General, by Detail, Oct. 11, 1919.

    Oct. 16, 1919; at Washington, D. C., in office of Inspector-General, to

    Brigadier-General, Recess Appointment, July 3, 1920.

    Sept. 8, 1920; at Camp Benning, Ga., Commandant of Infantry School, Sept. 8, 1920, to

    Brigadier-General, U. S. A., Mar. 5, 1921.

    Nov. 7, 1923; (in addition to duty as Commandant of the Infantry School, President of Single List Board from June 14, 1920, to Mar. 18, 1921 and commanding Fourth Corps Area from Oct. 26, 1921, to July 13, 1922);

    Major-General, U. S. A., Nov. 7, 1923.

    at Washington, D. C., in office of Chief of Staff, Nov. 17, 1923, to Jan. 18, 1924; (on duty with Special Board of Officers, War Department, under Section 4, National Defense Act, Dec. 8 to Dec. 15, 1923).

    Major-General, U. S. A., Retired, Jan. 18, 1924, At His Own Request, After Over 40 Years' Service.

    Died, Apr. 26, 1924, at Washington, D. C.: Aged 60.

    Annual Report, June 11, 1925 134


    No. 3148. Class of 1886.

    Died, April 26, 1924, at Washington, D. C., aged 61 years.

    Major General Walter Henry Gordon was born June 24, 1863, at Artonish, Mississippi. His father was a native of Georgia who had moved to Mississippi as a young man, and his mother a native of New York. Shortly after the war between the States, General Gordon's father bought a plantation in Louisiana and the family moved to that State, where General Gordon spent most of his boyhood and young manhood. While attending school in Virginia, General Gordon received an appointment to the United States Military Academy, from Louisiana, and entered with his class July 1, 1882.

    On graduation from West Point, in 1886, General Gordon, with a number of his classmates, among whom was the class president, then Second Lieutenant Pershing of the Cavalry, was sent to the frontier posts of the unsettled Northwest. Lieutenant Gorden was assigned to the 12th Infantry and reported for duty at Fort Yates, North Dakota. For more than three years he led the life of a junior officer in this rough frontier post, helping to preserve peace among the turbulent Sioux, then led by such men as Sitting Bull, Rain-in-the-face, John Grass, Gaul and other warlike chiefs. In 1891, after a year's course in the Army School of Submarine Mining, he was graduated, and shortly afterwards promoted to First Lieutenant of Infantry.

    During the World's Columbian Exposition, at Chicago, Lieutenant Gordon commanded the picked detachment on duty at the exposition. Tours of garrison duty at Fort Bliss and Fort Sam Houston, and two details as Professor of Military Science and Tactics, first at Louisiana State University, and later at Delaware College, completed his service prior to the Spanish-American War.

    The Spanish-American War found Lieutenant Gordon married and stationed at Delaware University. His bride was Laura Doan, daughter of an old St, Louis family. With the organization of the

    Annual Report, June 11, 1925 135

    1st Delaware Infantry, Lieutenant Gordon became Major Gordon, of the U. S. Volunteers, and later was promoted to the command of the regiment, as its Colonel. The regiment was mustered out in November, 1898, and Lieutenant Gordon was assigned to his old regiment, the 18th Infantry, and joined that regiment in the Philippine Islands, where it was engaged in the suppression of the insurrection then under way.

    Shortly after his arrival in the Philippines, Lieutenant Gordon received his Captaincy and began the organization of the Mounted Scouts, famous in the army as the Gordon Scouts, so called after their leader.

    The history of this organization is a glorious one, but one filled with the utmost hardship and the most severe campaigning. For months the command was engaged in the pursuit of the insurrecto, Quintin Salas, through the swamps of the Island of Panay. This pursuit finally ended in the annihilation of the outlaw's forces and the surrender of their leader. How well the Gordon Scouts succeeded is shown in the following citation given Captain Gordon by Brigadier General R. P. Hughes, then commanding the American forces in Panay,
    "for skill and ability in operations against the command of Quintin Salas, in the Dumagas Nanglares, Island of Panay, which resulted in the annihilation of the command and the final surrender of its leader,"
    Captain Gordon was twice recommended for brevet promotion to the grade of Lieutenant Colonel.

    Captain Gordon was a member of the General Staff from November, 1907, to April 11, 1909. He was promoted to Major of Infantry, March 23, 1909. Major Gordon served in the Inspector General's Department from April 2, 1910, to August 14, 1913, and from October 11, 1919, to July 15, 1920. On August 15, 1913, he entered the Army War College, graduating in June, 1914. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel of Infantry on September 13, 1914. On July 1, 1916, he was promoted to rank of Colonel, and was assigned to organize and command the 31st Infantry.

    The declaration of war with Germany found Colonel Gordon in the Philippines, and shortly afterwards he was sent to the important command of the American forces in China, at Tientsin. On August 31, 1917, he was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General and assigned to the command of the 154th Depot Brigade, at Camp Meade, Maryland. On December 29, 1917, he was assigned to the command of the 10th Brigade of the 5th Division, then being organized at Camp Forrest, Georgia. He trained this brigade in the United States and early in 1918 took it to France where, on the 17th of August, 1918, he planned and led the first attack of the 5th Division at Frapelle. In recognition of his success in this attack, on August

    136 Annual Report, June 11, 1925

    26, 1918, he was promoted to the rank of Major General and assigned to the command of the 6th Division, A. E. F., which he commanded in the Vosges and in the Meuse-Argonne, and in the Army of Occupation, in Germany, following the Armistice. In June, 1919, General Gordon brought his division home. He then reverted to his rank as Colonel and was assigned to the command of the 21st Infantry at Fort George Wright, Washington.

    On July 3, 1920, Colonel Gordon was promoted to the grade of Brigadier General in the regular service and assigned as commandant, the Infantry School, at then Camp Benning, Georgia. There, for three discouraging years, he was in command, and it is to General Gordon, more than to any other officer, that the Infantry School owes its present success. In addition to his duties at Fort Benning, General Gordon was in temporary command of the 4th Corps Area, and divided his time between corps headquarters and his own station. On November 7, 1923, General Gordon was appointed Major General and ordered to duty in the Office of the Chief of Staff.

    He was retired from the active list of the Regular Army at his own request, after more than forty years' service, on January 18, 1924. On April 26, 1924, while alighting from a street car in Washington, he dropped dead from heart disease. He was buried a few days later in the Arlington National Cemetery.

    The high regard in which General Gordon was held by his colleagues of the army is shown by the following recommendation for promotion signed by General Pershing:
    "I recommend that from the list then submitted the following be specially considered; this for the best interests of the service, as the records of the officers named, together with the experience they have had in the World's War, render them particularly qualified to fill the more important positions in our own army. I consider it especially desirable that they be given at this time the grade for which they have been recommended in order that their services may be available in building up the new units.

    * * * * * * * *
    Colonel Walter H. Gordon
    * * * * * * * *"
    General Pershing testifies further to the character and attainments of General Gordon in the following letter:
    "My friendship with General Gordon began on July 1, 1882, when, as members of the Class of 1886, we entered the Military Academy at West Point together. As a cadet, as well as throughout his army career, General Gordon impressed his associates with his lovable, sympathetic and earnest traits of character—qualities which he possessed to a marked degree.

    General Gordon went to France in command of the 10th Brigade, 5th Division. While the division was occupying the St. Die sector, General Gordon was placed in direct command of an operation to capture the Village of Frapelle in the Faye River Valley about St. Die. The operation was brilliantly carried out by the 6th Infantry on August 17, 1918, in accordance with General Gordon's plan. By this action a dangerous salient was wiped out and the town of Frapelle and Hill 451 were taken.
    Annual Report, June 11, 1925 137
    On August 26, 1918, as a result of his demonstrated ability, General Gordon was assigned to the command of the 6th Division, which had just arrived from the United States. He retained his command until after the Armistice, and the division at all times by its splendid courage and morale reflected the fine qualities of its commander."

    Major General Charles S. Farnsworth, Chief of Infantry, writes of General Gordon, as follows:
    "Reflecting on forty years' acquaintance with Walter H. Gordon brings to mind a cadet, modest, courteous, kindly, soldierly, loyal to ideals--qualities which remained with him to the end.

    In all the many responsible positions he held his outstanding characteristic was a willingness to subordinate his personal advancement to the advancement of the organization assigned to his command and to the cause for which that organization was formed. This enabled him to be ambitious for the advancement of his command without engendering hostility against the command or suspicion as to his impelling motives or their resulting rewards.

    This unselfishness permitted him a loyalty, to superiors and subordinates, to family and strangers, such as is seldom seen either in public or private life.

    In each grade of military rank he was given positions of responsibility—from a Lieutenant acting as Regimental and Post Quartermaster to a Major General commanding a division in battle. In none was he found lacking.

    As he advanced in years and rank the respect of those who knew him intimately increased. In the last years of his life he, as commandant of one of our great military schools, came into intimate contact with an unusually large number of officers of the army as well as civilians. In those years his qualities of courtesy, directness, unselfishness, integrity and loyalty were impressed upon many officers and civilians. His elevating influence will be felt throughout the army during many years to come."

    For his services with the American Expeditionary Forces in France, General Gordon was decorated by Marshal Petain with the cross of Commander of the Legion of Honor. The Croix de Guerre with Palm was presented to him by the commander of the French Armies of the East. He received the Distinguished Service Medal,
    "For exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services. As Brigade Commander of the 10th Infantry Brigade, he showed great energy and zeal in the conduct of his brigade during the major part of its maneuvers. Later, as Division Commander of the 6th Division, by his painstaking efforts, he brough his division to a marked state of efficiency, rendering services of great value to the American Expeditionary Forces."
    To those officers whose privilege it was to serve under General Gordon he will always be remembered as the highest type of Christian gentleman. His devotion to the ideals of his profession and his Alma Mater was almost a religion to him, and the influence which he exerted upon all with whom he came in contact has been a potent force in stimulating in them those ideals of honor, loyalty and justice to which General Gordon devoted his life.