Civil War Wiki
Arthur MacArthur, Jr.
[[Image:File:Arthur MacArthur Jr.jpg|center|200px|border]]'
Personal Information
Born: June 2, 1845(1845-06-02)
Place of Birth: {{{place of birth}}}
Died: September 5, 1912 (aged 67)
Place of Death: {{{place of death}}}
Birth Name: {{{birth name}}}
Other Information
Allegiance: File:Flag of the United States.svg United States of America
Participation(s): {{{participations}}}
Branch: File:United States Department of the Army Seal.svg United States Army
Service Years: {{{service years}}}
Rank: Lieutenant General
Service number : {{{servicenumber}}}
Unit: 24th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry
13th U.S. Infantry
III Corps
Commands: 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, VIII Corps
2nd Division, VIII Corps
VIII Corps
Department of Northern Luzon
Department of the Pacific
Military Governor of the Philippines
Battles: American Civil War

Indian Wars
Spanish-American War

  • Battle of Manila (1898)

Philippine-American War

  • Battle of Manila (1899)
Awards: Medal of Honor (1890)
Civil War Campaign Medal
Indian Campaign Medal
Philippine Campaign Medal
Relations: {{{relations}}}
Other work: {{{otherwork}}}

Lieutenant General Arthur MacArthur, Jr. (June 2, 1845–September 5, 1912), was a United States Army General. He became the military Governor-General of the American-occupied Philippines in 1900 but his term ended a year later due to clashes with the civilian governor, future President William Howard Taft. His son, Douglas MacArthur, was one of only five men ever to be promoted to the five-star rank of General of the Army. In addition to their both being promoted to the rank of general officer, Arthur MacArthur, Jr. and Douglas MacArthur also shared the distinction of having been the first father and son to each be awarded a Medal of Honor.

Early life[]

Born in Chicopee Falls, then part of Springfield, Massachusetts, MacArthur was the father of the famed general Douglas MacArthur, as well as Arthur MacArthur III, a captain in the Navy who was awarded the Navy Cross in World War I. His own father, Arthur MacArthur, Sr., was the fourth governor of Wisconsin (albeit for only four days) and a popular judge in Milwaukee.[1]

Civil War[]

At the outbreak of the Civil War, he was living in Wisconsin and immediately joined the 24th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment, seeing action at Chickamauga, Stones River, Chattanooga, the Atlanta Campaign and Franklin.

At the Battle of Missionary Ridge on November 25, 1863 during the Chattanooga Campaign, the 18-year-old MacArthur inspired his regiment by seizing and planting the regimental flag on the crest of Missionary Ridge at a particularly critical moment, shouting "On Wisconsin." For these actions, he was recommended for the Medal of Honor. He was brevetted colonel in the Union Army the following year. His soldiers loved him so much that he became nationally recognized as "The Boy Colonel". 27 years later, MacArthur was finally awarded the Medal of Honor for his acts of valor during the Battle of Missionary Ridge.

Indian Wars[]

With the conclusion of the Civil War in June 1865, MacArthur resigned his commission and began the study of law. After just a few months, however, he decided this was not a good fit for him, so he resumed his career with the Army. He was recommissioned on February 23, 1866 as a second lieutenant in the Regular Army's U.S. 17th Infantry Regiment, with a promotion the following day to first lieutenant. Because of his outstanding record of performance during the Civil War, he was promoted in September of that year to captain. However, he would remain a captain for the following two decades, as promotion was slow in the small peacetime army.

Between 1866 and 1884, Captain MacArthur and his wife (Mary Pinkney Hardy MacArthur) completed assignments in Pennsylvania, New York, Utah Territory, Louisiana, and Arkansas.[2] Three children were born during this time:

  • Arthur MacArthur III (born on August 1, 1876)
  • Malcolm MacArthur (born October 17, 1878, died 1883 of measles)[3]
  • Douglas MacArthur born January 26, 1880, at the Arsenal Barracks in Little Rock, Arkansas[4][5]

In 1884, MacArthur became the post commander of Fort Selden, in New Mexico. The following year, he took part in the campaign against Geronimo. In 1889, he was promoted to Assistant Adjutant General of the Army with the rank of major, and was promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1897.

Spanish-American War[]

During the first part of the Spanish American War, MacArthur was serving as the adjutant general of the III Corps in Georgia. In June, 1898 he was promoted to a temporary Brigadier General in the volunteer army and commanded the Third Philippine Expedition. When he arrived in the Philippines he took command of the 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, VIII Corps and led it at the Battle of Manila (1898). He was appointed Major General of volunteers when the Spanish-American War ended.

Philippine-American War[]

MacArthur was stationed in the Dakota Territory when the Spanish-American War broke out in 1898 and was commissioned a Brigadier General of U.S. Volunteers. He led the U.S. 2nd Division, VIII Corps during the Philippine-American War at the Battle of Manila (1899), the Malolos campaign and the Northern Offensive. When the American occupation of the Philippines turned from conventional battles to guerrilla warfare, MacArthur commanded the Department of Northern Luzon. In January 1900, he was appointed Brigadier General in the regular army and was appointed military governor of the Philippines and assumed command of the VIII Corps, replacing General Elwell S. Otis.

He authorised the expedition, under General Frederick Funston, that resulted in the capture of Emilio Aguinaldo. MacArthur persuaded the captured Aguinaldo to cease fighting and to swear allegiance to the United States. He was promoted to major general in 1902.

After the war, President William McKinley named him Military Governor of the Philippines, but the following year, William Howard Taft was appointed as Civilian Governor. Taft and MacArthur clashed frequently. So severe were his difficulties with Taft over U.S. military actions in the war that MacArthur was eventually relieved and transferred to command the Department of the Pacific, where he was promoted to lieutenant general.

Return to the United States[]

In the years that followed, he was assigned to various stateside posts and in 1905 was sent to Manchuria to observe the final stages of the Russo-Japanese War and served as military attaché to the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. He returned to the U.S. in 1906 and resumed his post as Commander of the Pacific Division. That year the position of Army Chief of Staff became available and he was then the highest ranking officer in the Army as a lieutenant general (three stars). However, he was passed over by Secretary of War William Howard Taft. He never did realize his dream of commanding the entire Army.


MacArthur retired from the Army on June 2, 1909, the day that he turned 64. On September 5, 1912, he went to Milwaukee to address a reunion of his Civil War unit. While on the dais, he suffered a heart attack and died there, aged 67. He was originally buried in Milwaukee on Monday, September 7, 1912, but was moved to Section 2 of Arlington National Cemetery in 1926. He is buried among other members of the family there, while his son, Douglas chose to be buried in Norfolk, Virginia.

Awards and honors[]

Military awards and decorations include the Civil War Campaign Medal, Indian Campaign Medal, Spanish Campaign Medal, Philippine Campaign Medal, and the Medal of Honor. Fort MacArthur, which protected the San Pedro, California harbor from 1914 until 1974, was named after General Arthur MacArthur

Medal of Honor citation[]

Rank and Organization:

First Lieutenant, and Adjutant, 24th Wisconsin Infantry. Place and date: At Missionary Ridge, Tenn., November 25, 1863. Entered service at: Milwaukee, Wis. Birth: Springfield, Mass. Date of issue: June 30, 1890.


"Seized the colors of his regiment at a critical moment and planted them on the captured works on the crest of Missionary Ridge".[6][7][8]

Just over four decades later, his son, Douglas MacArthur, would also gain fame for leading U.S forces to victory in the Philippines. Arthur MacArthur, Jr. and Douglas MacArthur were the first father and son ever to each be awarded a Medal of Honor. To date, the only other father and son to be given this honor are former President Theodore Roosevelt and his son, Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.


Union Army

  • First Lieutenant, 24th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Union Army-August 4, 1862
  • Major, 24th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Union Army-January 25, 1864
  • Brevet Lieutenant Colonel and Brevet Colonel-March 13, 1865
  • Lieutenant Colonel, 24th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Union Army-May 18, 1865
  • Colonel, 24th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Union Army-June 13, 1865-Commissioned but not mustered

United States Army

  • Second Lieutenant-February 23, 1866
  • First Lieutenant-February 24, 1866
  • Captain-July 28, 1866
  • Major-July 1, 1889
  • Lieutenant Colonel-May 26, 1896
  • Brigadier General of Volunteers-May 27, 1898
  • Major General of Volunteers-August 13, 1898
  • Brigadier General (Regular Army)-January 2, 1900
  • Major General-February 5, 1901
  • Lieutenant General-September 15, 1906

See also[]


  1. 3 governors held office within weeks, Dennis McCann. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, December 10, 1998.
  2. MacArthur 1964, pp. 13–14.
  3. James 1970, p. 25.
  4. James 1970, p. 23.
  5. "From Turbulence to Tranquility: The Little Rock Arsenal Part 2". MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History. Retrieved 23 May 2010. 
  6. (2010). "Civil War Medal of Honor citations". Retrieved 23 May 2010. 
  7. Congressional Medal of Honor Society (2010). "MACARTHUR, ARTHUR, JR.". Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina: Congressional Medal of Honor Society. Retrieved 23 May 2010. 
  8. United States Army Center of Military History (Last Updated 21 May 2010). "Medal of Honor recipients: Civil War (M-Z)". Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, DC: United States Army Center of Military History. Retrieved 23 May 2010. 


  • James, D. Clayton (1970). Volume 1, 1880–1941. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0-395-10948-5. OCLC 60070186 
  • MacArthur, Douglas (1964). Reminiscences of General of the Army Douglas MacArthur. Annapolis: Bluejacket Books. ISBN 1-55750-483-0. OCLC 220661276 

Further reading[]

  • Young, Kenneth Ray (1994). The General's General: The Life and Times of Arthur MacArthur. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press. ISBN 0813321956. 

External links[]

Template:Start box |- ! colspan="3" style="background: #bebebe; color: #000000" | Government offices

|- style="text-align: center;" |- style="text-align:center;" |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"|Preceded by
Elwell S. Otis |width="40%" style="text-align: center;" rowspan="1"|Military Governor of the Philippines
May 5, 1900–July 4, 1901 |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"| Succeeded by
William Howard Taft |- |} Template:American Governors-General of the Philippines

de:Arthur MacArthur es:Arthur MacArthur ko:아서 맥아더 he:ארתור מקארתור הבן pam:Arthur MacArthur, Jr. nl:Arthur MacArthur jr. ja:アーサー・マッカーサー・ジュニア no:Arthur MacArthur, Jr. tl:Arthur MacArthur, Jr.