Hunter Liggett

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Hunter Liggett
Hunter Liggett.jpg
Liggett as a brigadier general
Born (1857-03-21)March 21, 1857
Reading, Pennsylvania
Died December 30, 1935(1935-12-30) (aged 78)
San Francisco, California
Place of burial San Francisco National Cemetery
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1879–1921
Rank US-O9 insignia.svg Lieutenant General
Commands held Philippine Department
41st Infantry Division
I Corps
First Army
Third Army
Battles/wars Indian Wars
Spanish–American War
Philippine–American War
World War I
Awards Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Honor (France)

Hunter Liggett (March 21, 1857 – December 30, 1935) was a lieutenant general of the United States Army. His 42 years of service spanned the period from the Indian campaigns to trench warfare.


Liggett was born March 21, 1857 in Reading, Pennsylvania. After his graduation from West Point as a second lieutenant in 1879, he was assigned to the Fifth Infantry, where he served in both the Montana and Dakota territories, as well as Texas and Florida, during which time he reached the rank of Captain.

His field service in the American west, the Spanish–American War, and the Philippine–American War honed his skills as a military leader.

In 1907, he assumed command of a battalion of the 13th Infantry Regiment at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. From 1909 to 1914, he served as student, faculty member, and president at the Army War College, receiving a promotion to brigadier general in February 1913.

Liggett's services in the Philippines included setting up a staff ride in 1914 to study possible invasion sites on Luzon. He was assisted in this by his aide de camp, Captain George Marshall. The staff ride established that the most likely invasion route would be through the Lingayen Gulf and that this would be all but unstoppable unless the US dramatically increased its Army and Navy forces in the Philippines. In 1941, the Japanese invaded through the Lingayen Gulf, as the US did in turn in 1945.

First World War

Success in brigade commands in Texas and in the Philippines led to his promotion to major general, and selection as commander of the 41st Division in April 1917. The division served in France as part of the American Expeditionary Force. When his division was disestablished, he took command of I Corps.

Under Liggett's leadership, the I Corps participated in the Second Battle of the Marne and in the reduction of the Saint-Mihiel salient. In October 1918, as commander of the US First Army, he directed the final phases of the Meuse-Argonne offensive and the pursuit of German forces until the armistice.

Retirement and death

After commanding the U.S. Third Army, also known as the Army of Occupation, on the Rhein bridgeheads, Hunter Liggett retired in 1921. Congress promoted him to permanent lieutenant general in 1930. He died December 30, 1935 in San Francisco, California and is interred at the San Francisco National Cemetery, San Francisco, California.[1] His grave can be found in the officers section 3, plot 1.[1]

Honors and awards

Military honors

American honors

International honors

Army Distinguished Service medal citation


The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Army Distinguished Service Medal to Lieutenant General Hunter Liggett, United States Army, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility during World War I. As Commander of the 1st Army of the American Expeditionary Forces, General Liggett commanded the 1st Army Corps and perfected its organization under difficult conditions of early service in France, engaged in active operations in reduction of the Marne salient and of the St. Mihiel salient, and participated in the actions in the Forest of Argonne; in command of the 1st Army when German resistance was shattered west of the Meuse.[2]

Other honors

In his honor the United States Army named a base on California's central coast, Fort Hunter Liggett[3]

Liggett Hall is a regimental-sized barracks building constructed at Fort Jay on Governors Island in New York Harbor. Completed in 1930, it was thought to be the largest buildings constructed by the U.S. Army and was the largest structure built under the supervision of the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps. It was superseded by the Pentagon, constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1943.

The USS Hunter Liggett was a passenger ship that was transferred to the Army and renamed Hunter Liggett in February 1939. The ship transported personnel and supplies until May 27, 1941, when she was turned over to the Navy. Converted to Navy use at Brooklyn Navy Yard, she re-commissioned as AP-27 June 9, 1941, and then again reclassified APA-14 February 1, 1943 for the United States Coast Guard.[4]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Hunter Liggett". Claim to Fame: Medal of Honor recipients. Find a Grave. Retrieved March 15, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Hunter Liggett". Hall of Valor. Military Times. Retrieved March 15, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "History of Fort Hunter Liggett". United States Army Installation Command. December 29, 2009. Archived from the original on January 27, 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-21.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Hunter Liggett". Naval Historical Center. Retrieved March 15, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Military offices
Preceded by
I Corps Commander
January–October 1918
November 1918 – April 1919
Succeeded by
Joseph T. Dickman
Preceded by
Joseph T. Dickman
Third Army Commander
April 1919 – July 1919
Succeeded by
none (unit was inactive)