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Arthur MacArthur

Missionary Ridge

(1845-1912)




Arthur MacArthur is most famous for winning the Medal of Honor during the battle of Chattanooga and for being the father of General Douglas MacArthur. At the outbreak of the Civil War he was residing in Wisconsin and joined the 24th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, which fought in Chickamauga, Chattanooga, Stones River, Franklin and the Atlanta Campaign.

Earning the Medal of Honor for his valiant performance at Missionary Ridge, grabbing the colors and urging his unit forward shouting “On Wisconsin” the courageous soldier was promoted to the rank of Colonel at 19 years of age.

Arthur MacArthur
Arthur MacArthur
His men loved him so much that they unanimously decided that his name should be “the boy colonel”. He left the army in June of 1865 and went directly into the field of law. Struggling for a decade in legal matters, he did not seem comfortable and dismissed himself from any and all legal activities. Returning to his true passion, the army, he reenlisted on February 23, 1866 and was given the rank of First Lieutenant.

It did not take him long, only three months, to gain the rank of Captain. Due to the peacetime activities after the Civil War, rank was hard to come by even for somebody as courageous and valiant as he was. Two decades after earning the rank of Capitan he was still a Captain.

He eventually would achieve the rank of Lieutenant General during his long career. He retired from the army when he was 64 years old. He traveled to Milwaukee to give a speech at a reunion for his Civil War unit. Suffering a heart attack before he went on stage, he died at the age of 67. He is buried along with some of the members of his family at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.



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