Cover

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1. Boston, 1927

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pp. 1-6

AT 9:30 in the morning on August 6, 1927, an orderly wheeled sixty-seven- year-old Leonard Wood into the neurosurgical operating room at Boston’s Peter Bent Brigham Hospital. The general’s brain tumor, operated twice in the previous twenty-two years, had recurred and rendered him paralyzed on the left side and nearly blind. Wood had been a physician, an Indian fighter, a Rough Rider, chief of...

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2. Pocasset, 1860–1880

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pp. 7-9

LEONARD WOOD was born October 9, 1860, in the largest, and by all accounts the ugliest, house in Pocasset, Massachusetts, to Caroline Wood. Her husband, Dr. Charles Jewett Wood, was a dour New England Congregationalist who proudly traced his ancestry to the Mayflower. Charles had taken an apprenticeship...

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3. Boston, 1880–1885

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pp. 10-16

THANKS TO JESSE HASKELL, Len had a bent toward learning, a tendency hampered by his father’s endemic lack of funds. After Charles Wood died, Elijah Perry, his mother’s stepfather, introduced Len to H. H. Hunnewell, a Wellesley businessman who had underwritten the education of other deserving men, and Hunnewell agreed to help. Although the philanthropist typically made...

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4. Fort Huachuca, 1885–1887

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pp. 17-46

WOOD SIGNED his contract as acting assistant surgeon to the United States Army one month after Geronimo broke out of the White Mountain Reservation and ran for the Mexican mountains. Terrified Arizona and New Mexico settlers wanted the Apaches chased down and returned to the reservation; that required...

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5. The Army, 1887–1898

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pp. 47-110

AFTER GERONIMO’S SURRENDER, Miles sent Wood back into Mexico to retrieve a handful of Apaches that had not come in with Geronimo and returned to Los Angeles. In January 1887, the general ordered Wood to California on the thin pretext that his assigned surgeon had arthritis and was useless. The War Department lacked Miles’s enthusiasm for an extra surgeon in Santa Monica and, in May 1887, summarily...

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6. Santiago, 1898–1899

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pp. 111-146

IN MAY OF 1494, Columbus jibed west out of Guantanamo Bay along Cuba’s southeastern coast sailing almost exactly on the twentieth parallel of north latitude. Forty miles along the ironbound coast, a 180-yard gap in the rocks opened into a magnificent bay two miles wide, seven miles deep, and fifteen miles around. It was far and away the best harbor Columbus had seen in the New World and,...

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7. Havana, 1900–1902

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pp. 147-196

DAWN BROKE over Cuba clear and cool on December 20, 1899, as the steamer Mexico finished a “pleasant and uneventful” four-day voyage from New York and entered Havana harbor.1 A launch brought the pilot and an assortment of dignitaries to the ship before it slipped past the imposing Castillo de Los Tres Reyes del Morro (El Moro), the ancient symbol of Cuban nationalism guarding the...

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8. Zamboanga, 1902–1908

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pp. 197-235

From May to July, Wood finished the last details of his Cuban administration, having sent his wife and children to spend the summer in Europe. In July, Root sent three generals—Wood, Corbin, and Young— to observe French and German military maneuvers. During the passage, Wood was accorded the deference ordinarily reserved to a head of state, and his suite boasted its...

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9. Washington,D.C., 1908–1917

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pp. 236-268

IN FEBRUARY 1908, Wood and his family left Manila traveling west. Wood wanted to tour Europe, give his sons a short time in continental schools, and—most important—have a look at the British, French, and German military establishments. The general met with the Kaiser and dined with the Crown Prince, but, although he found the German organization impressive, he thought the French superior. Wood wrote, “If the French soldiers can fight as they march...

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10. Camp Funston, 1917–1920

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pp. 269-285

WOOD WENT to Camp Funston on the Fort Riley Reservation convinced he had been targeted by Wilson, Baker, and the regular army hierarchy including Scott and Bliss and equally sure the British, the French, and the American people wanted him in France. The huge reservation was under a colonel and Wood asked for overall command of the base. Baker had the adjutant...

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11. Manila, 1920–1927

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pp. 286-297

WITHIN WEEKS of the 1920 election, Harding was testing Wood’s willingness to go to the Philippines. One of the president-elect’s functionaries came to Chicago “full of the idea” of Wood going to Manila, but the general thought the Filipinos had been “pretty thoroughly demoralized” by eight years of Democratic supervision and were shot through with unreasonable ideas of independence.1 He also knew Filipino leaders...

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Epilogue

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p. 298

WOOD’S DEATH was followed by a predictable flurry of obituaries and—except for two biographies fifty-eight years apart—silence. Today, were it not for an army base that bears his name, we would never hear of Leonard Wood. To explain why a life so varied and so influential should have vanished from the public memory we...

Notes

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pp. 299-332

Bibliography

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pp. 333-341

Index

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pp. 343-355