Revered Commander, Maligned General
The Life of Clarence Ransom Edwards, 1859-1931
Publication Year: 2011
Published by: University of Missouri Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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List of Illustrations
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Why Clarence Ransom Edwards? While doing research for my first book on the Yankee Division, I came across several contemporary mentions of Clarence Edwards; nearly all refer to his controversial relief late in the war, and all are couched in negative terms. One account refers to him as a “political general,” while another cites his volubility as well as his apparent indiscretion and in-...
1. The Making of a Soldier
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There was a special joy in the William Edwards home on January 1, 1859. As the family rang in the New Year, his wife, Lucia, delivered their first child, a healthy baby boy, whom they named Clarence Ransom. The senior Edwards, whose roots lay deep within the New England soil, had come to Cleveland, Ohio, from Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1852 in order to seek his fortune. As ...
2. Boots, Saddles, and Wedding Bells
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At present the unsettled area has been so broken into by isolated bodies of Situated on a bluff above the Niagara River, the Fort Porter to which Lieu-tenant Edwards (still in Company D, Twenty-third Infantry Regiment) was as-signed in June 1884 would soon be in a state of transition. Beginning with the War of 1812, the locale was considered for use as a staging/muster area for the ...
3. The Not So “Splendid Little War”: The Philippines
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Edwards was back on duty in Huntsville, Alabama, on December 5, where he was assigned to the Tenth Infantry Regiment effective January 1. On Janu-ary 4, 1899, he received further orders to report to Havana, Cuba, as adjutant general of that department. While en route to Cuba, he passed through Wash-ington, D.C., where his orders were changed yet again. As of January 6, he was ...
4. The Bureau of Insular Affairs
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His sad duty complete, Lieutenant Colonel Edwards was ordered to report to the secretary of war for temporary duty. He was promptly assigned to the War Department in what was then called the Division of Customs and Insular Af-fairs (later designated as the Bureau of Insular Affairs), where he became chief, effective February 12, 1900.1 At first, Edwards was not sure how long his assign-...
5. Preparation for War: Wyoming, Texas, Hawaii, and the Canal Zone
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As the nascent Union Pacific Railroad thrust its way westward across the continent, it soon became apparent that, as the tracks invaded the traditional hunting range of the native peoples, the work crews and the inevitable shanty towns established in their wake would need protection, as those native inhabi- tants became increasingly hostile. Fort D. A. Russell (named in honor of Brig. ...
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Eventually, Edwards established the headquarters for the Northeastern De-partment at 25 Huntington Avenue in Boston. As a part of his duties, he was called upon from time to time to talk to groups large and small. On Sunday evening, June 3, 1917, he delivered what he referred to as an “impromptu speech,” during a gathering at the home of Mabel D. Slater, a wealthy socialite, ...
7. Postwar Doings
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Edwards’s friend and classmate, Maj. Gen. Harry Clay Hale, had taken the Eighty-fourth Division to France, only to have it broken up for attachment piecemeal to other divisions. Once Brigadier General Bamford was relieved, Hale was given command of the Twenty-sixth. His newsy letter to Edwards must have warmed his friend’s heart. “Since I joined the 26th I have had no ...
8. “Doneroving”: The Final Years
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... —Gen. Douglas MacArthur, speech before Joint Session of Congress, April 19, 1951It had been Edwards’s intention to retire on January 1, 1923; however, Presi-dent Harding and Secretary Weeks pressured him to move up the date to De-cember 1, 1922. Citing the recent law reducing the number of army officers below the grade of general, which would, in turn, necessitate the forced retire-...
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For Clarence Edwards, his class standing at West Point did not prove to be an indicator of a lack of future success in a profession undoubtedly chosen for him. Rather, like many of his contemporaries, including Pershing, good tim-ing and the help of family and friends was a large factor in his advancement. It is also important that one view his career as a whole, placing the years 1917 ...
List of Abbreviations
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Page Count: 288
Illustrations: 36 illus, 6 maps
Publication Year: 2011
Series Title: American Military Experience