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,”...
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,...
2. Boots, Saddles, and Wedding Bells
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Situated on a bluff above the Niagara River, the Fort Porter to which Lieutenant Edwards (still in Company D, Twenty-third Infantry Regiment) was assigned 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 January 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 Washington...
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 Affairs (later designated as the Bureau of Insular Affairs), where he became chief,...
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 inhabitants...
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Eventually, Edwards established the headquarters for the Northeastern Department 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...
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...
8. “Doneroving”: The Final Years
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It had been Edwards’s intention to retire on January 1, 1923; however, President Harding and Secretary Weeks pressured him to move up the date to December 1, 1922. Citing the recent law reducing the number of army officers below the grade of general, which would, in turn, necessitate the forced retirement...
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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 timing and the help of family and friends was a large factor in his advancement. It...
List of Abbreviations
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Page Count: 288
Illustrations: 36 illus, 6 maps
Publication Year: 2011