Maj. Gen. Robert L. Howze (Ret.)

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Regimental Commander, Porto Rico Regiment of Infantry - 2/2/1909-7/26/1912; Medal of Honor, 2 Silver Stars; USMA-1888 (Deceased 1926)


Robert Lee Howze (August 22, 1864 – September 19, 1926) was a United States Major General who was a recipient of the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Indian Wars.

Howze graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1888 and then accepted a commission to the United States Army. He first served in the Indian Wars, then served in the Spanish-American War, Philippine-American War and World War I. His last assignment was presiding over the courts-martial for Colonel Billy Mitchell.  Howze was born to Captain James A. Howze, of the 14th Texas Cavalry, and Amanda Hamilton Howze in Overton, Rusk County, Texas.  After graduating from Hubbard College in 1883, he attended the United States Military Academy at West Point and was in the graduating class of 1888.  Howze participated in the Pine Ridge Campaign from November 1890 to January 1891. On January 1, 1891, the 6th Cavalry crossed the frozen White River in South Dakota to engage a group of Brulé Sioux. It was for this action he was presented with the Medal of Honor.  He married Anne Chiffelle Hawkins, daughter of General Hamilton S. Hawkins, on February 24, 1897.

At the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, Howze, now a cavalry captain, was made adjutant general of the cavalry in Cuba. Upon his return to the United States, he was appointed lieutenant colonel of volunteers and commanded the Thirty-fourth Volunteer Infantry throughout the Philippine Insurrection. He was promoted to captain in the United States Army on February 2, 1901; to brigadier general of volunteers on June 20, 1901; and to major of the Puerto Rico provincial regiment of infantry in 1901.

In 1905, Howze was appointed Commandant of Cadets at West Point, remaining in that post until 1909. In 1907 he threatened to discharge an entire class from the Academy over a hazing incident.  Howze was a Major in the 11th Cavalry during General John J. Pershing’s Punitive Expedition into Mexico in 1916. During  World War II he was promoted to Major General and placed in command of the 38th Infantry Division, which fought in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in October 1918. He served as commander of the 3rd Division during their march on the Rhine River, and commanded the Third Army of Occupation in Germany in 1919. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, the French Croix de Guerre, and French Legion of Honor for his service in command of the Third Army.  Howze died September 19, 1926, and is buried in the United States Military Academy Cemetery, West Point, New York.

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