Albert Leopold Mills

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Albert Leopold Mills
Albert L. Mills.png
Albert Leopold Mills
Born (1854-05-07)May 7, 1854
Manhattan, New York City, New York
Died September 18, 1916(1916-09-18) (aged 62)
Washington, D.C.
Place of burial West Point Cemetery
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch Emblem of the United States Department of the Army.svg United States Army
Years of service 1879–1916
Rank US-O8 insignia.svg Major General
Commands held Superintendent of the United States Military Academy
Chief of the Militia Bureau

Spanish American War

Awards Medal of Honor

Albert Leopold Mills (May 7, 1854 – September 18, 1916) was a United States Army Major General who was a recipient of the Medal of Honor for valor in action on July 1, 1898 near Santiago, Cuba. An 1879 graduate of West Point, he served in the Army until his death in 1916. Following his service in Cuba, he was appointed Superintendent of West Point, jumping in rank from First Lieutenant to Colonel. His final posting was as the Chief, Division of Militia Affairs, a precursor to the National Guard Bureau.

Early life and Spanish American War[edit]

Albert L. Mills was born in New York City.[1] He was appointed to West Point, graduating with the class of 1879.[2] He joined the 1st United States Cavalry after graduation, serving on the American frontier, alternating between being a cavalry instructor and participating in the conflicts with the Plains Indians. In 1886, he was posted as an instructor at the Citadel.[3] Mills receive a promotion to First Lieutenant in 1889.

After the Spanish American War began in 1898 he was promoted to a Captain of Volunteers, and served as Assistant Adjutant General of the 2nd Cavalry Brigade. He received the Medal of Honor for his bravery at the Battle of San Juan Hill near Santiago, Cuba on July 1, 1898. Though shot through the head, and temporarily blinded, he continued to command his men. He was absent from duty until August 1898 while recovering from the effects of his wounds.[4]

Medal of Honor citation[edit]

"Distinguished gallantry in encouraging those near him by his bravery and coolness after being shot through the head and entirely without sight."[1]


After recovering from his wounds and returning to duty, President William McKinley appointed him as the Superintendent at West Point, a posting that advanced him from his Regular Army rank of First Lieutenant to the rank of Colonel.[2] He served as superintendent until August 1906, receiving a promotion to Brigadier General in January 1904. During his long term at West Point he initiated numerous changes including suppression of hazing, and the expansion of the size of the Academy. After the academy, he served in the Philippines and as Commandant of the Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania.[3] He later served as Chief, Division of Militia Affairs from 1912–1916, being promoted to Major General in July of the latter year. General Mills struck ill and died suddenly while serving as Chief of the Militia Bureau, on September 18, 1916.[3][4] Mills is buried at the West Point Cemetery at the United States Military Academy.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Mills married Ms. Alada Thurston Paddock of Brooklyn, New York in 1883. They had two children, Chester P. Mills and Gertrude W. Mills (Laurson). His son was also an Army officer and his daughter was the wife of an officer, Maj. Emil P. Laurson.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Army Center of Military History.
  1. ^ a b "Medal of Honor recipients: Spanish-American War". United States Army Center of Military History. Archived from the original on 23 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  2. ^ a b c "Albert Leopold Mills". Claim to Fame: Medal of Honor recipients. Find a Grave. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  3. ^ a b c "Gen. A.L. Mills, Ill 12 Hours, Dies" (PDF). The New York Times. September 19, 1916. Retrieved 2009-04-12. 
  4. ^ a b "Major General Albert Leopold Mills". National Guard Bureau. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
Military offices
Preceded by
Oswald Herbert Ernst
Superintendents of the United States Military Academy
Succeeded by
Hugh L. Scott
Preceded by
Robert K. Evans
Chief of the National Guard Bureau
1912 –- 1916
Succeeded by
George W. McIver (Acting)