Clement Flagler

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Clement Alexander Finley Flagler
Clement Flagler.jpg
Flagler as a division commander in World War I
Nickname(s) Sioux
Born August 17, 1867 (1867-08-17)
Augusta, Georgia
Died May 7, 1922 (1922-05-08) (aged 54)
Baltimore, Maryland
Place of burial Arlington National Cemetery
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch Emblem of the United States Department of the Army.svg United States Army
Years of service 1889–1922
Rank US-O8 insignia.svg Major General
Commands held 7th Engineer Regiment
5th Infantry Division Artillery
III Corps Artillery
42nd (Rainbow) Infantry Division
United States Army Engineer School
Battles/wars Spanish–American War
Pancho Villa Expedition
World War I
Awards Legion of Honor
Croix de Guerre
Relations Brigadier General Daniel Webster Flagler (1835–1899) (father)
Brigadier General Clement Alexander Finley (maternal grandfather)

Clement Alexander Finley Flagler (August 17, 1867 – May 7, 1922) was a United States Army Major General who was noteworthy as regimental, brigade and division commander in World War I.

Early life[edit]

He was born Clement Alexander Finley Flagler in Augusta, Georgia, the son of Brigadier General Daniel Webster Flagler, for whom Fort Flagler, Washington was named.[1]

The younger Flagler was named for his maternal grandfather, Army Surgeon General Clement Alexander Finley. Known as Clement Flagler, Clement A.F. Flagler, and C.A.F Flagler, he grew up in Iowa while his father commanded the Rock Island Arsenal.[2][3]

In 1885 he received a bachelor of science degree from Griswold College, afterwards accepting appointment to the United States Military Academy, from which he graduated in 1889.[4]

While at West Point Flagler was nicknamed "Sioux" as a testament to his dark eyes, hair and complexion, his having been raised in Iowa, and his self-professed Native American heritage, and his classmates used it with him for the rest of his life.[5]

Start of military career[edit]

Assigned as an Engineer officer, Flagler served as instructor in civil and military engineering at West Point,[6] and as engineer officer at Chickamauga, Georgia.[7][8]

Spanish–American War[edit]

During the Spanish–American War Flagler was temporarily promoted to Major and assigned as engineer officer on the staff of the U.S. Army commander in Puerto Rico.[9][10]

Post–Spanish–American War[edit]

Following the Spanish–American War Flagler continued to carry out Engineer assignments, including serving as officer in charge of the federal lighthouse district based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and a posting as chief engineering officer for the Army's Department of the East. Flagler also played a role in choosing the route for enlarging the Delaware and Chesapeake Canal.[11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18]

In 1914 Flagler graduated from the Army War College.[19]

After his War College graduation Flagler served as engineer officer for the District of Columbia Engineer District.[20]

Pancho Villa Expedition[edit]

During Mexican border skirmishes of 1914–1916, Flagler served on General Funston's staff in the Vera Cruz Expedition.[21][22][23]

World War I[edit]

During World War I, Flagler successively commanded the 7th Engineer Regiment, 5th Infantry Division Artillery, III Corps Artillery, and the 42nd (Rainbow) Infantry Division, attaining the temporary rank of Major General.[24][25][26][27]

Post World War I[edit]

After World War I Flagler served as commandant of the Army's Engineer School at Camp Humphreys, Virginia[28] and then chief engineer of the department based in Honolulu, Hawaii.[29]

In 1921 Flagler was assigned to Baltimore as chief engineer of the Eastern Division, the post in which he was serving when he died.[30]

Military awards[edit]

General Flagler was a recipient of the Legion of Honor and the Croix de Guerre for his World War I service.[31]

Death and interment[edit]

General Flagler died at Johns Hopkins University Hospital[32][33][34] and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Section West E Site 147.[35]


Flagler Road, which runs between 18th and 21st Streets at Fort Belvoir, and includes the post headquarters, is named for him.[36] Fort Belvoir was previously the location of the Army Engineer Center and School, and several streets and buildings there are named for prominent Engineer officers.[37]

External Resources[edit]


  1. ^ Daniel Webster Flagler entry, The Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans], compiled and edited by Rossiter Johnson and John Howard Brown, 1904
  2. ^ A History of the Rock Island Arsenal From its Establishment in 1836 to December, 1876: And of the Island of Rock Island, the Site of the Arsenal, from 1804 to 1863. Prepared under the instructions of Brig. Gen. Stephen V. Benet́, by Daniel Webster Flagler, 1877
  3. ^ Annals of Iowa, published by State Historical Society of Iowa, 1905, page 600
  4. ^ Proceedings of the American Society of Civil Engineers, published by the American Society of Civil Engineers, Volume 48, Part 2, 1922, page 1914
  5. ^ Obituary, Clement Alexander Finley Flagler, Annual Report, published by United States Military Academy Association of Graduates, 1922, page 66
  6. ^ Davis, Jr., Henry Blaine (1998). Generals in Khaki. Pentland Press, Inc. p. 129. ISBN 1571970886. OCLC 40298151
  7. ^ "Changes at West Point", New York Times, March 18, 1894
  8. ^ "Gen. Wilson Leaves Chickamauga Camp", Atlanta Constitution, July 6, 1898
  9. ^ "The United Service: Army", New York Times, August 8, 1900
  10. ^ "A Joint Service Board To Report on Lands Needed By Armyand Navy in Porto Rico", New York Times, November 20, 1900
  11. ^ Annual Report, Chief of Engineers, published by U.S. Army War Department, 1901, page 684
  12. ^ Annual Report, published by United States Lighthouse Board, 1906, page 3
  13. ^ Reports of the Department of Commerce and Labor, published by United States Dept. of Commerce and Labor, 1907, page 527
  14. ^ "To Forces of Land and Sea", Baltimore Sun, May 16, 1904
  15. ^ "Roosevelt Won't Interfere: Declines to Modify Order Transferring Major Flagler", New York Times, July 31, 1908
  16. ^ Report, Hearings before the Committee on Railways and Canals on the Bill to Acquire and Enlarge the Delaware and Chesapeake Canal, published by U.S. House of Representatives 1908, page 63
  17. ^ "The United Service", New York Times, November 26, 1910
  18. ^ "Work Halted on New Line", Christian Science Monitor, October 9, 1912
  19. ^ Biographical Register of the Officers and Graduates of the U.S. Military Military Academy, by George Washington Cullum and Edward Singleton Holden, Volume VI-A, 1920, page 510
  20. ^ "Col. Flagler is Sent to Rome", New York Times, March 17, 1917
  21. ^ The New International Year Book, published by Dodd, Mead and Co., 1923, page 246
  22. ^ Who Was Who in America, With World Notables, published by Marquis Who's Who, 1960, page 404
  23. ^ "Tell of Huerta's Nonchalance", by Associated Press, New York Times, May 17, 1914
  24. ^ Soldiers All: Portraits and Sketches of the Men of the A.E.F., by Joseph Cummings Chase, 1919, page 353
  25. ^ Rainbow Memories: Character Sketches and History of the 1st Battalion, 166th Infantry, 42nd Division, A.E.F., by First Lieutenant Alison Reppy, 1919, page 111
  26. ^ The Official History of the 5th Division, U.S.A., published by Society of the 5th Division, 1919, page 31
  27. ^ "Rainbow Boys Lauded by General Flagler", Atlanta Constitution, April 8, 1919
  28. ^ "Gen. Flagler Sent to Humphreys", New York Times, May 14, 1919
  29. ^ All About Hawaii: The Recognized Book of Authentic Information on Hawaii, compiled and published by Thomas G. Thrum, 1921, page 168
  30. ^ Annual Report, published by United States Military Academy Association of Graduates, 1922, page 67
  31. ^ Obituaries, Engineering and Contracting magazine, Volume 57, 1922, page 114
  32. ^ Obituaries, Engineering and Contracting magazine, Volume 57, 1922, page 114
  33. ^ "Col. CAF Flagler, Engineer Chief, Dies", Baltimore Sun, May 9, 1922
  34. ^ "War Hero Dies", Chicago Daily Tribune, May 9, 1922
  35. ^ Annual Report, published by United States Military Academy Association of Graduates, 1922, page 66
  36. ^ U.S. Army Engineer Center and School (1985). Real Property, U.S. Army Engineer Center. Fort Belvoir, VA: U.S. Army Engineer Center. p. 75. 
  37. ^ Real Property, U.S. Army Engineer Center, p. 75.