James Parker (Medal of Honor)

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James Parker
James Parker MoH.jpg
James Parker, Medal of Honor recipient
Born (1854-02-20)February 20, 1854
Newark, New Jersey
Died June 2, 1934(1934-06-02) (aged 80)
New York City, New York
Place of burial Saint Mary's Episcopal Churchyard, Portsmouth, Rhode Island
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1876–1918
Rank Major General
Commands held 32nd Infantry Division
85th Infantry Division
Battles/wars Indian Wars
Spanish–American War
Philippine–American War
World War I
Awards Medal of Honor
Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star (3)
Relations MajGen Cortland Parker, U.S. Army – son;
Commander James Parker, Jr., USN – son
James Parker (art historian) – grandson

James Parker (February 20, 1854 – June 2, 1934) was a major general in the United States Army and a Medal of Honor recipient for his role in the Philippine–American War during 1899. His son, Cortlandt Parker, also became a major general in the United States Army.

Personal life[edit]

Born in Newark, New Jersey on February 20, 1854, James Parker was educated at Newark Academy, Phillips Academy (Andover, Massachusetts) and Rutgers College, where he was admitted to the Zeta Psi fraternity. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York in 1876, 31st in a class of 50 cadets, and was appointed second lieutenant.[1] Thus began his 42 years of military service which culminated in his appointment as a major general in the U.S. Army.

He is buried in Saint Mary's Episcopal Churchyard, Portsmouth, Rhode Island.[2]

Military career[edit]

He spent his early years serving in the Fourth United States Cavalry participating in the Indian Wars of the Southwest. His military career was influenced by the magnetic personality of the commander of the Fourth Cavalry, General Ranald S. Mackenzie, a legend for his success as a cavalry commander in the American Civil War. In May 1886, First Lieutenant Parker commanded one column of troops sent into Mexico to track down the famous Apache leader Geronimo and his band, and cooperated with Captain Henry W. Lawton and First Lieutenant Charles B. Gatewood when Geronimo was captured.

Later he served as second in command of the 12th New York Infantry in Cuba during the Spanish–American War and saw significant combat while commanding the 45th Volunteer Infantry in the Philippine–American War during 1899 where he earned the Medal of Honor. From 1903 to 1904, he also served as Head of Militia Affairs in the Adjutant General's office.

During the First World War, General Parker served as Commander of the Southern Department, Fort Sam Houston, Texas from 31 March 1917 to 25 August 1917; as Division Commander of the 32nd Division from 25 August to 11 December 1917; and as Division Commander of the 85th Division from 11 December 1917 to 20 February 1918, when, having reached the statutory age of 64, he was retired from active service.

Medal of Honor citation[edit]


While in command of a small garrison repulsed a savage night attack by overwhelming numbers of the enemy, fighting at close quarters in the dark for several hours.


In addition to the Medal of Honor, Major General Parker was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal and three Silver Stars for his service and battlefield exploits.[3]

Full list of decorations and medals:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Parker, James. The Old Army: Memories 1872–1918", p. vii., Stackpole Books, 2003. ISBN 0-8117-2897-8. Accessed July 21, 2011. "In 1864, James Parker began his schooling at Englewood Academy, Perth Amboy, New Jersey.... Parker, an intelligent individual, was well-educated, attending the Newark Academy; the well-regarded Phillips Academy of Andover, Massachusetts; and the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York."
  2. ^ "James Parker". Claim to Fame: Medal of Honor recipients. Find a Grave. Retrieved 2007-11-24. 
  3. ^ "James Parker, Medal of Honor recipient". Philippine Insurrection. United States Army Center of Military History. Retrieved 2007-11-24.