John William Heard

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John William Heard
John William Heard.png
Born (1860-03-27)March 27, 1860
Senatobia, Mississippi
Died February 4, 1922(1922-02-04) (aged 61)
New Orleans, Louisiana
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1883 – 1922
Rank Brigadier General
Commands held Hawaiian Department
Battles/wars Spanish American War
Philippine-American War
World War I
Awards Medal of Honor

John William (or Wilkinson)[1] Heard (March 27, 1860 – February 4, 1922) was a United States Army Brigadier General who was a recipient of the Medal of Honor for valor in action on July 23, 1898 near Bahia Honda, Cuba.

Early life and education[edit]

Heard was born on Woodstock Plantation, near Senatobia, Mississippi.[2] He was appointed to West Point, graduating with the class of 1883.[3]

During the Spanish-American War[edit]

Heard deployed to Cuba as part of the 3rd US Cavalry.[2] He departed Florida with his unit and 40-50 Cuban soldiers, landing near the mouth of the Mani-Mani River near Bahia Hondo, west of Havana. A force of nearly 1,000 Spanish Cavalry charged Heard's vastly outnumbered force as they were unloading supplies on the beach. Heard's command of his men halted the Spanish force's charge and caused them to fall back. Heard successfully regrouped his men and had them reboard their ship, evacuating all of his soldiers and wounded, leaving no one behind.[4] Lieutenant Heard was awarded his Medal of Honor on June 21, 1899.[3]

During World War I[edit]

He was promoted to Brigadier general in the National Army on October 1, 1918. He commanded the Hawaiian Department.[2]

Medal of Honor citation[edit]

"For extraordinary heroism on 23 July 1898, while serving with 3d U.S. Cavalry, in action at Bahia Honda, Cuba. After two men had been shot down by Spaniards while transmitting orders to the engine-room on the Wanderer, the ship having become disabled, First Lieutenant Heard took the position held by them and personally transmitted the orders, remaining at his post until the ship was out of danger."[3]

Other awards and honors[edit]

He was recognized by Hawaii's legislature for his services upon retirement.[2]

Family and personal life[edit]

He married Mildred Townsend of New York City on June 3, 1886. Together, they had five sons.[2]

Death and legacy[edit]

He died on February 4, 1922.[2]


  1. ^ Find a Grave
  2. ^ a b c d e f Davis, Jr., Henry Blaine (1998). Generals in Khaki. Raleigh, NC: Pentland Press, Inc. p. 169. ISBN 1571970886. 
  3. ^ a b c "John William Heard". Military Times Hall of Valor. Retrieved 2016-05-21. 
  4. ^ "The End of an Empire". Retrieved 2009-04-12.