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General Henry Ware Lawton
War Crimes Series
by William P. Meyers

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General Henry Ware Lawton was a war criminal with a major command in the United States conquest of the Philippines. The following brief biography is from The University Encyclopedia of Twentieth Century Knowledge, copyright 1902, volume 5, page 3569:

Lawton, Henry Ware, an American military officer; born in Manhattan, O., march 17, 1843; entered te military service as a private, April 16, 1861; became a sergeant of Company E, 9th Indiana Infantry, April 18, 1861; 1st lieutenant of the 30th Indiana Infantry, Aug. 20, 1861; captain, May 17, 1862; lieutenant-colonel Feb. 15, 1865; mustered out Nov. 25, 1865; entered the regular army as 2d lieutenant in 41st Indian Infantry, July 28, 1866; transferred to the 4th U.S. Cavalry in January 1871; promoted to captain, March 20, 1879.

In 1876 he was conspicuous in the expedition against the hostile Sioux, sharing every privation and going into dangers into which he would not send one of his soldiers. He took part against the Ute Indians in Colorado, in October, 1879, relinquishing his command to join the expedition. In the spring of 1886 he was selected by General Miles to lead a piked body of troops into mexico in pursuit of the murderous Geronimo. For three months he led his little command in pursuit of the savages from one range of mountains to another, sometimes scaling peaks 9,000 to 10,000 feet above the sea level, and then descending into the depths of the cañons where the heat was almost intollerable. During this time Lawton and his command marched 1,396 miles. The country was mostly parched and barren desert. Saltless mule meat and sometimes little of that, was their staple ration. But Lawton and his men were undaunted, and kept up the chase till Geronimo and his band were captured.

At the beginning of the American-Spanish War Lawton was a lieutenant-colonel and was made a Major-General of volunteers, July 8, 1898. He was in command of the 2d Division of the 5th Army Corps before Santiago, and was in the thick of the fighting preceding the capture of San Juan Hill and will go down in history as the "hero of El Caney."

At the close of the war with Spain General Lawton was transferred to the Philippines where he began active operations against the insurgents; captured Santa Cruza, a Filipino stronghold, April 10, 1899, and San Isidro, May 15; was placed in command of Manila, June 1, and early in the fall began an offensive campaign looking toward the capture of Aguinaldo; arrived at Arayat Oct. 19, and made Cabanatuan his headquarters. On Dec. 19, he was on the firing lines at San Mateo [See Battle of Paye], where owing to his tall figure and brilliant uniform he was easily picked out by insurgent sharpshooters. He had scarcely been warned of his danger when he cried, "I am shot," and fell dead.

 

 

 

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