Benjamin Alvord, Jr.
Brigadier General, United States Army
He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant, 20th United States Infantry, 13 June 1882 and advanced through the grades to Brigadier General, Adjutant General, American Expeditionary Force, 1917.
The son of Benjamin Alvord who distinguished himself in the Florida Indian Wars, the Mexican War and the Civil War, he fought in the Philippine Insurrection and served as Adjutant General of the AEF in France until, being sick, he returned to the United States in 1918.
He retired as a Brigadier General in 1924 and
died on 13 April 1927. He was buried with full military honors in
Section 4 of Arlington National Cemetery. His wife, Margaret Alvord
(1864-1944) is buried with him. His grandson, Benjamin
Alvord Spiller, graduated from West Point in 1941, and is buried nearby
in Section 4, as is his son-in-law, Oliver L. Spiller,
Brigadier General, United States Army (1887-1981) and his daughter, Margaret
Alvord Spiller (1891-1930).
WASHINGTON, April 13, 1927 – Brigadier General Benjamin Alvord, USA, retired, the first Adjutant General of the American Expeditionary Forces, who accompanied General John J. Pershing to France in the World War, died this morning after a long illness at his temporary residence at Soldiers Home, where he had been stationed the last two years as Secretary of its Board of Governors.
He was a native of the District of Columbia and was graduated from West Point in 1882. His earlier service was in the Infantry and in 1907 he was transferred to the Adjutant General’s Department, in which he served several tours of duty at the War Department up to his retirement in May 1924.
General Alvord received the Distinguished Service Medal for exceptionally meritorious service during the World War. The citation said:
“As Adjutant General of the American Expeditionary Forces during the beginning of the organization, his long experience, good judgment and breadth of vision were of great value in the establishment of the innumerable activities of the Adjutant General’s Department.”
During the Philippine Insurrection he served as a regimental adjutant and also as an Adjutant General of a division in the field, and was brevetted for “conspicuous gallantry” in action against insurgent forces at Cainta, Luzon, P.I., March 16, 1899.
Among other important assignments held by General Alvord was that of instructor at the Infantry and Cavalry School in 1894, Instructor at West Point from 1887 to 1891, Adjutant General of the Department of Northern Luzon in 1901, Chief of Staff in the Expedition to Vera Cruz in 1914 and Adjutant General of the Western Department in 1917. Since his return from service in France, General Alvord served as Adjutant General of the Ninth Corps Area, San Francisco, and as an assistant to the Adjutant General of the Army in that city.
He leaves his wife, Mrs. Margaret Alvord; two daughters, Mrs. Reginald Rutherford of 3431 Porter Street, and Mrs. O. L. Spiller, 3527 Quebec Street, wife of Major Spiller of the Coast Artillery, and a son, Benjamin Alvord, Jr., who is now in San Francisco.
Funeral services will be held Friday afternoon at 1:30 o’clock with interment at Arlington Cemetery.
Webmaster: Michael Robert Patterson
Posted: 8 May 2004 Updated: 4 September 2004 Updated: 10 October 2004 Updated: 31 July 2007 Updated: 14 October 2007
Updated: 16 January 2008
Photo By M. R. Patterson, October 2007
Photo By M. R. Patterson, 23 April 2004