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James Henry McRae
Major General, United States Army
Georgia State Flag
James Henry McRae of Georgia
Appointed from Georgia, Cadet, United States Military Academy, 1 July 1882 (48)
Second Lieutenant, 3rd U.S. Infantry, 1 July 1886
First Lieutenant, 14th U.S. Infantry, 14 October 1892
Transferred to 3rd U.S. Infantry, 27 December 1892
Captain, 2 March 1899
Major General James H. McRae, born 24 December 1863 at Lumber City, Georgia.  He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1886 and was commissioned Second Lieutenant in 1886.

He was awarded Silver Stars for gallantry in the Spanish-American War and in the Philippine Instruction; and received the Distinguished Service Medal as Commander of the 78th Division in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive of World War I.

Later service included command of the V Corps, the Philippine Department at Manila, the IX Corps and the II Corps. General McRae died 1 May 1940 at Berkeley, California.

Ex-Head of 2d Corps Area Led the Lightning Division
In Meuse-Argonne Offensive
Indian Campaigner Decorated for Gallantry
Under Fire in Cuba, Philippines, France

BERKELEY, California, May 1, 1940 – Major General James h. McRae, U.S.A., Retired, died today at the age of 70.  He served in the Indian Campaigns, the Spanish-American and World Wars and in the Philippine Insurrection.

General McRae commanded throughout the World War the Seventy-eighth Division, which took part in the St. Mihiel and the Meuse-Argonne Offensives.
Burial will be in the National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.

Known throughout the military service as “the fighting general,” General McRae had one of the most distinguished military careers of any officer ever to serve in the United States Army.  He served in nearly every part of the world where American troops have been stationed in the last half century, and received several decorations and other citations.

General McRae was particularly widely known in New York, where he commanded the Second Corps Area from November 21, 1920 to December 1, 1927, a few weeks before he retired.  As commanding officer of the Seventy-eighth (Lightning) Division during the World War, his commanded included many troops from New York, although the bulk of them came from New Jersey, Delaware and several other States.

His leadership of the Seventy-eighth Division in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in 1918 brought him the Distinguished Service Medal from the United States Government for “exceptionally meritorious and distinguished service.”  He also commanded this division during its training period in the United States and in France and in action in the battle of St. Mihiel, the Limney Sector and in other operations.

For gallantry in action in the battle of El Caney, Cuba, in the Spanish-American War, he received a Silver Star Citation, and a similar citation for gallantry in action at Mount Lumandan, Luzon, P. I. in the Philippine Insurrection.  Other World War decorations he held were the British Order of the Bath, the French Legion of Honor and the French Croix de Guerre with Palm.

He was born at Lumber City, Georgia on December 24, 1863 and was a classmate of General John J. Pershing at West Point, from which he graduated in 1886.  For ten years after his graduation, he served in the Middle and Far West, helping to quell sporadic Indian uprisings.

Shortly after the United States declared war against Germany in 1917, he was made a Brigadier General and temporarily assigned to command the 158th Depot Brigade at Camp Sherman, Ohio.  Later he was assigned to command the Ninth Infantry Brigade of the Fifth Division.  On April 7, 1918, he was given command of the Seventy-eighty Division, then in training in Camp Dix, New Jersey, a command which he held for the remainder of the war.

General McRae commanded the United States Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, in 1919 and in 1920 was Assistant Chief of Staff (G1) supervising Army Personnel at the War Department from September 1921 to October 2911, when he was given command of the Fifth Corps Area at Columbus, Ohio.

From 1924 to 1926 he commanded the Philippine Department of the Army. He was in command of Ninth Corps Area with Headquarters at San Francisco for a time before coming to New York to command the Second Corps Area.

DATE OF DEATH: 05/01/1940

DATE OF DEATH: 12/27/1923

Webmaster: Michael Robert Patterson

 Posted: 6 May 2006 Updated: 8 June 2010
US Military Academy (West Point) SEAL

     Silver Star Medal - 2 awards

Distinguished Service Medal