Hugh Matthews – Major General, United States Marine Corps

Born at Loudon County, Tennessee, June 18, 1876. He was educated at Maryville (Tennessee) College. He married: Mary O’Connor Higgins, September 10, 1919.

He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant, United States Marine Corps, March 3, 1900, and was promoted through the ranks to Brigadier General, December 26, 1920, and to Major General, April 1942, by Congressional enactment.

During his career he served in China, Philippines, Panama, Cuba, Santo Domingo, and overseas with the 2nd Division, World War I.  He also served as Head of the Quartermaster Department, US Marine Corps, 1929-37. He was awarded the Army Distinguished Service Medal, the Navy Cross, the Chevalier of the Legion of Honor, Croix de Guerre. He was a member of the Military Order of Carabao. Mason. He died on April 9, 1943 and was buried in Section 7 of Arlington National Cemetery.

His brother, Calvin Bruce Matthews, Brigadier General, United States Marine Corps (September 10, 1882-August 20, 1939) and Calvin’s wife, Julia N. Matthews (January 23, 1879-December 27, 1964) are buried in an adjacent gravesite. Julia Nelson Mason was born January 23, 1878. Julia died December 27, 1964 at 86 years of age. She married Calvin Bruce Matthews September 1, 1925. Calvin was born October 10, 1882. Calvin died August 20, 1939 at 56 years of age.

Won Congressional Medal In 1918 – Fought In Philippines

LOUDEN, Tennessee – April 9, 1943 – Major General Hugh Matthews, U. S. M. C., retired, died of a heart ailment in the Naval Hospital at Bethesda, Maryland.  His age was 67.

General Matthews had lived here since his retirement four years ago.  He participated in the Philippines Insurrection and Boxer engagementsand emerged from the Philippine campaign as the youngest Captain in the Marine Corps.

In the First World War he was with the Second Division, and received the Congressional Medal of Honor.  For eight years he served as Quartermaster General of the Marines in Washington.

At his bedside when he died were his wife, the former Mary Higgins, and his brothers-in-law, Andrew Jackson Higgins and Frank Higgins, New Orleans shipyard operators.

One of the best known officers in the Marine Corps, General Matthews held many decorations for hispart in the fighting at Cheatau-Thierry and other battles and campaigns of the First World War and for service in Cuba, Nicaragua and elsewhere.

WEBMASTER NOTE:  While General Matthews received the Navy Cross for his World War I service, there is no record that he received the Medal of Honor.

Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps
Headquarters, 2d Division, A.E.F.
Date of Action: March 14 – November 11, 1918


The Navy Cross is presented to Hugh L. Matthews, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while attached to Headquarters, Second Division, A.E.F.

Lieutenant Colonel Matthews participated in the occupation of the Toulon-Tryon Sectors, on the Heights of the Meuse, between Verdun and St. Mihiel, March 14 to May 15, 1918; and in the battles in the Chateau-Thierry Sector, June 1st to July 10th; southwest of Soissons, July 18 to 19; the occupation of the Marbache Sector, just north of Nancy, August 7th to 16th; the battle of Blanc Mont Ridge, October 1st to 10th; and the battle of Meuse-Argonne, November 1st to 11th; the march to the Rhine; the occupation of the Coblens Bridge Head; and the return of the Second Division to the United States.

As Assistant Chief of Staff, in charge of the Department of Administration, there came under his jurisdiction all matters pertaining to the supply and transportation of the troops, discipline, health, etc. In short Lieutenant Colonel Matthews had supervision over the work of the Adjutant, Quartermaster, Commissary, Ordnance Officer, Judge Advocate, Chief Surgeon, Chief of Engineers, Senior Chaplain, and the Welfare Organizations.


  • DATE OF DEATH: 04/09/1943



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