William Edward Birkhimer – Brigadier General, United States Army

Born at Somerset, Ohio, on March 1, 1848, he graduated from West Point in 1870, received an L.LD degree from the University of Oregon in 1889.

He served as Private, 4th Iowa Volunteers, March 21, 1864-August 8, 1865; commissioned Second Lieutenant, 3rd U.S. Artillery, June 15, 1870; honor graduate, Artillery School, 1873; promoted to First Lieutenant, April 10, 1879, and was then promoted through the grades to Major, Artillery Corps, August 1, 1901, Lieutenant Colonel, May 20, 1905, Brigadier General, February 15, 1906.

He was an Assistant Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy, West Point, 1874-76. Judge Advocate, Department of the Columbia, 1886-90; Associate Justice, Supreme Court (Audiencial), Manila, Philippines, 1899.

He was awarded the Medal of Honor for “most outstanding gallantry, San Miguel de Mayumo, Luzon, Philippine Islands, May 13, 1899.”

He retired from the Army at his own request on February 16, 1906 after 40 years of service.

He died on June 10, 1914 and was buried in Section 1 of Arlington National Cemetery. He is the father-in-law of Charles Day Palmer and grandfather of Charles Day Palmer, Jr., and Williston Palmer.  Both of his grandsons graduated from West Point, became full generals, and are buried adjacent to him in Section 1.


Rank and organization: Captain, 3d U.S. Artillery. Place and date: At San Miguel de Mayumo, Luzon, Philippine Islands, 13 May 1899. Entered service at: lowa. Birth: Somerset, Ohio. Date of issue: 15 July 1902.

Citation: With 12 men charged and routed 300 of the enemy.

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