Sunday, September 08, 2013

General J. Franklin Bell vs. General James M Bell - A tale of two bells

These two General Bells were both on Luzon from Feb 1900-March 1901 and are often mistaken for each other.  No wonder, since both were Brigadier Generals on Luzon and both were named "James Bell".  They were two entirely different people as shown by their mini-bios:

General James Franklin Bell - (1856-1919)  - Medal of honor winner.  West Point Graduate.  July 1899 Colonel of the 36th Volunteer Infantry on Luzon.  September 1899 -wins MOH in fight against Filipinos.  December 1899 - Promoted Brigadier General.  Later, Commander of District in Northern Luzon, where he created the policy of "concentration" to defeat Guerrilla Activity.  June 1903 Returns to USA and made Commander of Fort Leavenworth.  Major General - June 1907.   Various training commands during WWI. Buried Arlington National Cemetery.

General James M. Bell - (1837-1919) - Joined Union army in 1862 (86th Ohio Infantry)  - decorated for bravery in Battle of the Wilderness.  1876 - Seventh Calvary and Battle of Little Big Horn. March 1896 - Major; US 8th Calvary.  April 1898 - Fought battle of Santiago. Battle injury - singled out by General Joseph Wheeler for bravery.  1899 -Promoted Lt Colonel  (Vol).  February  1900 - Promoted Brigadier General (Vol) and transferred to Philippines.  Made head of 2,500 man "Bell Expeditionary Force".  March 1900 - made head of 3rd District - Southern Luzon.  June 30, 1900 - Per General MacArthur's Annual Report - on sick leave in Japan.  August 1900 - In San Francisco.  September 1900 - Back in Philippines.  March 8, 1901 - leaves command of 3rd District and Returns to USA.  May 1st 1901 - Gives interview to New York Times, quoted in "Conquest of the Philippines".  September 20, 1901 promoted Brigadier General (Regular).  October 1, 1901 - Retires after reaching mandatory retirement age  of 64.  1910 - Gives interview to Walter Camp regarding Custer and the Little Big Horn Campaign.  Buried San Francisco National Cemetery.

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