Liscum, Emerson Hamilton, COL

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Last Rank
Colonel (Infantry)
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
1542-Infantry Unit Commander
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Officer)
Primary Unit
1899-1900, 1542, HHC, 9th Infantry
Service Years
1861 - 1900


Colonel (Infantry)

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Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SFC Anthony Eugene Santa Maria, IV (Team Member, Vietnam Profiles) to remember Liscum, Emerson Hamilton, COL.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address
Burlington, VY

Casualty Date
Jul 13, 1900
Hostile, Died
Gun, Small Arms Fire
Boxer Rebellion (China Relief Service)
Location of Interment
Lakeview Cemetery - Burlington, Vermont
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Pine Section

 Official Badges 

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 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
In the Line of Duty
  1900, In the Line of Duty

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 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
12th Infantry30th Infantry 25th Infantry Division (Tropic Lightning)22nd Infantry
24th Infantry 9th Infantry
  1861-1863, Union Army
  1863-1865, HHC, 12th Infantry
  1863-1866, HHC, 12th Infantry
  1866-1866, HHC
  1866-1870, 25th Infantry Division (Tropic Lightning)
  1892-1896, HHC, 22nd Infantry
  1896-1898, HHC, 24th Infantry
  1898-1898, RHHC, 2nd Arkansas Volunteer Infantry
  1899-1900, 1542, HHC, 9th Infantry
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1861-1865 Civil War
  1862-1862 Manassas Campaign (1862)/Battle of Cedar Mountain 9 August 1862
  1863-1863 Gettysburg Campaign (1863)/Battle of Gettysburg
  1863-1863 Battle of Gettysburg/Little Round Top
  1864-1864 Overland Campaign (1864)/Battle of Totopotomoy Creek 28 to 30 May 1864
  1864-1864 Overland Campaign (1864)/Battle of Old Church 30 May 1864
  1864-1864 Civil War/Valley Campaigns of 1864
  1865-1891 Indian Wars (US)
  1898-1898 Spanish-American War
  1900-1900 Boxer Rebellion (China Relief Service)/Battle of Tientsin1
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
His last words, "Keep up the fire," become the motto of the 9th U.S. Infantry.
Corporal, Company H 1st Vermont Volunteer Infantry,  2 May to 15 August 1861
Private, Corporal, Sergeant and First Sergeant, Company E and Company A, 2nd Battalion, 12th United States Infantry, 1 February 1862 to 22 March 1863
Second Lieutenant, 12th United States Infantry, 19 February 1863
First Lieutenant, 4 May 1863
Regimental Quartermaster, 5 February to 16 October 1865
Transferred to 30th United States Infantry, 21 September 1866
Captain, 25th United States Infantry,  28 July 1866
Unassigned 26 April 1869
Assigned to 19th United States Infantry, July 1870
Major, 22nd United States Infantry, 4 May 1892
Lieuitenant Colonel, 24th United States Infantry, May 1896
Brigadier General, United States Volunteers, 12 July 1898
Honorably Discharged from the Volunteer Service, 31 Decembere 1898
Colonel,  9th United States Infantry, 25 April 1899
Brevetted Captain, 1 August 1864 for gallant service in the battle of Bethesda
Church and during the campaign before Richmond, Virginia
Killed 13 July 1900 at the battle of Tientsin, China 


Lieutenant Colonel Emerson H. Liscum of the Tenty-fourth Infantry, who was wounded (battle of Santiago, Cuba), began his military career in the ranks.  He was born in Vermont and in May 1861 entered the volunteer army as a Corporal in the First Vermont Infantry. He took his discharge however within three months.  On February 1 of the following year he enlisted as a Private in the Regular Army and was assigned to the Twelfth Infantry.  He passed through the grades of Corporal, Sergeant and First Sergeant in his regiment within a year and on March 22, 1863 he received a commission as a Second Lieuenant in his regiment. 

Two weeks later he was advanced to the rankof First Lieutenant. On September 21, 1866 he was transferred to the Twentieth Infantry and on July28 of the same year was appointed a Captain in the Twenty-fifth Infantry.  He was assigned to the Nineteenth Infantry in July 1870 and on May 4, 1892 was promoted to Major and transferred to the Twenty-second Infantry.  He was advanced to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel May 23, 1896 and transferred to the Twenty-fourth Infantry. On August 1, 1864, while a Lietuenant in the Twelfth Infantry, he wasbreveetted Captain for gallant services in the battle of Bethesda Church and during the campaign before Richmond.


The 9th Infantry was one of only two American units chosen to protect American interests in China. After landing at Taku Bar, the Regiment began the trek towards Tientsin under the direction of  the Regimental commander, Colonel Emerson H. Liscum.

The assault on Tientsin began on the morning of 13 July 1900, a day that is deeply engraved in the memory of the entire Regiment. At approximately 0900 hours on that day, the Regimental Color Sergeant, Sergeant Edward Gorman, who was standing beside Colonel Liscum, was severely wounded by the intense fire. Colonel Liscum had been struck in the shoulder but he gallantly seized the Colors from the fallen sergeant, stood fearlessly holding them erect and continued-to direct the assault on the city walls in the face of murderous fire. A few moments later, the Colonel fell mortally wounded and shortly after directing his men to "Keep Up The Fire Men," he died. The regiment remained pinned down by the fierce Boxer fire for the rest of the day, and at dusk was ordered to retreat by General Dorward, the British commander of the multi-national task force. The assault was resumed the next day and the Japanese Infantry broke through the city gate and the city fell.


The Regiment participated in another engagement at Yang-Tsun and then participated in the assault on Peking. The Fighting Ninth was the first unit to break into the forbidden city and, after the fall of Peking, a sentry of the Ninth remained on guard at the entrance to the forbidden city for almost one year until the Regiment was withdrawn in mid-1901.

As a result of their exemplary performance during this campaign,, the Regiment was awarded the honorary title of "Manchus," earned its foremost trophy, the Liscum Bowl, and its motto, "Keep Up The Fire." 

Emerson H. Liscum

Emerson Hamilton Liscum age 19, of Burlington, enlisted May 2, 1861 and mustered in as 2nd Corporal, Company H, 1st Vermont Volunteer Infantry, on May 9, 1861. He mustered out with the regiment on August 15, 1861. He was engaged in the battle of Big Bethel.

He served as Corporal, Sergeant and 1st Sergeant of Companies E and A, 2nd Battalion, 12th U.S. Infantry, from February 1, 1862 to March 22, 1863. He was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant on March 22, 1863 and 1st Lieutenant on May 4, 1863. He was wounded at Cedar Mountain, in the left elbow, where his conduct in action brought a recommendation for his appointment by the President as 2nd Lieutenant. In the 1wh Infantry he was present in action at Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, where he was severely wounded in the right thigh near Round Top on July 2nd. He was also present in action at Bethesda Church and Hatcher's Run. The regiment was ordered out of the field on November 1, 1864, at which time he was breveted Captain "for gallant and meritorious services in the field" to date from August 1, 1864. He was regimental quartermaster from February 5 to October 16, 1865.

After the war, he transferred to the 30th U.S. Infantry on September 21, 1866. He declined an appointment to the 45th U.S. Infantry, but accepted a captaincy in the 25th U.S. Infantry on March 26, 1867. On March 26, 1869, he was unassigned. On July 5, 1870, he was assigned to the 19th U.S. Infantry.

Promoted to Major on May 4, 1892, while attached to the 22nd U.S. Infantry. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel,24th U.S. Infantry , in May 1896, Brigadier General, U.S. Volunteers, on July 12, 1892, from which service he was discharged on December 31, 1898. Returning to the regular army, he was promoted Colonel and assigned to command the 9th U.S. Infantry on April 25, 1899.

He was killed in action at the battle of Tientsin, China, on July 13, 1900

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