McGrath, Hugh J, MAJ

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Last Rank
Last Service Branch
Primary Unit
1899-1899, 1, 28th US Volunteer Infantry
Service Years
1880 - 1899



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Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by MAJ John Moore (SaberAlpha 10) to remember McGrath, Hugh J, MAJ.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Fond du Lac
Last Address
Not Specified

Casualty Date
Nov 07, 1899
Hostile, Died of Wounds
Gun, Small Arms Fire
Moro Rebellion (Philippines)
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
Spanish American War FallenMedal of Honor RecipientsHistorical Soldiers
  1899, Spanish American War Fallen
  1899, Medal of Honor Recipients [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2016, Historical Soldiers [Verified]

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 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
4th US Cavalry U.S. Army
  1880-1886, 4th US Cavalry
  1887-1891, 4th US Cavalry
  1894-1898, 4th US Cavalry
  1898-1899, 1, 1st US Volunteer Cavalry (Rough Riders)
  1899-1899, 1, 28th US Volunteer Infantry
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1898-1898 Spanish-American War
  1899-1913 Moro Rebellion (Philippines)
  1899-1899 Philippine - American War/Malolos Campaign
  1899-1899 Philippine - American War/1st San Isidro Campaign
  1899-1899 Philippine - American War/1st Cavite Campaign
 Colleges Attended 
United States Military AcademyUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison
  1876-1880, United States Military Academy1
  1891-1894, University of Wisconsin-Madison1
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Died from wounds
Wounds were not from the action for which he received the Medal of Honor but from a subsequent action.  He died from wounds received on October 8, 1899 in the Battle of Noveleta, Philippine Islands.

Assignments Summary
Co G, 4th Cavalry FT Reno Indian Territory Aug 1880 - Nov 1880
Trp G, 4th Cavalry FT Cummings New Mexico Feb 1884 - Jun 1884
Trp G, 4th Cavalry FT Leavenworth, Kansas Sep 1885 - Dec 1886
Promotion to First Lieutenant, 26 May 1886
Trp G, 4th Cavalry FT Bowie Arizona Jan 1887 - Sep 1887
Attendance at the Cavalry & Infantry School at Ft Leavenworth 1886/1887
Trp G, 4th Cavalry FT Leavenworth, Kansas Jan 1887 Jul 1887
Trp G, 4th Cavalry FT Bowie Arizona Feb 1888 - Jul 1889
Trp G, 4th Cavalry FT Walla Walla Washington Jun 1890 - May 1891
Instructor in Military Science/Cadet Battalion Commander University of Wisconsin. Earned a law degree during assignment  1891-1894
Trp G, 4th Cavalry FT Sherman Idaho Jul 1891- Dec 1894
Trp G, 4th Cavalry FT Sherman Idaho Dec 1895 - Oct 1895
Trp G, 4th Cavalry FT Walla Walla Washington Oct 1895 - Dec 1895
Trp G, 4th Cavalry FT Sherman Idaho Dec 1895 - May 1896
Promotion to Captain, 19 June 1897
Trp G, 4th Cavalry Vancouver Barracks Washington Aug 97 - May 1898
Major of Volunteers 7th Corps, Cuba June 1898 - May 1899
Trp G, 4th Cavalry Manila Cavalry Command Jan 1899 - Jun 1899

Family:  Son of John F. McGrath & Mary A. Burns.  While at Leavenworth, McGrath met the daughter of Gen. C.W. Blair. He married Lillian Blair May 1, 1886. Divorce date not known, she remarried in Wisconsin on Mar 19, 1898. The couple had one son, Charles Blair McGrath.
      On Nov. 22, 1896, McGrath, married Mary Carson at Savannah, Ga. His second wife was the daughter of William Carson, Eau Claire.
      Son appointed to West Point in 1906.  Did not attend or finish, was in University of Wisconsin yearbook in 1913.  WWI draft card shows no previous military service.


The President of the United States
in the name of
The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the

Medal of Honor




Rank and Organization: Captain, 4th U.S. Cavalry. Place and Date: At Calamba, Luzon, Philippine Islands, 26 July 1899. Entered Service At: Eau Claire, Wis. Birth: Fond du Lac, Wis. Date of Issue: 29 April 1902.


Swam the San Juan River in the face of the enemy's fire and drove him from his entrenchments.



Cpt Hugh McGrath Scholarship: Scholarship endowed at the University of Wisconsin in honor of Cpt McGrath.

McGrath Hall: McGrath Hall,  No. 216 Pope Avenue, Ft. Leavenworth is named in honor of Capt. Hugh J. McGrath, 4th Cavalry, class of 1887 Infantry and Cavalry School.

Battery McGrath (1900-1945):  Battery McGrath is named after Capt. Hugh J. McGrath. Battery McGrath was a reinforced concrete, Endicott Period 5 inch coastal gun battery on Fort Rosecrans, San Diego County, California. The battery was named in G.O. 16, 14 Feb 1902. Battery construction started in August 1899, was completed in March 1900 and transferred to the Coastal Artillery for use 17 Nov 1900 at a cost of $ 18,203.71. Deactivated in 1945.

Hugh J. McGrath Camp, National United Spanish War Veterans:  Camp and Auxillary are named after Hugh J. McGrath. Official Charter of the Hugh J. McGrath Camp, National Auxiliary United Spanish War Veterans, September 12, 1904.

General Charles King: General King said in speaking of the sad death of Major Hugh J. McGrath, of Eau Claire, at Manila from the effects of a wound received during the recent charge on the town of Noveleta, "I knew Major McGrath well for many years, and always considered him a man of splendid character and a soldier of the highest type. He was one of my successors as Military Instructor at the State University, and while there, made a very creditable record. He was attached to the 4th Cavalry, one of the best mounted regiments in the service. At the outbreak of the war, he was appointed a Major on the staff, and assigned to duty in the South, so that he did not join the 4th Cavalry while it was in my brigade at Manila. When he reached the Philippines, early in the Spring, however, he took hold with magnificent vim and was in one fight after another. He was most conspicuous for bravery, as was shown in the praise he received from the Philippine Commission for his conduct in swimming the river at the attack of Calamba.

Professor Dean C. Worcester: Professor Worcester, member of the Philippine Commission, in an interview on October 20, 1899, declared that Major (then Captain) McGrath was one of the greatest heroes in the Philippines. �??It was at Calamba," said Prof. Worcester, �??an important town in Laguna de Bay, that was taken by Lawton. While the troops were in front of this town and in the face of a hot and furious fire from the Filipinos, it was found necessary to cross a stream that was swelled with recent rains, until it was most difficult to get over. There were neither boats nor rafts, but on the opposite side, and directly under the rifles of the Filipinos were two canoes.  At that juncture, the hero revealed himself in the person of Captain McGrath of the 4th Cavalry. He did not wait for orders, nor did he call for volunteers. He stripped and plunged into the whirling stream and came back half an hour later with two canoes. There were some bullet holes in the canoes by the time he got across with them, but they were made to serve the purpose of transporting a storming party across the stream, and the trench was taken. It was the most daring thing I ever witnessed, and I believe the most daring action that has come to my notice."

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