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James Parker (February 20, 1854 â?? June 2, 1934) was a Major General in the United States Army and a Medal of Honor recipient for his role in the Philippine-American War during 1899. His son, Cortlandt Parker, also became a Major General in the United States Army.
Biography. Born in Newark, New Jersey on February 20, 1854, James Parker was educated at Newark Academy, Phillips Academy (Andover, Massachusetts) and Rutgers College, where he was admitted to the Zeta Psi fraternity. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York in 1876, 31st in a class of 50 cadets, and was appointed Second Lieutenant. Thus began his 42 years of military service which culminated in his appointment as a Major General in the U.S. Army.
He is buried in Saint Mary's Episcopal Churchyard, Portsmouth, Rhode Island.
Military career. He spent his early years serving in the Fourth United States Cavalry participating in the Indian Wars of the Southwest. His military career was influenced by the magnetic personality of the commander of the Fourth Cavalry, General Ranald S. Mackenzie, a legend for his success as a cavalry commander in the American Civil War. In May 1886, First Lieutenant Parker commanded one column of troops sent into Mexico to track down the famous Apache leader Geronimo and his band, and cooperated with Captain Henry W. Lawton and First Lieutenant Charles B. Gatewood when Geronimo was captured.
Later he served as second in command of the 12th New York Infantry in Cuba during the Spanish-American War and saw significant combat while commanding the 45th Volunteer Infantry in the Philippine-American War during 1899 where he earned the Medal of Honor. From 1903 to 1908, he also served as Head of Militia Affairs in the Adjutant General's office.
Medal of Honor citation. Citation:
While in command of a small garrison repulsed a savage night attack by overwhelming numbers of the enemy, fighting at close quarters in the dark for several hours.
Decorations. In addition to the Medal of Honor, Major General Parker was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal and three Silver Stars for his service and battlefield exploits.