Garlington, Ernest Albert, BG

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Last Rank
Brigadier General
Last Service Branch
Inspector General Corps
Primary Unit
1906-1917, US Army Inspector General Agency (USAIGA), Office of the Secretary of the Army
Service Years
1876 - 1917

Inspector General Corps

Brigadier General

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
South Carolina
South Carolina
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by COL Samuel Russell to remember Garlington, Ernest Albert (MOH), BG USA(Ret).

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Contact Info
Home Town
Last Address
Not Specified

Date of Passing
Oct 16, 1934
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
Medal of Honor Recipients
  1893, Medal of Honor Recipients [Verified] - Assoc. Page

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Won Congressional Medal of Honor for Gallantry at Wounded Knee Creek.
Arm Hurt Permanently
Brigadier an Inspector General From 1906 to 1917 When He Was Retired.
     SAN DIEGO, Calif., Oct. 17 (AP).--Brig. Gen. Ernest A. Garlington, holder of the Congressional Medal of Honor, died here yesterday in his eighty-second year.
     Upon graduating from West Point in the Spring of 1876 General Garlington was assigned to Custer's Seventh Cavalry. Then days later, while he was preparing to go West, General Custer and two squadrons of his command were eliminated by the Indians at the battle of the Little Big Horn. He was appointed a first lieutenant and joined the shattered remnant of the regiment on Aug. 1, 1876.
     The Medal of Honor was awarded to the general for "distinguished gallantry in action against the hostile Sioux Indians on Wounded Knee Creek, S. D., on Dec. 29, 1890, where he was severely wounded while serving as first lieutenant, Seventh Cavalry." In the battle Garlington had drawn his revolver, rallied his men and was directing a return fire, steadying his force by his example of cool commands. A rifle ball tore through his right arm, smashing forearm and elbow and the lower part of the upper arm. He fell, bleeding badly, but remained conscious. From the ground he continued to direct his men. The arm retained a permanent stiffness from the wound.
     Garlington remained with the Seventh Cavalry until transferred to the Inspector General's Department as a major in January, 1895. He was Inspector General of the cavalry division in Cuba in the war with Spain, and served throughout the campaign in Cuba. Raised to a colonelcy in 1901, he was appointed Inspector General in October, 1906, with the rank of brigadier general, and held the post until his retirement on account of age in February, 1917, two months before the United States entered the World War.
     General Garlington is also remembered for the ill-fated expedition he led in an unsuccessful attempt to relieve the Greely Arctic exploration party in 1883. He had volunteered for the assignment. An ice pack smashed the Proteus, the relief ship, which was abandoned, and other misfortunes followed. A court of inquiry exonerated General Garlington.
Other Comments:
Colonel James W. Forsyth wrote of Garlington's actions at Wounded Knee in support of a recommendation for the Medal of Honor:

     "A line of sentinels were thrown around the Indian village, behind which ran a deep ravine. Capt. Garlington was in command of a small portion of this line, and in order to prevent escape into the high grass up this ravine leading into the foothills he ordered his party, in case the Indians made a break, to immediately gather 'behind the cut banks of a road crossing the ravine and to hold it at all hazards.
     "As was anticipated, the Indians, upon the opening of the fight, rushed for the ravine, but Capt. Garlington with his party, having seized the road crossing, held it so well that not an Indian escaped in that direction without having to leave the ravine and thereby expose himself to a galling fire from other troops. As a consequence only a very few did escape.
     There was gathered with him there one officer, four noncommissioned officers, and five privates, but the shelter behind the banks of the road was of such a character that only about four men at a time could avail themselves of it and fire, whilst every time they fired they were partially exposed. However, Capt. Garlington promptly took his place among the fighting men and kneeling in plain view of Indians who, not 30 yards away, were pouring a galling fire into his little party, he continued the fight against overwhelming odds and held the ravine.
     "Of the 11 men composing his party, 3 were killed and 3 wounded, but he held his position, emptied a Winchester rifle (private property with which he had armed himself before the fight) and then, taking the carbine of a private, he continued shooting (while the private supplied him with cartridges from behind) until he himself was knocked over by a bullet. He was finally led away, very weak from loss of blood. Sergt. Adam Neder, Troop A, Seventh Cavalry, who, in this same list with Lieut. Hawthorne, is granted a medal of honor, was a member of this party and was kneeling shoulder to shoulder with Capt. Garlington at the time he (Neder) was wounded."
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 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
7th US Cavalry Department of the Army (DA)
  1876-1876, HHT, 7th US Cavalry
  1876-1891, HHT, 7th US Cavalry
  1891-1895, HHT, 7th US Cavalry
  1895-1898, US Army Inspector General Agency (USAIGA), Office of the Secretary of the Army
  1898-1901, US Army Inspector General Agency (USAIGA), Office of the Secretary of the Army
  1901-1906, US Army Inspector General Agency (USAIGA), Office of the Secretary of the Army
  1906-1917, US Army Inspector General Agency (USAIGA), Office of the Secretary of the Army
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1890-1890 Wounded Knee Massacre
  1898-1898 Spanish-American War/Siege of Santiago
  1900-1901 Moro Rebellion (Philippines)
 Colleges Attended 
University of GeorgiaUnited States Military Academy
  1870-1872, University of Georgia
  1872-1876, United States Military Academy1
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