Edward Mann Lewis

Edward Mann Lewis

World War I · US Army · Major General
Spanish-American War (1898 - 1898)
Conflict Period

Spanish-American War

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Served For

United States of America

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World War I (1914 - 1918)
Service End Date


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Major General

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Service Start Date


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Conflict Period

World War I

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Served For

United States of America

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Stories about Edward Mann Lewis

Major General Edward Mann Lewis

    Edward M. Lewis 1886

    Cullum No. 3166 • Jul 27, 1949 • Died in California A-85

    Edward Mann Lewis was born December 10, 1863, in New Albany, Indiana, tile son of William Henry and Julia Frances (Snlve-ly) Lewis. Although his father was a railroad executive, there were numbered among his ancestors many who served their country in the military service, even to include forebears who were members of the Colonial Army prior to the American Revolution. With this military family history it is perhaps not surprising that he elected to become a soldier himself.

    After completion of his early education in the public and private schools of New Albany, Indiana, this youngster, who later fought in two wars and who attained the rank of Major General in the Regular Army, obtained an appointment to West Point, where lie entered in September, 1881. During his cadet career, Ed Lewis, known as “Sep” by his classmates, was a normal, healthy, popular and adaptable young man. He wore his share of chevrons, being a cadet lieutenant in his first class year. Although he had difficulty, as have many cadets through the years, in the subject of mathematics, his officer potentiality was recognized by the authorities and he earned a "turnback” to the Class of 1886 at the end of his plebe year. Thus he became a famous member of a famous class which produced such great military figures as General John J. Pershing.

    Upon graduation from the Military Academy on June 12, 1886, "Sep” was commissioned a second lieutenant of Infantry and joined his first regiment, the 11th Infantry, at Fort Yates, Dakota Territory. After about a year of the usual frontier service at this post, he served successively, still with the same regiment, at Fort Wood, New York Harbor, and Fort Huachuca, Arizona. During these early years of his military career, his outstanding qualifications won for him many regimental and post staff assignments rather unusual for one so young and junior. Detached from regimental duty in 1892, Lewis served for four years as military instructor at De Pauw University In his native state of Indiana. During this period he was attached for a short time to the 9th Infantry during the railroad strike riots in Chicago in 1894. Upon completion of his tour of college duty in 1896, he was transferred to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where he was assigned to the 20th Infantry with which he was destined to serve in many capacities for some twelve years. During a large part of this period he was detailed as Regimental Adjutant. Throughout the Spanish-American War he participated in the Cuban Campaign. He was present at El Caney and at the siege of Santiago, receiving a citation for gallantry in action during the former operation.

    Following the end of the Spanish-American War, Lewis accompanied his regiment to the Philippine Islands where he participated in the Philippine Insurrection from February 23, 1899 to September, 1901. He was In the first expedition to open the Pasig River, and in many other battles in various parts of the Philippines. He personally accepted the surrender of General Aglipay in Llocos Norte. Upon return from the Philippines in 1901 there followed a tour on recruiting duty in Chicago. In 1904, he again returned to the Philippine Islands with his regiment, the 20th Infantry, which was engaged for two years in the usual occupation duties.

    Early in 1906 "Sep’s” regiment again returned to the United States for station at the Presidio of Monterey. During this period Lewis served in San Francisco on duty In connection with the earthquake and fire In 1906. In 1908 he was detached from his regiment and served as Professor of Military Science and Tactics at the University of California. Upon completion of this duty he was selected to pursue the Field Officers Course at Fort Leavenworth, from which he was graduated in 1913.

    Then followed an assignment to the 19th Infantry, with which he served at Fort Meade, South Dakota, and at Galveston. Texas, until his departure with the Vera Cruz Expedition. He served throughout the Vera Cruz Occupation on the staff of General Funston as Treasurer of the Military Government.

    1915-16 found Lewis on duty as Inspector-Instructor of National Guard in Springfield. Illinois. He was the Senior Mustering Officer for that state during the 1916 mobilization until called by his native state of Indiana to head a brigade of its troops. Appointed Rrlgadier General, Indiana National Guard, in 1916, he accompanied his command to Texas where he commanded the Llano Grande District and, additionally, had command of the 13th Provisional Brigade, composed of troops from Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, Indiana, Louisiana and Oklahoma. Upon disbandment of his command due to mustering out of the National Guard, Lewis served briefly as Officer in Charge of Military Affairs at Headquarters Northeastern Department.

    Early in World War I he was appointed Brigadier General, National Army, and successively commanded the 76th Brigade and 38th Division at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, and U.S. troops in Paris. He was assigned to command of the Third Brigade of the Second Division from May 5th to July 16th, in 1918. With it he served in front of Verdun and throughout operations at Chateau-Thierry. His brigade was credited with the capture of the important town of Vaux.

    In July, 1918, General Lewis was promoted to Major General, National Army, and assigned to command the 30th Division, which he commanded until Its return to the United States in March, 1919. During this period he and his division served in Belgium and France with the British First, Second, Third and Fourth Armies. In this phase of operations, the 30th Division is given credit for being the first to break the Hindenburg Line. This was at Bellecourt, September 29, 1918.

    Upon the return of his division to the United States, he was retained for duty at General Headquarters, A.E.F., where he served as President of the Infantry Board to study and report upon lessons of the World War as regards Infantry equipment and organization. When this special task was completed, General Lewis returned to the United States in July, 1919. He then commanded successively the 5th Dlv-islon and Camp Gordon. Georgia; the Douglas, Arizona District; the 3d Division and Camp Pike, Arkansas; the 2d Division and Camp Travis. Texas. During this period he was selected and promoted to Brigadier General and Major General, Regular Army. In December, 1922, he was assigned to command the Eighth Corps Area, In which capacity he served until transferred to Hawaii In 1924.

    Upon arrival in the Hawaiian Department In September, 1924, General Lewis was assigned to command the Hawaiian Division until January, 1925 when he succeeded to command of the Hawaiian Department. He served In this capacity until his retirement from active duty in December, 1927, after forty-six years of distinguished servIce.

    The foregoing paragraphs outline a full and complete military career with duties of quite diversified nature. What they do not show is the uniformly high order of performance of those varied assignments nor the esteem in which he was held by superiors, contemporaries and subordinates alike. His official records abound in reports of his military accomplishments which are uniformly commendatory in nature. Throughout his unusual service, his upright, honest but genial nature and outstanding accomplishments won for him the enduring respect of his seniors; at the same time he constituted a model to be followed by his juniors.

    After retirement and rather extensive traveling, General Lewis settled, with his wife, in Berkeley, California, in 1928, where he has since that time integrated himself into the life of the community which he chose and where he is known as one of its God-fearing, helpful and useful citizens, a devoted and considerate husband and father, and a delightful and loyal friend. During the last few years of his life, ill health was his lot. Although he spent three years In the hospital where he died, he bore the hopeless condition of his failing health with optimistic patience. He endeared himself to those who served him.

    Edward Lewis is survived by his widow. Mrs. Harriet B. Lewis, who continues to reside in the family home in Berkeley; a son. Major General Henry B. Lewis. U.S. Army, Retired; a daughter, Mrs. McMullen, wife of Major General Clements McMullen, U.S. Air Force; and another son. Colonel Thomas E. Lewis, Headquarters Fourth Army, Fort Sam Houston, Texas.

    His outstanding service was recognized by the award of the D.S.M.; Knight Commander, Order of St. Michael and St. George (Great Britain); Commander, Legion d’Hon-neur, and Croix de Guerre (France); Commander, Order of Leopold, and Croix de Guerre (Belgium); Grand Officer, Order of Danilo I (Montenegro). In 1919 the Degree of LL.D was conferred on him by De Pauw University. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, American Legion, Society of Santiago, Sons of the Revolution and the Ypres League.

    Major General Edward Mann Lewis was laid to rest in the National Cemetery, Presidio of San Francisco, on July 29, 1949. He was a son of whom his Alma Mater may be proud.

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