Hiram Iddings Bearss, U.S. Marine Corps

Biography of a World War I Hero


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About the Book

Hiram Iddings Bearss was a legendary U.S. Marine whose 20-year career showed outstanding service to the United States in a variety of historically significant locations and periods. His comrades included Smedley Butler, Frederick “Fritz” Wise, and David Porter, and he was admired by many others, including General Pershing. He was awarded every American medal of consequence (including the Medal of Honor for actions at the Sohotón Cliffs in 1901 and a Distinguished Service Cross for his command of the 102nd Infantry at Marcheville in 1918), as well as a host of important foreign decorations.
This biography recounts his life and career, providing intimate details of crucial historical events. It also explores the psychology of a man whose uncompromising and sometimes destructive personality helped his many enemies block his advancement. Highly respected by others, he was known for believing a commander should never send his men where he himself would not go; he was a brave man dedicated to his beloved Corps with few reservations.
An opening chapter covers Bearss’ ancestry, birth in 1875, and youth in Indiana. The main text covers his actions in various Marine campaigns, from early service in the Philippines and the Caribbean to World War I action in France, where he served as part of the 4th Marine Brigade and commanded the 102nd Infantry and the 51st Brigade. The concluding chapters cover his retirement and 1938 death in an automobile collision. Appendices include lists of those who served under him, his awards, and relevant military reports.

About the Author(s)

The late George B. Clark, military historian and former Marine, wrote about World War I, World War II, and the United States Marine Corps. He lived in Pike, New Hampshire.

Bibliographic Details

George B. Clark
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 278
Bibliographic Info: photos, maps, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2005
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2111-4
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8038-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

1. The Ancestry and Youth of Hiram Iddings Bearss      7
2. Remember the Maine and to Hell with Spain: Mike Becomes a Marine      13
3. Life Begins Anew      22
4. The Philippines: Operations on Luzon      35
5. Recruiting, Panama, Marriage and Back to the Philippines      81
6. Guantánamo and Vera Cruz      106
7. Santo Domingo      124
8. The Great War with the Marines      150
9. Paris and Home      200
10. Retirement Years      216
11. Conclusions      226
Appendix A Officers Assigned to the Samar Battalion      233
Appendix B Enlisted Marines Assigned to Company D      234
Appendix C Major L.W.T. Waller’s Report on the Sohotón Cliffs Operation, 17 November 1901      235
Appendix D Comments on Bill H.R. 12916      236
Appendix E Decorations of Hiram Iddings Bearss      237
Notes      241
Bibliography      259
Index      263