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Ernest Albert Garlington (February 20, 1853 – October 16, 1934) was a United States Army general who received the Medal of Honor during the Indian Wars.

Ernest Albert Garlington
Ernest Albert Garlington 1911.jpg
Brig. Gen. Garlington in 1911
Born(1853-02-20)February 20, 1853
Newberry, South Carolina
DiedOctober 16, 1934(1934-10-16) (aged 81)
San Diego, California
Place of burial
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branchEmblem of the United States Department of the Army.svg United States Army
Years of service1876–1917
RankUS-O7 insignia.svg Brigadier General
Unit7th Cavalry Regiment
Battles/warsIndian Wars
Wounded Knee Creek
Spanish–American War
Philippine–American War
AwardsMedal of Honor


Early life and educationEdit

Garlington was born in Newberry, South Carolina as the son of Albert Creswell Garlington, a general in the South Carolina militia during the American Civil War.[1] He entered the University of Georgia (UGA) in Athens in 1869; however, he left UGA before graduating to accept an appointment to the United States Military Academy. He graduated from the academy in 1876 and was commissioned on June 15 of that year as a second lieutenant in the 7th Regiment of the United States Cavalry, but he did not physically join the unit until after the Battle of the Little Big Horn, which occurred several weeks after his appointment.[2]

Early military careerEdit

He was quickly promoted to first lieutenant on June 25, 1876 and then to Regimental Adjutant June 6, 1877, and served in that post until 1881. He commanded one of the failed Adolphus Greely Relief Expeditions in 1883. On December 29, 1890, Garlington was injured while at Wounded Knee Massacre in South Dakota, and received the Medal of Honor on September 23, 1893, for distinguished gallantry.

Garlington's next promotions were to captain on December 3, 1891, and major, inspector general, on January 2, 1895. In 1898, Garlington served as inspector general in Cuba during the Spanish–American War and participated in the Battle of Santiago de Cuba. In that same year (July 7, 1898), he was promoted to lieutenant colonel. He again served as inspector general from 1899 through 1901 in the Philippines during the Philippine–American War. On March 1, 1901, Garlington was promoted to colonel. He served in the inspector general position again in the Philippines from 1905 to 1906.

The ultimate promotion for Garlington was to brigadier general, Inspector General of the Army, on October 1, 1906,[3] after which he served on the General Staff of the Army. In 1908, he conducted the army investigation into the Brownsville Affair.

In 1911, he was an observer of the German Army Maneuvers.[3]

World War IEdit

He retired due to age on February 20, 1917. However, he served in the office of the Chief of Staff from April 30 to September 21, 1917.[4]

Death and legacyEdit

Garlington died on October 16, 1934[5] and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. His first wife, Anna Buford Garlington (1864–1954) and his daughter, Sally Garlington Chamberlin (1890–1949), are buried with him. His son, Cresswell Garlington, (1887–1945) was also a brigadier general in the United States Army and is buried in a separate plot at Arlington.

Books written by Garlington include: Historical Sketches of the Seventh Cavalry Regiment and A Catechism on Cavalry Outposts, Reconnaissance, Patrols, and Advance and Rear Guards.


Medal of Honor citationEdit

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, 7th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Wounded Knee Creek, S. Dak., December 29, 1890. Entered service at: Athens, Ga. Born: February 20, 1853, Newberry, S.C. Date of issue: September 26, 1893.


Distinguished gallantry.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Gen Albert Creswell Garlington (1822 - 1885) - Find A Grave Memorial".
  2. ^ Davis, Jr., Henry Blaine (1998). Generals in Khaki. Pentland Press, Inc. p. 137. ISBN 1571970886. OCLC 40298151.
  3. ^ a b Davis, Jr., Henry Blaine (1998). Generals in Khaki. Pentland Press, Inc. p. 138. ISBN 1571970886. OCLC 40298151.
  4. ^ Davis, Jr., Henry Blaine (1998). Generals in Khaki. Pentland Press, Inc. p. 138. ISBN 1571970886. OCLC 40298151.
  5. ^ Davis, Jr., Henry Blaine (1998). Generals in Khaki. Pentland Press, Inc. p. 138. ISBN 1571970886. OCLC 40298151.
Military offices
Preceded by
George H. Burton
Inspector General of the U. S. Army
October 1, 1906 – February 20, 1917
Succeeded by
John L. Chamberlain