Hugh Aloysius Drum

  (Redirected from Hugh A. Drum)

Hugh Aloysius Drum (September 19, 1879 – October 3, 1951) was a career United States Army officer who served in World War I and World War II and attained the rank of lieutenant general. He was notable for his service as First United States Army's chief of staff during World War I, and commander of First Army during the initial days of World War II.

Hugh Aloysius Drum
Hugh Drum.jpg
Hugh Aloysius Drum
Born(1879-09-19)September 19, 1879
Fort Brady, Chippewa County, Michigan
DiedOctober 3, 1951(1951-10-03) (aged 72)
New York City, New York
Place of burial
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branchEmblem of the United States Department of the Army.svg United States Army
Years of service1898–1943
RankUS-O9 insignia.svg Lieutenant general
Commands heldUnited States Army Command and General Staff College
1st Infantry Brigade
1st Infantry Division
Fifth Corps Area
Hawaiian Department
First Army
Second Corps Area
Eastern Defense Command
New York Guard
Battles/warsPhilippine–American War
Veracruz Expedition
Pancho Villa Expedition
World War I
World War II
AwardsArmy Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Silver Star
Spouse(s)Mary Reaume (m. 1903-1951)
Other workPresident, Empire State Inc.

The son of a career Army officer, Drum was attending Boston College when his father was killed during the Spanish–American War. Offered a direct commission in the Army, Drum was commissioned a second lieutenant of Infantry. He served in the Philippines during the Philippine–American War, took part in the Battle of Bayan, and received the Silver Star for heroism. He continued to advance through positions of more rank and responsibility in the early 1900s, and took part in the Veracruz and Pancho Villa Expeditions.

During World War I, Drum was chief of staff for First United States Army, and led planning for First Army's participation in the St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne offensives. He was promoted to temporary brigadier general, and received the Army Distinguished Service Medal. After the war, Drum continued his Army service, and commanded the 1st Infantry Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Fifth Corps Area, and Hawaiian Department. Having served as the Army's Deputy Chief of Staff and Inspector General, Drum was a candidate for Army Chief of Staff in 1939, but the position went to George Marshall. Drum received promotion to lieutenant general in August 1939, and commanded the Eastern Defense Command during the early years of World War II. He reached the mandatory retirement age of 64 in 1943, after which he was commander of the New York Guard (1943–1945), and president of Empire State, Inc., the company that managed the Empire State Building (1944–1951).

Drum died in New York City on October 3, 1951, and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Early lifeEdit

Born at Fort Brady, Chippewa County, Michigan, on September 19, 1879, Hugh A. Drum was the son of Margaret (Desmond) Drum of Boston and Captain John Drum (1864–1898), a career Army officer who was killed in Cuba during the Spanish–American War.[1]

In 1894, Drum graduated from Xavier High School in New York City, which he had attended while his father was an instructor at the school.[2] Initially intent upon a career as a Jesuit priest, he enrolled at Boston College.[3] Under the provisions of a recently passed law allowing recognition for sons of officers who displayed exceptional bravery during the Spanish–American War, Drum was offered a direct commission as a second lieutenant on September 9, 1898, which he accepted.[4] (He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Boston College in 1921.)[1][5][6][7][8][9]

Start of military careerEdit

Drum in 1902.

Joining the United States Army while the Spanish–American War and subsequent insurrections and conflicts were ongoing, he served with the 12th Infantry Regiment in the Philippines, and then with the 25th Infantry Regiment.[10] He participated in the Battle of Bayan in 1899, for which he received the Silver Citation Star which was converted to the Silver Star when that decoration was created in 1932.[11]

Drum later served as aide-de-camp to Frank Baldwin before returning to a series of assignments in the United States.[10] He completed the School of the Line (precursor to the Officer Basic and Advanced Courses) in 1911 as an honor graduate.[10] He graduated from the United States Army Command and General Staff College in 1912,[10] and later served there as an instructor.[1][12]

In 1914 he was an assistant chief of staff for the force commanded by Frederick Funston during the Veracruz Expedition.[13]

Drum served at Fort Bliss and Fort Sam Houston in Texas during 1915 and 1916 as part of the Pancho Villa Expedition.[14]

World War IEdit

Brigadier General Drum as First Army chief of staff in November 1918

Highly regarded by John J. Pershing, at the start of World War I, Drum was named an assistant chief of staff of First Army.[10] In 1918, he was promoted to colonel and became First Army chief of staff.[10] He was commended for his work to assemble and organize First Army's staff, and for the planning of the St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne offensives, for which he received the Army Distinguished Service Medal and awards from several foreign countries.[15][16][17]

Between the World WarsEdit

After the war, Drum served as the director of training and assistant commandant for the School of the Line at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and commandant of the Command and General Staff College, where he taught the doctrine of open warfare—stressing maneuver and marksmanship over frontal attacks and firepower, using experienced troops, and supported by large artillery barrages—that the American Expeditionary Forces had attempted to practice in France.[18][19]

From there he went to the Army staff at the War Department in Washington, D.C., where he publicly clashed with General Billy Mitchell about the disposition of the U.S. Army Air Service.[20] During their repeated confrontations, which stretched over several years, Drum successfully lobbied Congress not to have the Air Service organized separately from the army.[20]

From 1926 to 1927, Drum commanded 1st Infantry Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, and he was the division commander from May 1926 to May 1927.[21] He served again as commander of the 1st Infantry Division from September 1927 to January 1930.[10] From 1930 to 1931, Drum was the Inspector General of the US Army.[10] Drum was promoted to major general when he assumed his duties as inspector general on January 29, 1930.[22][23][24]

In 1931 Drum was assigned as commander of the Fifth Corps Area, based at Fort Hayes, Ohio.[25] Drum returned to Washington in 1933 to serve as deputy to the Army's Chief of Staff, Douglas MacArthur.[10] He headed a board of senior officers that again sought to suppress advocates of an independent air force by setting the ceiling on Air Corps requirements for numbers of aircraft and tying any funding for expansion of the Air Corps to prior funding of the other branches first.[26] In 1934, all the members of the Drum Board also sat on the presidential-initiated Baker Board, again setting its agenda to preclude any discussion of air force independence.[27]

In 1935, Drum was a candidate for Chief of Staff, but Malin Craig was selected.[28] From 1935 to 1937, Drum commanded the Hawaiian Department.[10] It was during Drum's posting in Hawaii that he renewed acquaintance with another ambitious officer, George S. Patton, who served as his assistant chief of staff for intelligence (G2), and with whom he had a contentious professional relationship.[29][30] At a polo match in which Patton was playing, Drum was among the spectators and rebuked Patton for his use of angry profanity during the game.[31] The civilian players, who were members of Hawaii's wealthy elite on friendly terms with the equally wealthy and elite Patton, humiliated Drum by standing up for Patton.[31]

In 1938, Drum succeeded James K. Parsons as commander of First Army and assumed command of Second Corps Area headquartered at Fort Jay, Governors Island, New York.[10] When Craig retired in 1939, Drum was again a candidate for Chief of Staff.[28][31] He wanted the position badly enough to set aside his feud with Patton and ask Patton to intercede with the retired but still influential John J. Pershing, Patton's old mentor.[28][31] Despite these efforts, Drum was passed over in favor of George Marshall.[28][31] Despite this disappointment, Drum received a promotion to lieutenant general in August 1939.[32]

Drum's former residence (right) in Washington, D.C.

World War IIEdit

With the onset of preparations for World War II, Drum assumed command of the Eastern Defense Command, responsible for domestic defense along the Atlantic seaboard.[10] During the 1941 Carolina Maneuvers, Drum commanded First Army.[33] He was embarrassed and became the subject of mockery when he was captured on the first day by troops of the 2nd Armored Division under Patton's command.[34] After soldiers from Isaac D. White's battalion detained Drum, the exercise umpires ruled that the circumstances would not have transpired in combat, so he was allowed to return to his headquarters, enabling the exercise to continue and Drum to save face.[35] Despite the umpires' actions, the incident indicated to senior leaders that Drum might not be prepared to command large bodies of troops under the modern battlefield conditions the Army would face in World War II, so he was not considered for field command.[35][36][37]


After the Carolina maneuvers, Drum was disappointed with an offer from Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson to go on what he perceived to be a low-profile assignment as chief of staff for the Chinese army of Chiang Kai-Shek.[38] After declining the China mission, Drum continued as head of the Eastern Defense Command, which was expanded into the Eastern Military Area with the inclusion of U.S. bases in Bermuda and Newfoundland.[39] He remained in this assignment until reaching the mandatory retirement age in September 1943.[40][41]

Post military careerEdit

Drum was the commander of the New York Guard from 1943 to 1948.[42] From 1944 until his death, he was the president of Empire State, Inc., the company that managed the Empire State Building.[43]

Death and burialEdit

Drum's gravestone at Arlington National Cemetery.

Drum died in New York City on October 3, 1951, and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Section 3, Site 1447-R.[44][45]


In 1903, Drum married to Mary Reaume (1877-1960).[46] They were the parents of a daughter, Anna Carroll Drum (1916-1996), nicknamed "Peaches," who was the wife of Army officer Thomas H. Johnson, Jr.[47][48]


The Hugh A. Drum Papers collection includes correspondence, diaries, newspaper clippings, memorandums and other official documents.[49] It is maintained at the U. S. Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.[50]

In 1951 Pine Camp, an Army training site near Watertown, New York, was renamed Camp Drum in General Drum's honor.[51] The post is now known as Fort Drum, and is home to the Army's 10th Mountain Division.[52]

Awards and honorsEdit

United States military decorations and medalsEdit

Foreign orders and decorationsEdit

His foreign decorations included the French Croix de Guerre, French Legion of Honor (Commander), Belgium's Order of the Crown (Commander), and Italy's Order of the Crown.[55][56]

Other honorsEdit

Drum was inducted into the Xavier High School Hall of Fame in 1931.[57]

Drum was a member of the Scabbard and Blade Society.[58][59]

In 1940, he received the Laetare Medal, awarded by the University of Notre Dame annually to recognize individuals who have contributed to the goals of the Roman Catholic church.[60]

Drum received honorary degrees from Boston College, St. Lawrence University, Fordham University, Loyola University of New Orleans, Columbia University, Rutgers University, New York University, Manhattan College, Pennsylvania Military College, and Georgetown University.[61]

Dates of rankEdit

No insignia in 1898 Second lieutenant, Regular Army: September 9, 1898
  First lieutenant, Regular Army: January 15, 1900
  Captain, Regular Army: March 23, 1906
  Major, Regular Army: May 15, 1917
  Lieutenant colonel, National Army: August 5, 1917
  Colonel, National Army: July 30, 1918
  Brigadier general, National Army: October 1, 1918
Reverted to permanent rank of major on July 31, 1919.
  Major, Regular Army: July 31, 1919
Date of rank May 25, 1917.
  Lieutenant colonel, Regular Army: July 1, 1920
  Brigadier general, Regular Army: September 21, 1920
  Lieutenant colonel, Regular Army: March 4, 1921
  Colonel, Regular Army: May 9, 1921
  Brigadier general, Regular Army: December 6, 1922
  Major general, Temporary: January 29, 1930
  Major general, Regular Army: December 1, 1931
  Lieutenant general, Temporary: August 5, 1939
  Lieutenant general, Retired List: October 16, 1943



  1. ^ a b c Davis, Jr., Henry Blaine (1998). Generals in Khaki. Raleigh, NC: Pentland Press, Inc. p. 112. ISBN 1571970886.
  2. ^ Johnson, Elliott L. (1975). The Military Experiences of General Hugh A. Drum from 1898-1918. 1. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin--Madison. pp. 24–28.
  3. ^ "Boston College Marks". The Boston Globe. Boston, MA. June 14, 1898. p. 2 – via
  4. ^ "Brave Soldier's Boy Honored: Hugh A., Son of Late Capt. John Drum, Made a Lieutenant in the Regular Army by Pres. McKinley". The Boston Globe. Boston, MA. September 18, 1898. p. 4 – via
  5. ^ Anne Cipriano Venzon, editor, The United States in the First World War: An Encyclopedia, 2013, pages 205–206
  6. ^ Xavier College (New York), A History of the Xavier Military Program, 2002, page 1
  7. ^ James J. Cooke, Billy Mitchell, 2002, page 66
  8. ^ "Death Notice, Captain John Drum". The Journal of the American-Irish Historical Society. Vol. 5. New York, NY: American-Irish Historical Society. 1905. p. 142.
  9. ^ United States War Department, General Orders, Department of the Army, General Order Number 4, January 10, 1899, page 6
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Tucker, Spencer C. (2014). World War I: The Definitive Encyclopedia and Document Collection. 1. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO. p. 495. ISBN 978-1-85109-964-1.
  11. ^ James R. Arnold, The Moro War: How America Battled a Muslim Insurgency in the Philippine Jungle, 1902–1913, 2011, pages 35–39
  12. ^ Elliott L. Johnson, The Military Experiences of General Hugh A. Drum from 1898–1918, Volume 1, 1975, page 117
  13. ^ Marquis Who's Who, Who Was Who in American History: The Military, 1975, page 143
  14. ^ U.S. Army Publicity Bureau, Life of the Soldier and the Airman, Volumes 20–21, 1938, unnumbered pages
  15. ^ Mark E. Grotelueschen, The AEF Way of War, 2010, page 206
  16. ^ Chicago Daily News, The Chicago Daily News Almanac and Year Book, Volume 35, 1918, page 497
  17. ^ United States Army Adjutant General, Congressional Medal of Honor, The Distinguished Service Cross and the Distinguished Service Medal Issued by the War Department Since April 6, 1917, 1920, page 885
  18. ^ U.S. Army Adjutant General, The Army Almanac: A Book of Facts Concerning the Army of the United States, 1950, page 357
  19. ^ Jörg Muth, Command Culture: Officer Education in the U.S. Army and the German Armed Forces, 2011, page 126
  20. ^ a b Miller, Roger G. (2004). Billy Mitchell: Stormy Petrel of the Air. Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. pp. 38–39, 43. ISBN 9781437912845.
  21. ^ Army and Navy Journal, Inc., Army and Navy Journal, Volume 75, Issues 1–26, 1937, page 168
  22. ^ James A. Hoyt, Cases Decided in the United States Court of Claims, Volume 127, 1954, page 400
  23. ^ James J. Cooke, Billy Mitchell, 2002, page 66
  24. ^ John B. Wilson, Maneuver and Firepower: The Evolution of Divisions and Separate Brigades, 1999, page 110
  25. ^ Charles Scribner's Sons, Scribner's Magazine, Volume 105, 1939, page 36
  26. ^ Cooke, James J. (2002). Billy Mitchell. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner. p. 268. ISBN 978-1-58826-082-6.
  27. ^ Herman S. Wolk, Office of Air Force History, Planning and Organizing the Postwar Air Force, 1943–1947, 1984, page 12
  28. ^ a b c d Frye, William (2005). Marshall: Citizen Soldier. Whitefish, MT: Kessinger Publishing, LLC. pp. 341–343. ISBN 978-1-4179-9503-5.
  29. ^ Carlo D'Este, Patton: A Genius for War, 1995, page 360
  30. ^ Alan Axelrod, Patton's Drive: The Making of America's Greatest General, 2010, page 257
  31. ^ a b c d e Holt, Thaddeus (December 1, 1992). "Relax—It's Only a Maneuver". HistoryNet. Leesburg, VA: World History Group.
  32. ^ Jean Edward Smith, FDR, 2008, page 432
  33. ^ David W. Hogan, U.S. Army Center of Military History, A Command Post at War: First Army Headquarters in Europe, 1943-1945, 2000, page 13
  34. ^ Keane, Michael (2012). Patton: Blood, Guts, and Prayer. Washington, DC: Regnery History. p. 111. ISBN 978-1-59698-326-7.
  35. ^ a b Patton: Blood, Guts, and Prayer, p. 111.
  36. ^ Morton, Matthew Darlington (2009). Men on Iron Ponies: The Death and Rebirth of the Modern U.S. Cavalry. DeKalb, IL: Northern Illinois University Press. p. 83. ISBN 9780875803975.
  37. ^ Samuel W. Mitcham, The Rise of the Wehrmacht, Volume 2, 2008, page 621
  38. ^ Yenne, Bill (2016). When Tigers Ruled the Sky: The Flying Tigers: American Outlaw Pilots over China in World War II. Berkley Caliber: New York, NY. p. 181. ISBN 978-0-425-27419-4.
  39. ^ Connole, Dennis A. (2008). The 26th "Yankee" Division on Coast Patrol Duty, 1942-1943. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company. p. 105. ISBN 978-0-7864-3142-7.
  40. ^ Hannah Pakula, The Last Empress: Madame Chiang Kai-shek and the Birth of Modern China, 2009, page 372
  41. ^ Robert Paul Fuller, Last Shots for Patton's Third Army, 2003, page 13
  42. ^ National Guard Association of the United States, Annual Meeting Proceedings, 1946, page 176
  43. ^ Thomas Edmund Dewey, Public Papers of Thomas E. Dewey, Volume 11, 1946, page 570
  44. ^ Newport Daily News, Gen. Hugh A. Drum Dies: Pershing Aide In World War I, October 3, 1951
  45. ^ Arlington National Cemetery Grave Site Locator
  46. ^ Logansport Pharos, City News: Wedding announcement, Hugh A. Drum and Mary Reaume, October 8, 1903
  47. ^ Buffalo Courier-Express, General Drum's Daughter Weds, December 13, 1941
  48. ^ Ruth Ellen Patton Totten, The Button Box: A Daughter's Loving Memoir of Mrs. George S. Patton, 2005, page 248
  49. ^ Drum, Hugh A. "The Hugh A. Drum Papers, 1898-1951". Dublin, OH: Online Computer Library Center, Incorporated (OCLC). OCLC 47163959. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  50. ^ "The Hugh A. Drum Papers, 1898-1951".
  51. ^ "Fort Drum Collection". Canton, NY: St. Lawrence University. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  52. ^ Robert E. Brennan, Jeannie I. Brennan, Fort Drum, 2002, page 8
  53. ^ Scabbard and Blade Society, Scabbard and Blade Journal, Volume 28, Issue 1, 1943, page 6
  54. ^ "New York State Record of Awards 1920-1991, Conspicuous Service Cross Entry for Hugh A. Drum". Lehi, UT: LLC. November 4, 1948. Retrieved September 21, 2018.
  55. ^ Army and Navy Register, Inc., Army and Navy Register, September 23, 1922, page 291
  56. ^ Elliott L. Johnson, The Military Experiences of General Hugh A. Drum from 1898-1918, Volume 2, 1975, page 360
  57. ^ "The Xavier Hall of Fame" (PDF). New York, NY: Xavier High School Alumni Association. 2012. p. 2. Retrieved September 20, 2018.
  58. ^ Scabbard and Blade Journal, Volume 28, Issue 1, 1943, page 6
  59. ^ H.W. Wilson Company, Current Biography, 1941, page 239
  60. ^ Delphos Daily Herald, Lt.-Gen. Hugh A. Drum is the 1940 Recipient of the Laetare Medal, March 4, 1940
  61. ^ New York Sun, Drum Gets Hemisphere Post, August 24, 1943
  62. ^ Official Register of Commissioned Officers of the United States Army. 1948. Vol. 2. pg. 2166.

External linksEdit

Military offices
Preceded by
William Ottman
Commanding General of the New York Guard
19 October 1943- 11 September 1948
Succeeded by
None (organization disbanded)
Preceded by
None (position created)
Commanding General of the Eastern Defense Command
18 March 1941- 8 October 1943
Succeeded by
George Grunert
Preceded by
James K. Parsons (Interim)
Commanding General of the First United States Army
4 November 1938 - 8 October 1943
Succeeded by
George Grunert
Preceded by
George Van Horn Moseley
Deputy Chief of Staff of the United States Army
23 February 1933 - 1 February 1935
Succeeded by
George S. Simonds
Preceded by
William C. Rivers
Inspector General of the U. S. Army
January 12, 1930-November 30, 1931
Succeeded by
John F. Preston
Preceded by
Fox Conner
Commanding General of the 1st Infantry Division
September 1927 - January 1930
Succeeded by
William P. Jackson
Preceded by
Frank Parker
Commanding General of the 1st Infantry Division
May 1926 - May 1927
Succeeded by
Fox Conner
Preceded by
Lucius Roy Holbrook
Commandant of the Command and General Staff College
September 1920 - July 1921
Succeeded by
Hanson Edward Ely