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Preston Brown (January 2, 1872 – June 30, 1948) was an American army officer who saw action with the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I. Brown reached the rank of Major General before retiring from active duty in 1936.

Preston Brown
Preston Brown.jpg
Brigadier General Preston Brown
BornJanuary 2, 1872 (1872-01-02)
Lexington, Kentucky
DiedJune 30, 1948 (1948-07-01) (aged 76)
Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts
Place of burial
Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville, Kentucky
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service1892 - 1936
Ranktwo silver stars Major General
Unit2nd Infantry Division
IV Corps
Commands held3rd Infantry Division
WarsWorld War I
AwardsDistinguished Service Medal

Early lifeEdit

Brown was born in Lexington, Kentucky. His maternal grandfather was General William C. Preston of the Confederate Army, while his father was a Union Army colonel.[1] He attended Yale, where he served on the editorial board of The Yale Record.[2] After his graduation in 1892, he entered the army as a private and served in Battery A, Fifth Field Artillery Brigade.[3]

Military careerEdit

He was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant in 1897 and rose through the ranks; he became a major in 1916 and a Lieutenant Colonel in 1917. In 1918, he was appointed Colonel of the National Army and in August of the same year was promoted to be Brigadier General.[3]

He served as Chief of Staff in the 2nd Infantry Division at Château-Thierry and Saint-Mihiel in 1918, and was Chief of Staff of the 4th Army Corps. In August 1918, he was appointed Commanding General of the 3rd Infantry Division, serving in that capacity through the Battle of Meuse-Argonne. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his leadership of the 3rd Infantry Division, as well as his previous efforts as Chief of Staff of the 2nd Infantry Division.[4]

In November 1918, he became Assistant Chief of Staff at General Headquarters in the occupied German territory. He was appointed instructor in the Army General Staff College in 1919. In 1921, he was acting commander of the U.S. Army War College and in the same year was appointed Commanding General of the 3rd infantry brigade. Preston Brown was commandant of the Panama Canal Zone from 1928 until 1932.[3]

He retired to Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts in 1936, having reached the rank of Major General.

Personal lifeEdit

In 1905, he married Susan Ford Dorrance. They had one child, Dorrance Brown who died in 1936.[3]

Death and burialEdit

He died in Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts on June 30, 1948[3] and is interred in Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville, Kentucky.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Preston-Brown Family Photographic Collection, 1863-1935". Retrieved 12 October 2015.
  2. ^ Yale Banner and Pot Pourri. New Haven: Yale University Press. 1923. p. 192.
  3. ^ a b c d e Davis, Jr., Henry Blaine (1998). Generals in Khaki. Raleigh, NC: Pentland Press, Inc. p. 53. ISBN 1571970886.
  4. ^ "Citation for Distinguished Service Medal". Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  5. ^ "Preston Brown". Retrieved 29 August 2011.


  • Davis, Jr., Henry Blaine (1998). Generals in Khaki. Raleigh, NC: Pentland Press, Inc. ISBN 1571970886.
  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainGilman, D. C.; Peck, H. T.; Colby, F. M., eds. (1905). "article name needed". New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead.