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HOWZE, ROBERT LEE

HOWZE, ROBERT LEE (1864–1926). Robert Lee Howze, winner of the Medal of Honor, son of Capt. James A. and Amanda Hamilton (Brown) Howze, was born at Overton, Rusk County, Texas, on August 22, 1864. After graduating from Hubbard College in 1883, he was admitted to the United States Military Academy and upon graduation was commissioned a second lieutenant in the cavalry. Howze's first assignment was to the Sixth Cavalry at Fort Wingate, New Mexico. He was awarded the Medal of Honor on July 25, 1891, for gallantry in a campaign to quell an uprising of Sioux Indians in South Dakota in January of that year. He married Anne Chiffelle Hawkins, daughter of Gen. Hamilton S. Hawkins, on February 24, 1897. At the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, Howze, now a cavalry captain, was made adjutant general of the cavalry in Cuba. Upon his return to the United States, he was appointed lieutenant colonel of volunteers and commanded the Thirty-fourth Volunteer Infantry throughout the Philippine Insurrection. He was promoted to captain in the United States Army on February 2, 1901; to brigadier general of volunteers on June 20, 1901; and to major of the Puerto Rico provincial regiment of infantry in 1901. He was commandant of cadets at West Point, with rank of lieutenant colonel, from 1905 until 1909. He returned to active military command in 1916 as a major in John J. Pershing's punitive expedition into Mexico. Howze commanded selected mounted men in the pursuit of Francisco (Pancho) Villa and upon his return was promoted for "valiant and conscientious service."

In 1917 he was made a brigadier general and assigned to Fort Bliss. He was later promoted to major general and commanded the Thirty-eighth Division, which participated in the Meuse-Argonne offensive of October 21–29, 1918. Howze commanded the Third Division in its march on the Rhine River and the Third Army of Occupation in Germany until 1919. He was then assigned to command the military district of El Paso. He was given the permanent rank of brigadier general on July 3, 1920, and organized and trained the First Cavalry Division, in which he remained on duty until 1925. He was given the permanent rank of major general in 1922. He was later transferred to command the Fifth Corps Area at Columbus, Ohio, where he died on September 19, 1926.

Howze won many honors in addition to the Medal of Honor. Besides the Silver Star Citation for gallant conduct during the battle of Santiago of the Spanish-American War and a Silver Citation for gallantry in action against the Philippine insurgent general Tinio in northern Luzon, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for meritorious service in the command of the Third Division. He was also awarded the Croix de Guerre and was made a member of the Legion of Honor by the Republic of France. Camp Howze, at Gainesville, was named in his honor.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Committee on Veterans' Affairs, United States Senate, Medal of Honor Recipients, 1863–1973 (Washington: GPO, 1973). Dictionary of American Biography. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Mrs. Ezwoh Barton Snead

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Mrs. Ezwoh Barton Snead, "HOWZE, ROBERT LEE," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fho81), accessed September 18, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.