Hunter Liggett: A Soldier's General

Hunter Liggett: A Soldier's General

by Michael E. Shay

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Lt. Gen. Hunter Liggett’s forty-year career spanned the period from the Indian Wars in the territories of Montana and Dakota to the trenches of World War I. For someone who experienced many individual triumphs and battlefield victories—including the final push of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive—he often is overshadowed by figures such as John J. Pershing or George C. Marshall. His quiet demeanor sometimes did not serve him well, but it also masked steely determination. Liggett’s tenacity won Pershing’s attention and admiration, and he went on to direct and win what was at the time the largest single battle in American history. In Hunter Liggett, author Michael E. Shay shows that while Pershing may have assembled the pieces of the American Expeditionary Forces, it was Liggett who made it work.

This first biography of Liggett follows the full life of a doggedly hard-working soldier whose leadership style contrasted and sometimes conflicted with the military culture of his time. Where Pershing employed a “fear and censure” approach to command, Liggett allowed his subordinates to grow into their jobs, all the while coaching them on the best course of action. Where Pershing was feared, Liggett enjoyed the respect—if not affection—of his men. Liggett was a modest man and a devoted student of military history at a time when many officers of his generation relied upon a combination of connections, political influence, and seniority to advance their careers.

Hunter Liggett not only offers readers a much-needed biography of an almost forgotten general but also adds a new and nuanced perspective on the importance of military leadership in the era of the First World War.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781623497460
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
Publication date: 03/05/2019
Series: C. A. Brannen Series , #15
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 224
File size: 11 MB
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About the Author

MICHAEL E. SHAY is the author or editor of six books, including The Yankee Division in the First World War: In the Highest Tradition and Henry Ware Lawton: Union Infantryman, Frontier Soldier, Charismatic Warrior. He served as a superior court judge in the state of Connecticut and is now a judge trial referee. He resides in Wilton, Connecticut.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations xi

Preface xiii

1 The Early Years 1

2 Out West 11

3 Southern Exposure 32

4 Cuba and the Philippines 45

5 School Days: Army War College and General Staff School 61

6 The Philippines Again 82

7 World War I, Opening Rounds 93

8 World War I, Coup de Grace 116

9 Final Command and Retirement 138

Epilogue: Sic transit gloria mundi 151

Abbreviations 157

Notes 159

Selected Bibliography 193

Index 199

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