Littleton Waller
Marine Corps Brevet Medalrecipient
Littleton Waller
Littleton "Tony" Waller Tazewell Waller was a career officer in the United States Marine Corps, who served in the Spanish American War, the Caribbean and Asia. He was court martialled and acquitted for actions during the Philippine-American War where he led an ill-fated expedition across the island of Samar. He retired from the Marines holding the rank of Major General.
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Architect left his mark on many iconic Norfolk structures - The Virginian-Pilot
Google News - over 5 years
(Ross Taylor | The Virginian-Pilot) By Philip Walzer His great-great-grandfather was Littleton Waller Tazewell, for whom a downtown street is named. The 19th-century Tazewell enjoyed a dazzling political career, serving as governor, US senator,
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Member China Relief Expedition – Pvt. Erwin Jay Boydston, US Marine Corps ... - Hawaii Reporter
Google News - over 5 years
On June 19,1900, the 1st Regiment (Marines) under Major Littleton Waller arrived in China. It wasn't until June 23 that the Major and his troops were able to enter Tientsin. Until July 12, when US Army troops arrived to reinforce the Marines,
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THEATER REVIEW; The Consequences of War Can Be Deep and Everlasting
NYTimes - almost 11 years
Lurking somewhere in ''Savages,'' a ramrod-stiff new play by Anne Nelson at the Lion Theater on Theater Row, is a cogent, compelling op-ed piece yearning to be set free. Ms. Nelson is the author of the popular play ''The Guys,'' a quiet, effective two-hander about an encounter between a journalist and a fire captain shortly after Sept. 11, 2001,
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THEATER; Nine to Watch, Onstage and Off
NYTimes - about 11 years
Anne Nelson Playwright Untenable grief, experienced firsthand, motivated Anne Nelson's instant foray into playwriting. Twelve days after the attacks on the World Trade Center, she performed a mission of mercy for a local fire captain: she spent five hours ghostwriting eulogies for the men he lost on Sept. 11, 2001. Within three months, and with the
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Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Littleton Waller
  • 1926
    Age 69
    Major General Waller lived in retirement in Philadelphia until his death on 13 July 1926 at the age of 69.
    More Details Hide Details He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. In 1942, the destroyer (DD-466) was named in his honor. General Waller was a member of the Military Order of Foreign Wars, Military Order of the Dragon and the Military Order of the Carabao. General Waller was one of the very few recipients, possibly the only, of both the Brevet Medal and Specially Meritorious Service Medal. With only 23 and 93 total awards respectively, they are two of the rarest decorations in American military history. (By way of comparison, there have been over 3,000 awards of the Medal of Honor and over 600 of the Gold Lifesaving Medal.) Marine Corps Brevet Medal Waller was one of only twenty living Marine officers whose gallantry in action during the Civil War, Spanish-American War, Philippine Campaign and the Boxer Rebellion had been recognized by a brevet commission. Waller's medal recognized his promotion to the brevet rank of Lieutenant Colonel, "for distinguished conduct and public service in the presence of the enemy near Tientsin, China", on 13 July 1900. He had retired prior to the creation of the medal, but went to Washington to receive it.
  • 1916
    Age 59
    Having been promoted to Brigadier General on 29 August 1916 and to Major General on 29 August 1918, Littleton W. T. Waller Sr. closed out his active duty in the Marine Corps as Commander of the Advanced Base Force at Philadelphia Navy Yard from 8 January 1917 until his retirement in June 1920.
    More Details Hide Details According to the entry in Webster's American Military Biographies, L.W.T. Waller was "reputed to have taken part in more actions than any other Marine officer of the period."
  • 1913
    Age 56
    Several key points are evident here. Waller had the endorsement of "all 21 Democrats in the Senate", but in 1913 the U.S. had forty-eight states, for a total of ninety-six senators.
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    Much to Butler's dismay -- and despite whatever political leverage his father applied -- stronger forces determined the selection of a new CMC in 1913-14.
    More Details Hide Details Biddle had hoped to slide in the veteran campaigner, Colonel Lincoln Karmany, before sufficient political forces could be organized to oppose this handpicked successor. But Secretary Daniels eliminated Karmany from the running when he learned of his messy divorce in order to marry another woman. Waller had the endorsement of all 21 Democrats in the Senate, but carried the unacceptable baggage of Samar with him. Secretary Daniels reasoned that it made no sense to appoint an officer with a reputation for callous and inhumane treatment of the Filipino people, just when the Wilson Administration promised a more enlightened and humane government of the Philippines."
  • 1910
    Age 53
    But if it was not the reason, it may have been the excuse. Captain Archibald Butt, U.S. Army, military aide to Presidents Roosevelt and Taft, recalls a White House meeting in March 1910.
    More Details Hide Details The subject was the next Marine Commandant. Secretary of the Navy George Meyer had the necessary papers to appoint Waller, and President Taft agreed. Then, according to Butt: "(Waller's) name was practically written, when Senator Penrose of Pennsylvania called on the President, and in five minutes Waller was sidetracked and Biddle elevated to the place in command. (Biddle) happened to be a cousin of the junior Senator from Pennsylvania, George T. Oliver." With no love for the Marines and no reason to care who their Commandant was, Butt had no reason to lie. Nor is he alone in giving this version of events. In the Proceedings of the U. S. Naval Institute, November 1986, Lieutenant Colonel Merrill L. Bartlett, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired), discusses the career of Waller's protege Smedley D. Butler. Like Waller, Butler was the choice for Commandant among the rank-and-file of the Corps. Butler, too, was denied the position, because of the influence of politics. Col. Bartlett writes:
  • 1905
    Age 48
    During his service in China, Waller also began a long-running friendship with then Lt. Smedley Butler. Waller served as Best Man at Butlers' wedding in June 1905 and the two remained close for the rest of Wallers' life.
    More Details Hide Details After the Balangiga massacre, U.S. Army Brigadier General Jacob H. Smith asked for Marine Corps assistance to help subdue the Philippine population on the island of Samar. Major Waller and his Marine Battalion were given this assignment. Prior to proceeding, Major Waller had had this conversation with General Smith:
  • 1904
    Age 47
    The elections of Roosevelt in 1904 and Taft in 1908 came long after the courts-martial not only of Waller and Day, but also of the Army officers Smith and Glenn.
    More Details Hide Details Waller was also frustrated at being sidelined, as he saw it, from the fighting in France. Relatively few senior Marine officers saw active duty in France, all of them a generation younger than Waller. On March 22, 1920, Waller appeared before the Retirement Board at Marine Corps Headquarters. The board found that he was "incapacitated for active service by reason of arterial sclerosis, general, and that his incapacity is the result of an incident of the service." On March 27 the finding was made official: THE WHITE HOUSE The proceedings and findings of the Retiring Board in this case are approved, and Major General (T) Littleton W.T. Waller, U.S. Marine Corps, will be retired from active service and placed on the retired list with the rank he now temporarily holds, that of Major General, in
  • 1903
    Age 46
    He is "promoted LIEUTENANT COLONEL, U.S.M.C., by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, March 23, 1903, to rank as such from March 3, 1903", and then "promoted COLONEL, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, March 21, 1905, to rank from March 11, 1905".
    More Details Hide Details "On March 28, 1901, appointed Lieutenant-Colonel by brevet, in the Marine Corps of the United States, for distinguished conduct and public service in the presence of the enemy near Tientsin, China, from the 13th day of July, 1900. On March 28, 1901, advanced two (2) numbers in rank on the list of Majors, in the Marine Corps, for eminent and conspicuous conduct in battle on June 21, & 23, and July 3, and 9, 1900, at Tientsin, China, from March 8, 1901. Under suspension for ten days (10) from September 18, 1901, for being under the influence of liquor, and thereby unfit for the proper performance of duty." Suspended from duty for being drunk, with an official entry made of the event, Waller was still promoted from captain to full colonel in less than six years. This is hardly indicative of a stalled career, especially in the early twentieth century. It becomes hard to believe that the court-martial prevented Waller's appointment to the commandancy, especially since he is promoted less than a year afterward.
  • 1902
    Age 45
    Waller's acquittal is dated April 28, 1902.
    More Details Hide Details He had been "promoted MAJOR August 28, 1899, to take rank from July 25, 1899".
    The prosecution then decided to call General Smith as a rebuttal witness. On April 7, 1902, in sworn testimony, Smith denied that he had given any special verbal orders to Waller.
    More Details Hide Details Waller then produced three officers, who corroborated Waller's version of the Smith–Waller conversation, and copies of every written order he had received from Smith, Waller informed the court he had been directed to take no prisoners and to kill every male Filipino over age 10. During the trial, American newspapers, including his hometown newspaper in Philadelphia, nicknamed Waller the "Butcher of Samar". The court martial board voted 11–2 for acquittal of Waller. Later, the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General dismissed the entire case, agreeing that a Marine Corps officer was not subject to an Army court. As a result of evidence introduced at the Waller trial, General Smith was then court martialed, convicted, and admonished; President Roosevelt personally ordered his dismissal from the army. Returning to the United States soon thereafter, Waller served in charge of recruiting in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and western New Jersey into 1903 and commanded, in succession, the Provisional Regiment of Marines on the Isthmus of Panama in 1904; the expeditionary forces on the island of Cuba from 1906 and rose to command the Provisional Brigade in Cuba by 1911. He later commanded the Marine Barracks at the Mare Island Navy Yard from 1911 to 1914 and the First Brigade of Marines during action at Veracruz in Mexico in 1914, before being appointed to command marines in Haiti in 1915. Under Colonel Waller's command, his troops successfully crushed most armed resistance to the American occupation of the country and restored some semblance of peace and order to Haiti.
    He and his Battalion left Samar on 29 February, returning to Cavite on 2 March 1902.
    More Details Hide Details Waller reported the executions to Smith, as he had reported every other event. "It became necessary to expend eleven prisoners. Ten who were implicated in the attack on Lieutenant Williams and one who plotted against me." Smith passed Waller's report to General Adna Chaffee. For some reason, Chaffee decided to investigate these executions, despite General J. Franklin Bell and Colonel Jacob H. Smith having carried out similar executions on a much larger scale months before with no subsequent investigations. Waller was tried for murder in ordering the execution of the eleven Filipino porters. A court martial began on March 17, 1902. The court-martial board consisted of 7 Army officers and 6 Marine Corps officers, led by U.S. Army General William H. Bisbee. Major Henry P. Kingsbury, USA, the prosecutor, read the charge and specification.
    Waller's Marine Battalion on Samar was relieved by U.S. Army units on 26 February 1902.
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    To stave off disaster, Major Waller divided his force on 3 January 1902.
    More Details Hide Details Leaving Marine Captain David D. Porter in charge of a group remaining in the jungle, Waller and 14 others went for help at Basey, arriving there on 6 January. On 7 January, Waller led a relief operation back to Porter, but for nine days could not find them. Growing more desperate for food, Captain Porter left the sick and dying behind, under the command of Marine Lieutenant A.S. Williams, and set out with 7 Marines and 6 porters to Lanang. Having arrived at Lanang on 11 January, Cpt. Porter then sent out a relief column to pick up his own stragglers and rescue Lt. William's command. By 18 January, when Williams was rescued, 10 marines had died, one had gone insane and the porters had mutinied. Williams later testified that their mutinous behavior left the Marines in daily fear of their lives; the porters were hiding food and supplies from the Marines and keeping themselves nourished from the jungle while the Marines starved; then three porters attacked and wounded Williams with a bolo knife. The other 11 porters were placed under arrest when Williams' command reached Lanang.
  • 1901
    Age 44
    In the southern half of Samar, Waller ran patrols, amphibious operations, and led a detachment of marines which defeated Philippine insurgents in a battle at Sohoton cliffs on 5 November 1901.
    More Details Hide Details He was having some success in registering the inhabitants and pacifying the Philippine towns.
    Waller largely ignored these illegal orders. Waller and his battalion of 315 Marines departed Cavite on 22 October 1901 and landed at Catbalogan, Samar, on 24 October.
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    General Smith ordered Waller to scout a possible telegraph route across the island from Lanang on the east coast to Basey on the west coast – straight across trackless, uninhabited jungle. Waller's March across Samar began from Lanang on 28 December 1901 with 60 Marines, including Sgt.
    More Details Hide Details John H. Quick, two Philippine scouts and 33 Philippine porters. In terrible physical conditions, most of the men were soon sick and running out of food.
  • 1900
    Age 43
    In the photograph above, Waller wears a distinct triangular medal which represents the Military Order of the Carabao, an association of officers with service in the Philippines which was founded in 1900 as well as the insignia of the Military Order of Foreign Wars, which was founded in 1894 as a military society of officers and their descendants and the Military Order of the Dragon, a military society of officers who served in China during the Boxer Rebellion.
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    Accordingly, Waller and his men arrived at Taku, China, on 19 June 1900, soon moved inland, and linked up with a Russian column of 400 men.
    More Details Hide Details At 02:00 on June 21, this small combined force set out for Tientsin, a large enemy held city along the route to Peking, arrayed against a Chinese contingent of some 1,500 to 2,000 men. Outnumbered from the start, the column came under heavy enemy fire and was forced to retreat, with the Russians in the lead. In a desperate rearguard action, Waller and his marines—leaving their dead behind and dragging their wounded with them—fought off the numerically superior (but less aggressive) Chinese forces and reached safety. Waller's detachment immediately returned to duty, attached to a British column led by Commander Christopher Craddock. At 04:00 on June 24, an international army—consisting of Italian, German, Japanese, Russian, British, and American forces—set out again for Tientsin. After participating in the final fighting for the city of Peking on July 13–14, Waller and his men took possession of the American sector and brought order out of the havoc caused by the Chinese retreat. Promoted by brevet to lieutenant colonel and advanced two numbers in grade for his performance of duty at Tientsin and Peking, Littleton Waller was commended in 1903 by Brigadier General Aaron S. Daggett, U.S. Army, Ret., in his book, America in the China Relief Expedition. He recalled that the marine had
    While stationed at the naval station at Cavite early in 1900, Waller, now a Major, was ordered to command a detachment of Marines, assigned to take part in the expedition mounted to relieve the siege of Peking, the Imperial Capital of China.
    More Details Hide Details This city, with its enclave of foreign Legations, was besieged by a mixed force of "Boxers" and Chinese Imperial troops supporting them.
  • 1898
    Age 41
    Waller's medal had a ship's pin inscribed "USS Indiana", and four engagement bars - "San Juan Porto Rico", for the occupation of that city, and three bars inscribed "Santiago", for the siege, for the great battle of July 3, 1898, and for the occupation of the city.
    More Details Hide Details It was awarded in 1901. Spanish Campaign Medal Awarded to all members of the Navy and Marine Corps who served between 20 April and 10 December 1898. Philippine Campaign Medal For service ashore in the Philippine Islands between 4 February 1899 and 4 July 1902. China Relief Expedition Medal For service ashore in China between 24 May 1900 and 27 May 1901. Cuban Pacification Medal For service ashore in Cuba between 12 September 1906 and 1 April 1909. Mexican Service Medal For service at Vera Cruz from 21 April to 23 April 1914. Haitian Campaign Medal For service ashore in Haiti between 9 July and 6 December 1915. WW1 Victory Medal For service during the period 6 April 1917 to 11 November 1918, both dates inclusive. Photos of Waller, and other Marine officers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, also show the wearing of numerous unofficial medals awarded by fraternal and patriotic societies. The Freemasons, Sons of the American Revolution, Society of the Cincinnati, Grand Army of the Republic and United Spanish War Veterans were some of the more common ones. As military decorations and medals were uncommon prior the First World War, military regulations permitted the wearing of the insignia of societies and organizations composed of service members and/or their descendants.
    Following tours of shore duty at Norfolk and Washington; and at sea in,, and Lancaster — Captain Waller served in the battleship, lead ship of the new during the Spanish–American War and was in that vessel as Commander of its Marine detachment during the Battle of Santiago on 3 July 1898.
    More Details Hide Details During this naval engagement, Spanish Admiral Pascual Cervera's fleet was chased down and totally destroyed by the American fleet waiting just outside the harbor. Due to her position at the extreme eastern end of the blockade, the Indiana could not participate in the initial chase after the enemy cruisers made their sortie without cutting across the bow of the, which Captain Taylor, the ship's Commander, wisely decided not to do. The battleship and the Marines manning her secondary batteries were, however, able to engage and aid in the destruction of the Furor and the Pluton, the fifth and sixth ships bringing up the rear of Spanish line, as they left the bay. Still too close to his squadron to risk using his big guns, Taylor called on Waller and his Marines to take the destroyers under fire with the six-inch batteries. Captain Waller ran from gun to gun, shouting orders and encouragement, as his Leathernecks pulverized the Spanish ships.
  • 1882
    Age 25
    The following year, Waller was present at the British Naval bombardment of Alexandria, Egypt during a serious local uprising in the summer of 1882.
    More Details Hide Details He participated in the landing of a mixed bluejacket and Marine force during the operation. The Naval landing force of sixty-nine sailors and sixty-three Marines was formed, with Lieutenant Commander Charles Goodrich in command and Captain Cochrane as executive officer. The force comprised two companies, the sailors under Navy Lieutenant Frank L. Denny and the Marines under Waller. The timely arrival of the ships of the European Squadron and their landing force gave protection to the American consulate and to American citizens and interests caught up in the fighting, and also afforded a refuge for the citizens of other nations, who had been displaced from their homes or businesses. Advancing cautiously through the burning and rubble strewn streets, the Americans reached the Grand Square of Mehmet Ali, at the heart of the city. The American Consulate was there, and it became the headquarters of the force. Although the French troops had abandoned the city and cautiously returned to their ships, the Marines secured the Grand Square and began to patrol the streets of the European Quarter, as the international business and consular area was named. Cochrane, Waller and their Marines were assigned to Lord Charles Beresford’s British force for the protection of the European Quarter. The anticipated rebel counterattack never came, and a ten-day standoff ended with the arrival of the four thousand-man British relief force. According to the Times of London:
  • 1881
    Age 24
    Waller first went to sea as the Executive Officer of the Marine Detachment aboard the sloop-of-war, the flagship of the European Squadron and a veteran of the Civil War, in 1881.
    More Details Hide Details The Commanding Officer of the Detachment, also a veteran of the Civil War, was the legendary Captain Henry Clay Cochrane.
  • 1856
    Littleton Waller Tazewell Waller was born on September 26, 1856.
    More Details Hide Details His father, who was a doctor, died of typhoid during an epidemic on December 11, 1861. Mary remained a widow until her death on December 20, 1889. She is buried with her husband in Elmwood Cemetery in Norfolk, Virginia. The family's extensive public service is exclusively civilian. In 1920, when Tony Waller Jr. joined the Sons of the American Revolution, his application was based on his ancestor's participation in the Committee of Independence. The Waller family website says little about the Civil War years, and the associated Tazewell website says even less. The Wallers and Tazewells seem to have had no military members prior to Tony's commissioning. His decision to become an officer must have surprised his family, but they were supportive of his ambition. In his teens, Tony was a corporal in the Norfolk Light Artillery Blues, a local militia unit. Turned down for a commission in the cavalry (at 5' 4" he was too short), he was accepted into the Marines.
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