b. 20/02/1854 Newark, New Jersey. d. 02/06/1934 New York.
DATE OF MOH ACTION:
Born in Newark, New Jersey on February 20, 1854, James Parker was educated at Newark Academy, Phillips Academy (Andover, Massachusetts) and Rutgers College, where he was admitted to the Zeta Psi fraternity. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York in 1876, 31st in a class of 50 cadets, and was appointed second lieutenant.
He spent his early years serving in the Fourth United States Cavalry participating in the Indian Wars of the Southwest. His military career was influenced by the magnetic personality of the commander of the Fourth Cavalry, General Ranald S. Mackenzie, a legend for his success as a cavalry commander in the American Civil War. In May 1886, First Lieutenant Parker commanded one column of troops sent into Mexico to track down the famous Apache leader Geronimo and his band, and cooperated with Captain Henry W. Lawton and First Lieutenant Charles B. Gatewood when Geronimo was captured.
Later, he served as second in command of the 12th New York Infantry in Cuba during the Spanish–American War and saw significant combat while commanding the 45th Volunteer Infantry in the Philippine–American War during 1899 where he earned the Medal of Honor. From 1903 to 1904, he also served as Head of Militia Affairs in the Adjutant General's office.
During the First World War, General Parker served as Commander of the Southern Department, Fort Sam Houston, Texas from 31 March 1917 to 25 August 1917; as Division Commander of the 32nd Division from 25 August to 11 December 1917; and as Division Commander of the 85th Division from 11 December 1917 to 20 February 1918, when, having reached the statutory age of 64, he was retired from active service.
While in command of a small garrison repulsed a savage night attack by overwhelming numbers of the enemy, fighting at close quarters in the dark for several hours.
BURIAL LOCATION: SAINT MARY'S EPISCOPAL CHURCH, PORTSMOUTH, RHODE ISLAND.
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