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First Name: John

Last Name: Bates

Birthplace: St. Charles, MO, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Coalter

Date of Birth: 26 August 1842

Date of Death: 04 February 1919

Rank: Lieutenant General

Years Served: 1861–1906
John Coalter Bates

•  Indian Wars (1775 - 1924) intermittent
•  American Civil War (1861 - 1865)
•  Spanish-American War (1898)
•  Moro Rebellion (1899 - 1913)


John Coalter Bates
Lieutenant General, U.S. Army

John Coalter Bates was born on 26 August 1842 in St. Charles, MO.

The son of U.S. Attorney General Edward Bates, he was educated at Washington University in St. Louis and joined the Army, first as a First Lieutenant in the 11th U.S. Infantry Regiment, then as Aide-de-Camp to General George G. Meade.

He served throughout the Civil War and attained the temporary rank of Lieutenant Colonel for his bravery and meritorious service at Gettysburg and other battles. He remained in the Army after the war, serving in the western U.S. during the Indian Wars and achieving the rank of Colonel as Commander of 2nd U.S. Infantry in 1892.

During the Spanish-American War, Bates commanded a division in Cuba as a Brigadier General and served as Military Governor of Cienfuegos. He later traveled to the Philippines, where he negotiated a treaty with the Sultan of Sulu that established Moro neutrality and enabled the U.S. to establish outposts in the southern Philippine Islands. Bates then commanded 1st Division, VIII Corps in Luzon, Philippines, afterward advancing to Corps Commander.

From 1901-04, he commanded the Department of the Missouri at Ft. Leavenworth, KS, and then the Department of the Lakes in Detroit, with the rank of Major General. In 1905 he became Commander of the Army's Northern Division in St. Louis.

In January 1906, Bates was appointed Army Chief of Staff, receiving a promotion to Lieutenant General and serving until he reached mandatory retirement age of 64 in April 1906.

In Retirement

After retiring, he served as Commander of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the U.S. from 1909 to 1911.

Death and Burial

Lieutenant General John Coalter Bates died on 4 February 1919 in San Diego, CA. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.

Honoree ID: 2224   Created by: MHOH




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