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First Name: Barnwell

Last Name: Legge

Birthplace: Charleston, SC, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Rhett

Date of Birth: 09 July 1891

Date of Death: 07 June 1949

Rank: Brigadier General

Years Served:
Barnwell Rhett Legge

•  World War I (1914 - 1918)


Barnwell Rhett Legge
Brigadier General, U.S. Army

Barnwell Rhett Legge was born on 9 July 1891 in Charleston, SC. Legge's early education was in the Charleston City Schools. Afterwards he was awarded a scholarship to the Citadel where he graduated in 1911. He distinguished himself in athletics and earned the reputation of being the Citadel's most durable athlete.

In 1916, after studying law at the University of South Carolina, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Regular Army. He served with the First Division 26th Infantry during WW I, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

He was in the Battle of Soissons where, during the last two days, the casualties were so heavy that many of the field officers, and most of the company commanders, were killed. Many of the battalions had shrunk from eight hundred men to one hundred. Theodore Roosevelt would write in "Average Americans" that he served with Legge during his entire service in Europe, and during the latter part, he was his second in command. He continued that he had seen him under all circumstances and he was always cool and decided. No mission was too difficult for him to undertake and his ability as a troop leader was of the highest order. Roosevelt concluded that in his opinion, no man of his age had a better war record.

In 1939 he was named Military Attaché to Switzerland where he served until 1947. While on duty there, he was promoted to Brigadier General. He died in the service of his country while stationed in Washington, DC.

Medals and Awards

Distinguished Service Cross
Army Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star Medal (4 Awards)
zlegion of Merit
Purple Heart
Croix de Guerre with Palm (France)

Death and Burial

Brigadier General Barnwell Rhett Legge died on 7 June 1949 in Washington, DC, while on active duty. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.

Honoree ID: 2752   Created by: MHOH




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