LTC John Henry Patterson

Commander 22nd Infantry

June 20 - July 1, 1898

 

 

Lieutenant Colonel John Patterson had been second-in-command of the 22nd Infantry
for nearly three years, when, on June 14, 1898, the regiment sailed onboard the Orizaba for Cuba.
On June 20, while still at sea, COL Charles Wikoff, Commander of the 22nd Infantry, received orders
assigning him to command the 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, 5th Army Corps.

LTC Patterson assumed command of the 22nd, and led them ashore at Daiquiri on June 22,
thus being in command of the first US Army regiment to unfurl its colors on Cuban soil.

The 22nd Infantry led the advance toward Santiago, and was in 1st Brigade, as part of Lawton's 2nd Division,
sent north to secure the garrisoned city of El Caney, which guarded the northeastern approaches
to Santiago itself.

In the battle for El Caney the 22nd Infantry was positioned west of the city,
to prevent the Spaniards from retreating to Santiago, some three miles away.
The 1st Battalion of the 22nd, led by Company A, approached the outskirts of El Caney
and were within 1000 yards of the city when they received intense fire
from the Mauser rifles of the Spaniards.

LTC Patterson was with 1st Battalion at this time, directing the deployment of the troops,
and was severely wounded by the sudden enemy attack. He had to be evacuated from the battlefield,
and Major William M. Van Horne then assumed command of the regiment.

In his official after-action report to General Shafter, Brigadier General William Ludlow,
commanding First Brigade, described the action:

"The First Brigade was moved rapidly forward toward Caney, and, arriving about 1,000 or 1,200 yards therefrom,
was greeted by a sharp Mauser fire that swept the roads and cut the leaves from the trees. The brigade was
immediately deployed, the Eighth Infantry on the left; First Battalion, Twenty-second Infantry, the center;
and the Second Massachusetts on the right. The Second Battalion of the Twenty-second Infantry had not yet
come in from skirmishing, having been delayed by thick chaparral and failing to get the later order to return.
Subsequently it was disposed on the left of the Eighth, and did admirable service.
While deploying his command, Lieutenant-Colonel Patterson, of the Twenty-Second Infantry ,was shot in the groin,
and the command of the regiment devolved on Major Van Horne."

 

An illustration of LTC John H. Patterson which appeared in
Munsey's Magazine Vol. XIX No. 6 September 1898

 

 

 

Born in New York on February 10, 1843, John H. Patterson was appointed from New York,
as a 1st Lieutenant in the 11th Infantry, on May 14, 1861, a position which he accepted on July 8, 1861.
He served in the field in the Army of the Potomac, until he went on recruiting duty
from August 1862 to March 1863.

He returned to the field, and was given a Brevet promotioin to Captain on October 1, 1864,
for gallant service in the Battle of Chappel House, VA.

From September 19, to November 1, 1864, he was detailed as an Aide-de-camp of Volunteers.
He again served on recruiting duty, from February to November, 1865.

During the war, Patterson was engaged at the siege of Yorktown, in the battles of Gaines' Mill
and Malvern Hill, Virginia; battles of Chancellorsville, Virginia, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania,
Rappahannock Station, operations at Mine Run, battles of the Wilderness, Spottsylvania,
North Anna River, Bethesda Church, Petersburg, Weldon Railroad, Chapel House and
Hatcher's Run, Virginia.

Transferred to 20th Infantry September 21, 1866.
Promoted to Captain July 26, 1866.
Promoted to Major of the 3rd Infantry May 19, 1891.
Promoted to Lieutenant Colonel of the 1st Infantry January 21, 1895.
Transferred to the 22nd Infantry November 4, 1895.
Awarded the Medal of Honor on July 23, 1897, for gallantry in action, May 5, 1864.
Assumed command of the 22nd Infantry June 20, 1898
Wounded at El Caney, Cuba, July 1, 1898 .
Appointed Brigadier General of Volunteers, September 21, 1898.
Promoted to Colonel of the 20th Infantry September 28, 1898.
Honorably discharged from the Volunteers November 30, 1898.
Promoted to Brigadier General January 18, 1899.
Retired (for over thirty years service) February 6, 1899.

John H. Patterson was an Original Companion of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States.

 

Lieutenant Colonel John H. Patterson

Photo taken at Tampa, Florida 1898
as the 22nd Infantry prepared to depart
for Cuba.

 

This photo and top photo from a stereoview
copyright 1898
by Strohmeyer & Wyman

     

 

 

 

 

Newspaper clipping dated July 3, 1898,
giving a short biography of LTC Patterson.

 

 

 

 

John H. Patterson was awarded... the Medal of Honor, as a 1st Lieutenant of the 11th Infantry,
for most distinguished gallantry in action at the Wilderness, VA., May 5, 1864,
while under the heavy fire of the advancing enemy, in picking up and carrying several hundred yards,
to a place of safety, a wounded officer of his regiment, who was helpless and otherwise have been
burned in the forest.

 

 

John H. Patterson's decorations

The Medal of Honor is the style he would have been awarded in 1897.

 

 

 

Burial:
Albany Rural Cemetery
Menands
Albany County
New York, USA
Plot: Section 42, Lot 13
GPS (lat/lon): 42.70569, -73.73116

 

     

Grave of
John H. Patterson

Photo by:
Dave IFOTO4MENOW

From the Flickr website

 

 

 

Grave of John H. Patterson

Photo by:
Dave IFOTO4MENOW
From the Flickr website

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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