Harry Howard Pattison was
born 28 Oct 1868 in Hopedale, OH, the son of Dr. Harris E. Pattison and his first wife, Columbia Hayes Pattison. The family moved to Star
City, Pulaski County, Indiana in 1870, to Winamac, same county, in 1875. Harry
H. wanted to become a doctor like his father, but his father pushed for an
appointment to West Point, which he got. He graduated in 1893, just a few
months before his father died.
Harry played football and was in the first and second Army-Navy game. His name is on the wall in the gym at West Point. He was supposed to have been better at sports than at books.
Harry's military career was varied and meritorious. According to the Indiana Book of Merit, his career had the following path:
Second Lieut., Cavalry, 12 Jun 1893
Second Lieut., 21 Jul 1893
First Lieut., 2 Mar 1899
Capt., 19 Feb 1901
Major, 1 Jul 1916
Lieut. Col., 25 Jul 1917
Col., Inf., Natl. Army, 16 Aug 1917
Lieut. Col., Reg. Army, 31 Aug 1919
Retired, 10 Oct 1919
Col., ret'd, 21 Jul 1930
His posts included: Camp
Meade, MD; Camp Sevier, SC; Washington, DC; San Francisco, CA; and Vladivostok,
Siberia, Russia; and Overseas, 5 Nov 1918-25 Mar 1919; Japanese Liaison Officer
with the American Expeditionary Forces in Siberia. He was awarded the Order of
the Rising Sun, 3rd Class, from the Emperor of Japan on 13 Sep 1918. He was
also awarded a silver star citation for gallantry in action in Santiago, Cuba,
1 Jul 1898 on 28 Feb 1925.
He served in the Spanish American war. Family stories say that he cleared San Juan hill for "Teddy Roosevelt and the glory boys", which is how he referred to Roosevelt and Frederick Remington, who was the illustrator for the group (there having been no photographer). There were no horses in Cuba at the time for the Army, because the ship with the horses had been sunk.
Harry then went to the Philippines and served in that part of the war. That was when he captured Aguinaldo's train and made off with a silver spoon and Aguinaldo's mirror, which says on the back in his hand, "Captured at Tayuq Prov...Paugaswau, Island of Luzon, from the train of the Secretary of War Philippin Republic, by Third Cavalry. Taken from coat (?) of Senora Aquinaldo y Fa... Tagug. Nov. 11 1899". He then went to China, spied the Trans-Siberian railroad, and served in Japan as a spy pre-WWI. Harry was the first U.S. officer to earn the Order of the Rising Sun, which was given to him by the Japanese Emperor.
When he returned to the States, he was ill and went to Walter Reed Hospital, where he ended up marrying one of his nurses, Lola Charleton, in about 1919. He and Lola went west to Monterey, CA, where he helped set up the language schools for the Army.
Col. Harry H. Pattison died at home in Palo Alto, CA, on 4 Oct 1951 just over 3 weeks shy of his 83rd birthday. Both he and his wife are both buried in Golden Gate Cemetery in San Francisco.