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James Franklin Bell

Date of birth: January 9, 1856
Date of death: January 8, 1919
Burial location: Arlington, Virginia
Place of Birth: Kentucky, Shelbyville
Home of record: Shelbyville Kentucky

James Franklin Bell graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Class of 1878. From April 14, 1906 to April 21, 1910 he served as the 4th Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army. He was wounded in the Philippine Insurrection where he became the first Medal of Honor recipient to also earn the Distinguished Service Cross.

AWARDS AND CITATIONS

Medal of Honor

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Awarded for actions during the Philippine Insurrection

The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Colonel (Infantry) James Franklin Bell, United States Army, for most distinguished gallantry on 9 September 1899, while serving with 36th Infantry, U.S. Volunteers, in action at Porac, Luzon, Philippine Islands. While in advance of his regiment, Colonel Bell charged seven insurgents with his pistol and compelled the surrender of the captain and two privates under a close fire from the remaining insurgents concealed in a bamboo thicket.

General Orders: Date of Issue: December 11, 1899

Action Date: September 9, 1899

Service: Army

Rank: Colonel

Regiment: 36th Infantry

Division: U.S. Volunteers

Distinguished Service Cross

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Awarded for actions during the Spanish-American War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Major (Corps of Engineers) James Franklin Bell, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism while serving as Engineering Officer, U.S. Volunteers, in action against Spanish forces at Manila, Philippine Islands, 10 August 1898. Major Bell, with utter disregard for his personal safety, conducted a bold and daring reconnaissance of the creek in front of Fort San Antonio de Abad held by Spanish forces, and ascertained not only that it was fordable, but the exact width of the ford at the beach, and swimming in the bay to a point from which he could examine the Spanish line from the rear, secured information which facilitated the planning of the successful attack of 13 August 1898, on Manila, Philippine Islands.

General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 3, 1925

Action Date: August 10, 1898

Service: Army

Rank: Major

Company: Engineering Officer

Division: U.S. Volunteers

Army Distinguished Service Medal

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Awarded for actions during the World War I

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pride in presenting the Army Distinguished Service Medal (posthumously) to Major General James Franklin Bell, United States Army, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility during World War I as Division, Cantonment, and Department Commander.

General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 73 (1919)

Action Date: World War I

Service: Army

Rank: Major General