Friday, November 7, 2014

Commander, Seventh Army

Today I would like to write about another recently discovered illustrious veteran ancestor, Wade Hampton Haislip, a four-star Army general who served as the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army from 1949 to 1951. My brother will be writing a guest blog about General Haislip's World War II service, which I will post on Veterans' Day.

Gen. Wade Hampton Haislip; photograph courtesy of

Gen. Haislip is a by-marriage ancestor, who married my fourth cousin once removed Alice Jennings Shepherd on 14 July 1932.

He was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant upon graduation from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1912. By January 1913 he was stationed at Fort Meade in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The fort had been established in 1878 as a cavalry fort to protect settlers and the goldmines in Deadwood.

The officers' line at Fort Meade, South Dakota

He was transferred to Fort Crockett in Galvaston, Texas, by April of that same year. It had been established in the late 1890s as a coastal artillery fortification. In 1914 he served in Vera Cruz, Mexico after the Tampico Affair. He returned to Fort Crockett after that assignment and remained there until July 1915 when he was stationed briefly at Fort Sheridan in Illinois. But he was quickly back in Texas next stationed at Fort Sam Houston in September 1915. He served at the fort with Dwight "Ike" Eisenhower and is credited with introducing Ike to Mamie Doud, who became Ike's wife.

He was promoted to major in June 1918. He served with the American Expeditionary Forces during World War I serving on the general staff of V Corps, as division machine gun officer with the 3rd Division, and on the general staff with the U.S. Forces in Germany.

During World War II, he organized the 85th Infantry Division and served as its commanding officer until February 1943 when he took command of XV Corps. He later became commander of Seventh Army and served in that capacity until the end of the war.

After World War II he was appointed as Army Vice Chief of Staff for administration. He retired from active service in 1951.

He died on 23 December 1971 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. His wife died in 1987 and is buried beside him.

As published in The Washington Post

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