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Andre Brewster
111-SC-18387a - NARA - 55196838 (cropped) (cropped).jpg
Born (1862-12-09)December 9, 1862
Hoboken, New Jersey, United States
Died March 27, 1942(1942-03-27) (aged 79)
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1885–1925
Rank US-O8 insignia.svg Major General
Service number 0-13386
Unit USA - Army Infantry Insignia.png Infantry Branch
Commands held 65th Infantry Regiment
Inspector General of the United States Army
Second Coast Artillery District
First Corps Area
Battles/wars American Indian Wars
Spanish–American War

Philippine–American War
Boxer Rebellion

  • Battle of Tientsin
World War I
Awards Medal of Honor
Army Distinguished Service Medal

Major General Andre Walker Brewster (December 9, 1862 – March 27, 1942) was a United States Army officer and a recipient of the Medal of Honor. He served in several high-profile assignments throughout his long military career, including Inspector General of the United States Army and Inspector General of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) in France during World War I. In addition, he was a veteran of the American Indian Wars, the Spanish–American War, the Philippine–American War, and Boxer Rebellion. He received the Medal of Honor for his role in the Battle of Tientsin during the Boxer Rebellion.

Early life

Andre Walker Brewster was born on December 9, 1862, in Hoboken, New Jersey. His mother was Mary Bache Walker (1839-1876), great-great-great granddaughter of Benjamin Franklin, daughter of Robert J. Walker, and sister of Duncan Stephen Walker. His father was Adrien Deslondes (also spelled Deslonde or Deslandes, etc.), a midshipman in the United States Navy whose family owned sugar plantations in Louisiana.

Adrien Deslondes and Mary Walker divorced in the mid 1860s. In 1870, Mary Walker married Benjamin H. Brewster, who adopted Andre Walker Deslondes and his siblings. Andre Brewster was raised and educated in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. He was trained as an attorney and practiced for three years before joining the Army.

Start of career

In January 1885, Brewster received a direct commission as a second lieutenant in the 10th Infantry Regiment, a post which had also been sought by David L. Brainard. He served on frontier duty, including campaigns against the Apache and Sioux during the American Indian Wars.

During the Spanish–American War, Brewster commanded Company B, 9th Infantry. He took part in the Siege of Santiago and the Battle of San Juan Hill. He was recommended for brevet promotion to captain for his conduct at San Juan Hill. Following his service in Cuba, Brewster continued to command Company B during the Philippine Insurrection.

Medal of Honor action

For his actions during the Boxer Rebellion on July 13, 1900, in Tientsin, China, Brewster was awarded the Medal of Honor.

Continued career

Brewster remained in China for five years as the U.S. military attaché. He then attended the Army War College, from which he graduated in 1907. In early 1909, he was appointed acting inspector general of the Army. The appointment was confirmed in December, and he held the post until 1913.

In 1914, Brewster was assigned to Puerto Rico as commander of the 65th Infantry Regiment. He then returned to the inspector general's post, where he remained until 1917.

World War I

111-SC-24739 - NARA - 55209089-cropped
Secretary of War Newton D. Baker (right), Major General James W. McAndrew (left) and Major General Andre W. Brewster (center) with a group of German prisoners who have just arrived from the front, September 26, 1918.

During World War I, from June 1917 to September 1919, he served in France as Inspector General of General Headquarters, American Expeditionary Forces (AEF). AEF commander John J. Pershing valued Brewster's judgment, especially with respect to evaluating the performance of brigade and division commanders. When Brewster assessed the combat performance of Robert Houston Noble, commander of the 158th Infantry Brigade, as ineffective, Pershing relieved Noble. Brewster's negative assessment of Omar Bundy's performance as commander of the 2nd Division was a key factor in his removal from command and transfer to command of the skeletal U.S. VI Corps. His positive appraisal of Robert Lee Bullard's performance was a major factor in Pershing's decision to recommend Bullard for promotion to lieutenant general and assignment as commander of Second United States Army. Pershing had a less than favorable view of Clarence Ransom Edwards, commander of the 26th Division, and Brewster's lengthy assessment of Edwards as a subpar performer played a role in Pershing's decision to relieve Edwards.

Later career

Gen. J. J. Pershing and Staff. Group showing Gen. J. J. Pershing and Staff standing on State, War, and Navy Building steps. Washington, D.C - DPLA - 1c56a88aeb0697950857227de7c3def9 (cropped) (cropped)
General of the Armies John J. Pershing and members of his staff standing outside the State, War, and Navy Building in Washington, D.C., September 23, 1919. Stood to Pershing's left is Major General Andre W. Brewster.

From 1921 to 1922, Brewster commanded the Second Coast Artillery District, headquartered at Fort Totten, New York. Brewster's final command was the First Corps Area in Boston, Massachusetts, where he succeeded Clarence Ransom Edwards. He retired in 1925 with the rank of major general.

Death and burial

Brewster died in Boston on March 27, 1942. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.


In 1885, Brewster married Elizabeth Griffin (1862–1948). They were the parents of a daughter, Mary Walker Brewster (1887–1979), the wife of James Donald Cassels.


In World War II, the United States Navy transport ship General A. W. Brewster was named in Brewster's honor. The ship was also active in the Korean War, earning five battle stars for her service in that conflict.

Honors and awards

Brewster's awards included:

Indian Campaign Medal ribbon.svg Spanish Campaign Medal ribbon.svg
Army of Cuban Occupation ribbon.svg China Campaign Medal ribbon.svg Philippine Campaign Medal ribbon.svg
Mexican Border Service Medal ribbon.svg Legion Honneur Commandeur ribbon.svg
Commander Ordre de Leopold.png UK Order St-Michael St-George ribbon.svg Military Order of the Dragon ribbon.jpg
1st row Medal of Honor
2nd row Army Distinguished Service Medal Indian Campaign Medal Spanish Campaign Medal
3rd row Army of Cuban Occupation Medal China Campaign Medal Philippine Campaign Medal
4th row Mexican Border Service Medal World War I Victory Medal Legion of Honour
(Commandeur) (France)
5th row Order of Leopold
(Commandeur) (Belgium)
Order of St Michael and St George
(Knight Commander) (United Kingdom)
Military Order of the Dragon

Dates of rank

  • Second Lieutenant – 19 January 1885
  • First Lieutenant – 17 December 1891
  • Captain, Assistant Quartermaster, Volunteers – 15 October 1898
  • Captain – 2 March 1899
  • Discharged from Volunteers – 12 May 1899
  • Major – 15 March 1908
  • Lieutenant Colonel – 2 December 1913
  • Colonel – 1 July 1916
  • Brigadier General, National Army – 5 August 1917
  • Major General, National Army – 28 November 1917
  • Brigadier General, Regular Army – 8 January 1920
  • Discharged from National Army – 28 February 1920
  • Major General, Regular Army – 1 December 1922
  • Major General, Retired List – 9 December 1925

See also

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