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Benjamin Taylor Simmons
Born (1871-08-27)August 27, 1871
Fairfield, Hyde County, North Carolina
Died April 17, 1933(1933-04-17) (aged 61)
Washington, D.C.
Fairfield Cemetery, Fairfield, NC
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1890–1922
Rank Brigadier General
Commands held 16th Infantry Regiment
4th Infantry Regiment
Reserve Officers' Training Corps
344th Infantry Regiment
19th Infantry Division
Battles/wars Spanish–American War,
World War I
Awards Silver Star

Benjamin Taylor Simmons was an American brigadier general who served in the Spanish–American War and the First World War.

Early life

Benjamin Taylor Simmons was born in Fairfield, Hyde County, North Carolina on 27 August 1871.

Military service

Simmons joined the United States Military Academy on 17 June 1890 after completing two years of college. He graduated from the USMA forty-third in his class of fifty-two on 12 June 1895. Following his graduation, Simmons was commissioned into the infantry as a Second Lieutenant and proceeded to serve at several military installations throughout the United States between 30 September 1895 and 21 April 1898 with the 16th Infantry Regiment. Fort Douglas, Fort Sherman, and Fort Spokane are listed among the locations at which the regiment was posted during this time.

Spanish–American War

Simmons and the 16th Infantry arrived in Cuba 23 June 1898. There he commanded Company D during the assault upon the San Juan Blockhouse in the Battle of San Juan Hill and during the Siege of Santiago. It was during the battle for Santiago that he was cited for "gallantry in action against Spanish forces" and awarded his first Silver Star. Following these battles he was promoted to the rank of First Lieutenant. In spring 1899 Simmons was sent to the Philippines, where he received another Silver Star while participating in a number of engagements. In the aftermath of the war he was promoted to Captain and assigned to the 4th Infantry Regiment.


Simmons returned to the United States and was stationed in Houston, Texas at Fort Sam, but moved to Washington D.C. to become a detailed member of the General Staff Corps for the office of the Chief of Staff in 1909. In 1912 he was assigned to the 17th Infantry Regiment and moved between forts for the next three years.

World War I

Simmons began World War I in Arizona with the 35th Infantry Regiment before being moved to Southern Department Headquarters. During this time he was promoted to Major. In April 1917, he transferred to Camp Grant in Illinois and there organized and commanded the 344th Infantry Regiment as a colonel. A month later he moved on to serve the War Department General Staff. On 1 October 1918, he was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General and placed in command of the 19th Infantry Division and the 163rd Depot Brigade at Camp Dodge, Iowa and remained there until the end of 1919.


After the war, Simmons reverted to the rank of Major and served at Camp Zachary Taylor, Kentucky where he commanded the Reserve Officers Training Corps and Training Camp. On 9 August 1919, he became a student officer at the General Staff School and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and remained there regained the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. By July 1920, Simmons had again reached the rank of Colonel, but was placed on sick leave from June 1921 until July 1922. He retired on 3 July 1922 because of disabilities.

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