Hunter Liggett was born in Reading, Pensylvania, on March 21, 1857.
In 1879 he graduated from West Point and was assigned as a second lieutenant in the Fifth Infantry. He served in the Montana Territory, Dakota Territory, Texas and Florida, advancing to first lieutenant in June 1884.
On 19 October 1894, 1LT Liggett arrived at Fort McPherson along with the regimental headquarters of the 5th Infantry. He served as the Post Adjutant until 25 April 1896 at which time he took command of Company D, 5th Infantry.
He was promoted to Captain in June 1897 and left the post when the entire 5th Infantry departed for the Spanish-American War. In June 1898 he was promoted to Major and adjutant general of volunteers for service in Cuba, and the following year was sent to the Philippines with the 31st Infantry Volunteers.
In June 1901 he was mustered out of volunteer service and was promoted to major of regulars in May 1902 and lieutenant colonel in June 1909. Following Army War College graduation in 1910, he bacame president of the War College. The next year he took command of the 4th Brigade, 2nd Division at Texas City, Texas.
He returned to the Philippines in 1916 in command of the Provisional Infantry Brigade and of Fort William McKinley. He served as commander of the Department of the Philippines from April 1916 to April 1917 when he was named commander of the Western Department in San Francisco.
In August 1917 he took command of the 41st Division at Camp Fremont (Calif.) and deployed with the unit to France.
When General Pershing ordered that the first American army corps be formed in January 1918, he placed General Liggett in command. The corps participated in the battles of Cantigny and Belleau Woods, as well as in the defense and offensive operations of the second Marne campaign in July and August.
In October 1918 General Pershing relinquished to Lt. Gen. Liggett command of the First Army with its one million soldiers. He remained in command of the First Army until its inactivation in April 1919 when he moved to command the Third Army in occupation duty.
Among his many decorations, General Liggett received the Distinguished Service Medal "For exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services as commander of the 1st army of the American expeditionary forces. He commanded the 1st corps and perfected its organization under difficult conditions of early service in France, engaged in active operations in reduction of the Marne salient and of the St. Mihiel salient, and participated in the actions of the forest of Argonne. He was in command of the 1st army when the German resistance was shattered west of the Meuse."
Upon his return to the United States he commanded the IX Corps area headquartered in San Francisco. General Liggett retired in March 1921 and in June 1930 was promoted to lieutenant general on the retired list by act of Congress. LTG Liggett died in San Francisco on December 30, 1935.
Fort Hunter Liggett was named after Lt. Gen. Hunter Liggett (1857-1935), who served as General Pershing's chief of staff as well as the commanding general of First Army and Third Army. The post was originally designated Hunter Liggett Military Reservation in 1941. It consists of approximately 165,000 acres and lies about 22 miles southwest of King City and about 70 miles south of the Presidio of Monterey and the Naval Post Graduate School. It consists of varied terrain that ranges from level valleys and gentle hills, to steep, rocky mountains. Its mission is to provide areas for maneuvers, live firing of small arms and armor, fitness and survival training, and training for the Army Reserve.
Fort Hunter Liggett was originally the summer ranch of William Randolph Hearst. Some of the buildings currently being used by the Garrison are from the original Hearst Milipitas Ranch. The Hacienda currently on the National Register of Historic Places serves as the Guesthouse and the Community Club. Also located on the fort are the La Cueva Pintada (The Painted Cave). The site also contains a number of original Indian paintings and other significant historical items.
The USS Hunter Liggett (APA-14) was one of the three largest attack transports in the Ampibian Force during World War II. It carried 35 landing boats and 2 tank lighters, along with 51 officers and a crew of 634. It was operated by the U.S. Coast Guard.
"High Commanders of the A.E.F.: Hunter Liggett." US Army Recruiting News 21 (Jun 1939): pp. 2-3 & 18. Per.
Liddell Hart, Basil H. Reputations Ten Years After. Boston: Little, Brown, 1928. pp. 261-86. D507L5. Calls him "professor of war -- and human nature."
Liggett, Hunter. A.E.F.: Ten Years Ago in France. NY: Dodd, Mead, 1928. 335 p. D570L5. His 7 articles that originally appeared in the Saturday Evening Post, Apr-Jul 1927.
_____. Commanding an American Army: Recollections of the World War. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1925. 208p. #03-1 1925.
_____. Letter on the Battle of the Little Big Horn. Photostat of handwritten letter, dated 23 Sep 1921, with typescript and memoranda. 5 p. E83.876L5.
Spiller, Roger J., ed. Dictionary of American Military Biography. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1984. pp. 638-42. U52D53.
U.S. Army. 1st Army. Report of the First Army, American Expeditionary Forces. Organization and Operations. General John J.Pershing, August 10, 1918, to October 15, 1918. Lieutenant General Hunter Liggett, October 16, 1918, to April 20, 1919. Ft Leavenworth: Gen Srv Schl, 1923. 135 p. #03-1-1923.
_____. IX Corps. "Death and Funeral of the Late Lieutenant General Hunter Liggett, U.S.A.-Retired, San Francisco, Decemeber 30, 1935 - January 2, 1936." Press clippings, compiled in IX Corps area. ca 50 p. E745L5U5.