Hugh Aloysius Drum was a United States Army lieutenant general.
Hugh Drum was born at Fort Brady, Chippewa County, Michigan on September 19, 1879, Hugh A. Drum was the son of Captain John Drum (1864–1898), a career Army officer who was killed in Cuba during the Spanish–American War. His mother was Margaret Desmond of Boston.
In 1894, Drum graduated from Xavier High School in New York City, which he had attended while his father was an instructor at the school. (Hugh Drum was admitted to the Xavier High School Hall of Fame in 1931.) Initially intent upon a career as a Jesuit priest, he enrolled at Boston College. Under the provisions of a recently passed law allowing recognition for sons of officers who displayed exceptional bravery during the Spanish–American War, Drum was offered a direct commission as a second lieutenant on September 9, 1898, which he accepted. (He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Boston College in 1921).
In 1914 Drum was assigned to the staff of the Veracruz expedition sent by President Wilson to avenge what he considered to have been Mexican violation of American sovereignty when they arrested several sailors of Rear Admiral Mayo's force at Tampico.
General Pershing, the American field commander in France, appointed Colonel Drum to be one of the original staff officers for the American Expeditionary Forces destined for France in May 1917. Within the Operations Division of general headquarters, Drum assisted in all stages of planning, including the designation of French ports for troop debarkation, the logistics of supplies, the organization of combat units, and the rate of American troop arrivals in France. Drum was also deeply involved in the decision that the reduction of the 200-square mile St. Mihiel salient should be the major American war effort in 1918 and that it be conducted with overwhelming forces so that the first major American military action would unquestioningly be a successful one.
Pershing was impressed with Drum's efficient handling of staff matters and recognized Drummie's unbridled ambitions when he appointed him chief of staff of the newly formed American First Army on July 15, 1918. In this capacity Drum selected staff officers, worked out the First Army's organization, coordinated planning for its supply, transportation, and tactical deployment during the offensives that reduced the St. Mihiel salient as well as the subsequent thrust into the Meuse-Argonne sector. Douglas MacArthur later claimed that Drum virtually ran the army in France.
After the war, Drum fought to maintain army control over aviation and basically questioned the efficacy of air power. By 1939 he was in line to replace General Craig as chief of staff, but Drummie promoted his own cause so vigorously that the post went instead to General George C. Marshall. During the Second World War, Drum expected to become the "Pershing of World War II," but only managed to alienate both President Roosevelt and Secretary of War Stimson over their China policy, with the result that Drum was forced into mandatory retirement in September 1943. He died on October 3, 1951, in New York City.
Member of Loyal Legion. Scabbard and Blade. Clubs: Union (New York), Hamilton (Brooklyn), Army and Navy (Washington, District of Columbia).
In 1903, Drum married to Mary Reaume (1877-1960). They were the parents of a daughter, Anna Carroll Drum (1916-1996), nicknamed "Peaches," who was the wife of Army officer Thomas H. Johnson, Jr.