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William Ruthven Smith Edit Profile

army officer

William Ruthven Smith, American army officer.


Smith, William Ruthven was born on April 2, 1868 in Nashville, Tennessee, United States. Son of Robert McPhail and Lititia Clark (Trimble) Smith.


Student Vanderbilt University 2 years. Graduated from the United States Military Academy, 1892, School of Submarine Defense, Fort Totten, New York, 1908.


General George B. Davis, United States of America, December 4, 1901. Children—Katharine Alexander, William Ruthven. Commissioned additional Second lieutenant 1st Artillery, June 11, 1892.

Second lieutenant 1st Artillery, September 23, 1892. First lieutenant, March 2, 1899. Captain Artillery Corps, May 8, 1899.

Major Coast Artillery Corps, March 31, 1909. Lieutenant colonel, July 1, 1916. Colonel, May 15, 1917.

Brigadier general N.A., August 5, 1917. Major general N.A., June 26, 1918. Honorary discharged temporary apptmts., July 15, 1919.

General Staff, August 22, 1919. Chief of staff Philippine Department, rank brigadier general United States of America, April 27, 1921. Major general, July 23, 1924.

Instructor and assistant professor mathematics, natural and experimental philosophy, ordnance and gunnery, United States Military Academy, 11 years. Assistant to chief of Coast Artillery, Washington, District of Columbia, 4 years. Director Department of Electricity and Mine Defense, School of Mine Defense, Fort Monroe, Virginia, 3 years.

In charge of building and placing first submarine net put down in the United States, February 1917. Assigned to Camp Sheridan, Alabama, 1917. Commanded 62d Artillery brigades, 37th Division Ohio National Guard and 37th Division National Guard.

Commander 36th Division (Texas and Oklahoma National Guard), American Expeditionary Force, Meuse-Argonne campaign. Commandant coast Artillery School, Fort Monroe, Virginia, 1923-1924. Commanding general Hawaiian Division, Schofield Bks., 1925-1927.

Department commander Honolulu, August 1927-January 1928. Superintendent United States Military Academy, West Point, 1928-April 30, 1932 (retired). Superintendent Sewanee Military Academy, August, since 1932.

Distinguished Service Medal (United States). Commander Legion of Honor (France). Croix de Guerre (France).


Married Mary Prince, d. Children: Katharine Alexander, William Ruthven.

Robert McPhail Smith

Lititia Clark (Trimble) Smith

Mary Prince

Katharine Alexander Smith

William Ruthven Smith