ROBERT LEE HOWZE (1864 ~ 1926). Robert "Bob" Lee Howze was born on August 22, 1864, to Captain James A. Howze, of the 14th Texas Cavalry, and Amanda Hamilton Howze in Overton, Rusk County, Texas.
In 1883, Howze graduated from Hubbard College in Overton, after which he entered the United States Military Academy at West Point. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in 1888 after graduation and stationed with the cavalry at Overton.
Howze was then assigned to Company K of the 6th U.S. Cavalry in Fort Wingate, New Mexico, and participated in the Pine Ridge Campaign from November 1890 to January 1891. On January 1, 1891, the 6th Cavalry crossed the frozen White River in South Dakota to engage a group of Brule Sioux. During the battle, Howze distinguished himself by showing bravery in action sufficient to be presented with the Congressional Medal of Honor, though his exact actions are not mentioned on his Medal of Honor citation. He married Anne Chiffelle Hawkins, daughter of General Hamilton S. Hawkins, on February 24, 1897.
Beginning in 1898 and ending in 1904, Howze commanded several units in the Spanish American War in Cuba, the Philippine Insurrection, and in the occupation of Puerto Rico. He earned a Silver Star for actions during the Battle of Santiago in Cuba in addition to a Silver Citation for actions in northern Luzon, in the Philippines.
Upon his return from the Caribbean, Howze was appointed as Commandant of Cadets at West Point, where he remained until 1909. Howze was a Major in the 11th Cavalry during General Pershing's expedition into Mexico in 1916. Though the expedition was unable to locate Pancho Villa, Major Howze was commended for bravery and military preparedness for commanding the unit which rescued Captain L. H. Morey at Carrizal.
In 1917, Howze was promoted to Brigadier General and assigned to Fort Bliss, Texas. He was then promoted during World War I to Major General of the 38th Division, which fought in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive during October of 1918. He commanded the Third Division's march on the Rhine River, followed by commanding the Third Army of Occupation in Germany in 1919. For his service in command of the Third Army he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, as well as the French Croix de Guerre and Legion of Honor.
After WWI, General Howze was given command of the military district of El Paso. He was appointed the permanent rank of Brigadier General, then promoted to the permanent rank of Major General, organized and trained the First Cavalry Division, and remained with that unit until 1925. General Howze was transferred to command the Fifth Corps Area in Columbus, Ohio. He died there on September 19, 1926, and was buried in the U.S. Military Academy Cemetery.
Camp Howze, a large World War II training facility near Gainesville, Texas, was named in his honor. Two of his sons attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point; both went on to serve as generals in the Army.
Bibliography: "Above and Beyond: The Medal of Honor in Texas." Capitol Visitors Center, State Preservation Board of Texas; Handbook of Texas Online, Texas State Historical Association, University of Texas, http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles; Official U.S. Military Records, National Personnel Records Center, National Archives and Records Administration; National Park Service Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System, http://itd.nps.goc/cwss/Personz_Detail.cfm; "Who's Who In Texas and Why?" Austin American Statesman, 1917.