Born in Massachusetts in 1845, Arthur MacArthur, father of renowned World War II General Douglas MacArthur, joined the Federal Army at the age of 17 in 1862. He entered the service as a 1st Lieutenant, a commission his father secured for him, and served the 24th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry as an adjutant. MacArthur and the 24th Wisconsin fought at Perryville, Stones River, Chickamauga, Chattanooga, Atlanta, and Franklin. After seeing his color bearer fall in the fight for Missionary Ridge, part of the Chattanooga Campaign, MacArthur instantly took up the flag and “carried [it] in front of the regiment, cheering the men to follow him up the ridge.” As he charged, MacArthur was “grazed in the head and fell, clutching the colors” but managed to deliver the flag to the crest where he planted it yelling “On, Wisconsin!” For his actions at Missionary Ridge, MacArthur was decorated with the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1890. At Kennesaw Mountain (the Atlanta Campaign) in June 1864, MacArthur was seriously wounded in his right wrist and right breast. Despite the seriousness of the wounds, he refused to leave the field. He remained with his regiment and found himself in Franklin on November 30, 1864. At one point during the five hour battle that day, MacArthur engaged in a saber fight with a Confederate soldier on the steps of the Carter House, each man managing to strike the other before bullets struck MacArthur in the right shoulder and left knee. For his “gallant and meritorious s ervices” at Franklin and in the Atlanta campaign, MacArthur received the rank of Brevet Colonel. A few months later, in June 1865, at the age of 21, MacArthur was commissioned Colonel of the 24th Wisconsin. He is among the youngest soldiers to ever receive the rank of Colonel.
- Father of famous World War II Gen. Douglas MacArthur
- Received Medal of Honor for his actions at Missionary Ridge
- Fought at Stones River, Franklin, and in the Chattanooga Campaign