Brigadier General Ernest Albert Garlington

1883 Greely Rescue Expedition - Garlington
General E A Garlington MOH

Personal Information

Ernest Albert Garlington was born at Newberry, South Carolina on February 20, 1853.  He received his education at the University of Georgia from 1869 through 1872 and then graduated from West Point in 1876.   After graduation he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant on June 15, 1876, in the seventh Regiment of the U. S. Calvary.  He officially entered the service in Athens, Georgia.

Official Medal of Honor Citation

First Lieutenant, 7th U. S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Wounded Knee Creek, South Dakota, December 29, 1890.

Date of issue: September 26, 1893.

Citation: Distinguished gallantry.

Service Record

After he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant, 7th United States Cavalry, June 15, 1876, he was subsequently promoted through the grades to Brigadier General, Inspector General of the Army, October 1, 1906.

He commanded the failed Arctic Greely Relief Expedition in 1883.  He was severely wounded in battle with hostile Indians at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, December 29, 1890.  He was awarded the Medal of Honor on September 23. 1893 for distinguished gallantry in that action.

He was a member of a board which established Cavalry drill instructions, 1894; Inspector General in Cuba during the Spanish-American War, 1898; was present at the battle and siege and then surrender of Santiago de Cuba in that war; was Inspector General of the Division of the Philippines during the Insurrection there, 1899-1901 and May 2, 1905-June 4, 1906; served on the General Staff of the Army from October 1, 1906.  He was the author of “Historical Sketches of the Seventh Cavalry Regiment: A Catechism:” “Cavalry Outposts,”; “Advance and Rear Guards Reconnaissance.”

Medals and Awards

Shown here are the medals First Lieutenant Garlington earned during his career.  They include:

  1. Medal of Honor
  2. Purple Heart
  3. Indian Campaign Medal
  4. Spanish Campaign Medal
  5. Philippine Campaign Medal
  6. World War I Victory Medal


He died on October 16, 1934, and is buried in Section 3 of Arlington National Cemetery.

His first wife, Anna Buford Garlington (1864-1954) and his daughter, Sally Chamberlain Garlington (1890-1949), are buried with him.

E A Garlington Medals MOH