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Philippine Insurrection

Four Tennesseans received the Medal of Honor for actions during the Philippine Insurrection.


Joseph S. Cecil

Rank: First Lieutenant

Organization: U.S. Army

Company: 19th U.S. Infantry

Born: January 11, 1878, New River, Tennessee

Place/Date: Bud-Dajo, Jolo, Philippine Islands, March 7, 1906

Citation: While at the head of the column about to assault the first cotta under a superior force at short range, Cecil personally carried to a sheltered position a wounded man and the body of one who was killed beside him.

Additional Information: Cecil was a “Mustang,” or a commissioned officer who began his career as an enlisted man. He served as non-commissioned officer in Spanish-American War. He served as Colonel in WWI. The Cecil family is considered one of the most decorated military families in the United States. The Cecil family’s combined service began in the Civil War and lasted through WWII. The U.S. Highway 27 bridge across New River is named after him.


Allen James Greer

Rank: Second Lieutenant

Organization: U.S. Army

Company: 4th Infantry

Born: August 11, 1878, Memphis, Tennessee

Place/Date: Near Majada, Laguna Province, Philippine Islands, July 2, 1901

Citation: Charged alone on an insurgent outpost with his pistol, killing one, wounding two, and capturing three insurgents with their rifles and equipment.

Additional Information: Greer retired with the rank of Colonel in 1940. He graduated from the University of Tennessee with a Bachelor of Arts in 1898. Greer wrote articles for the North American Newspaper Alliance during WWII.


Bolden Reush Harrison

Rank: Seaman

Organization: U.S. Navy

Born: April 26, 1886, Savannah, Tennessee

Place/Date: U.S.S. Pampang offshore of Basilan, Philippine Islands, September 24, 1911

Citation: While attached to the U.S.S. Pampang, Harrison was one of a shore party moving in to capture Mundang, on the island of Basilan, Philippine Islands, on 24 September 1911. Harrison instantly responded to the calls for help when the advance scout party investigating a group of nipa huts close to the trail was suddenly taken under point-blank fire and rushed by approximately 20 enemy Moros attacking from inside the huts and from other concealed positions. Armed with a double-barreled shotgun, he concentrated his blasting fire on the outlaws, destroying three of the Moros and assisting in the rout of the remainder. By his aggressive charging of the enemy under heavy fire and in the face of great odds, Harrison contributed materially to the success of the engagement.

Additional Information: In 1981 a Savannah bridge was named after him and fellow Hardin County Medal of Honor recipient Vernon McGarity. It is called Harrison-McGarity Bridge. He is buried in Savannah Cemetery, Tennessee.


Seth Lathrop Weld

Rank: Corporal

Organization: U.S. Army

Company: Company L, 8th U.S. Infantry

Born: February 19, 1879, Sandy Hook, Maryland, entered service in Altamont, Tennessee

Place/Date: La Paz, Leyte, Philippine Islands, December 5, 1906

Citation: With his right arm cut open with a bolo, went to the assistance of a wounded constabulary officer and a fellow soldier who were surrounded by about 40 Pulajanes, and, using his disabled rifle as a club, beat back the assailants and rescued his party.