Military Wiki
John Biddle
John Biddle
Born (1859-02-02)February 2, 1859
Died January 18, 1936(1936-01-18) (aged 76)
Place of birth Detroit, Michigan
Place of death San Antonio, Texas
Buried at West Point Cemetery
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Department of the Army Seal.svg United States Army
Years of service 1881 - 1920
Rank US-O8 insignia.svg Major General
Commands held Superintendent of the United States Military Academy
Battles/wars Spanish-American War
Philippine-American War
World War I
Awards Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star

John Biddle (February 2, 1859 – January 18, 1936) was career United States Army officer who became superintendent of the United States Military Academy.

Early life[]

Biddle was born in Detroit, Michigan. His father was Edward John Biddle (1836–1892) and mother was Susan Dayton Ogden (1831–1878). His Biddle family included many political and military leaders, including grandfather John Biddle (1792–1859) and great-grandfather Charles Biddle (1745–1821).[1] He attended the University of Michigan but left before obtaining a degree. He then graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1881.[2]

Military career[]

Biddle was commissioned an engineer. Biddle was in charge of river and harbor work at Nashville, Tennessee from 1891–1898. When the Spanish-American War broke out, he was became Chief Engineer of Volunteers, serving in Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Philippines. He was awarded the Silver Star.[3] From 1901–1907 he was Engineer-Commissioner in charge of public works in Washington, D.C.. Subsequently, he was in charge of river and harbor work in San Francisco from 1907–1911 and then served as an observer with the Austro-Hungarian Army on the Eastern Front from November 1914 to June 1915. He then was in charge of river and harbor improvements in Baltimore, Maryland. Biddle served as the Superintendent of the US Military Academy at West Point from July 1916 to June 1917. When the United States entered World War I, he commanded a brigade of engineer regiments, then served as acting United States Army Chief of Staff in Washington while Chief of Staff Tasker Bliss was in London. In 1918 he was again sent overseas to take charge of American troops in Great Britain and Ireland.[2][4]


Biddle died in San Antonio, Texas after a long illness.[5]

His nephew William Shepard Biddle III (1900–1981), rose to be Major General after commanding the 113th Cavalry Regiment in World War II,[6] and the 11th Constabulary Regiment in the German occupation.[7]

Awards and decorations[]

United Kingdom
United States


  1. Owen Picton (May 2004). "Descendants of William Biddle III". Retrieved March 16, 2011. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Col. Biddle To West Point". The New York Times. May 18, 1916. Retrieved March 25, 2011. 
  3. Venzon, Anne Cipriano (1995). The United States in the First World War. London: Routledge. pp. 85–86. ISBN 0-8153-3353-6. 
  4. "Col. Biddle Going To Front" (PDF). The New York Times. June 3, 1917. Retrieved March 25, 2011. 
  5. "Died. Major General John Biddle (retired)". January 27, 1936.,9171,847671,00.html. Retrieved March 25, 2011. 
  6. Louis DiMarco, from text by James W. Cooke. "113th Cavalry Group". Retrieved March 16, 2011. 
  7. George F. Hofmann (October 2007). "Cold War Mounted Warriors: U.S. Constabulary in Occupied Germany". Armor Magazine. Fort Knox. pp. 26–35. Retrieved March 16, 2011. 

External links[]

Military offices
Preceded by
Clarence Page Townsley
Superintendents of the United States Military Academy
Succeeded by
Samuel Escue Tillman

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