The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Funston, Frederick

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

FUNSTON, Frederick, American soldier: b. New Carlisle, Ohio, 9 Nov. 1865; d. San Antonio, Tex., 19 Feb. 1917. He was educated at the State University, Kansas, and was a commissioner of the Department of Agriculture to explore Alaska 1893-94. He served in the insurgent army in Cuba in 1896-97, and was made lieutenant-colonel. Suffering from wounds and illness he attempted to reach the United States, but was taken by the Spaniards and sentenced to death. At length he was liberated and on the outbreak of the war with Spain he was commissioned as colonel of the Twentieth Kansas Volunteers. He was sent to the Philippines and in 1899 became brigadier-general of volunteers. In March 1901, he commanded an expedition which succeeded in capturing the Filipino leader, Aguinaldo, and was appointed brigadier-general in the United States army in the same month. He became commander of the department of California in 1905 and, during the earthquake and fire of April 1906, placed the city under martial law and brought order out of chaos. From December 1907 to March 1908 he was in charge of troops at the Goldfield mining centre during the great strike of that year. In May 1914, Funston was sent with troops to Vera Cruz, Mexico; he brought sanitary and hygienic perfection out of disease-breeding uncleanliness and chaos, greatly improving the healthfulness of that tropical city. In November 1914 he was made a major-general. He was appointed commander-in-chief of the army mobilized on the Mexican border in March 1916, and also of movements of United States troops in Mexico, in pursuit of the bandit, Francisco (“Pancho”) Villa.