"A portrait is a picture in which there is just a tiny little something not quite right about the mouth." -- John Singer Sargent

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Leonard Wood

This 1903 portrait of Leonard Wood by John Singer Sargent hangs in the National Portrait Gallery  in Washington DC.
"During the Spanish-American War, military officer Leonard Wood, together with his friend Theodore Roosevelt, founded the First Volunteer Cavalry Regiment, popularly known as the Rough Riders. Their success in Cuba propelled Roosevelt toward the White House and led Wood to be appointed the provisional governor of Cuba. Although Wood ruled with an iron fist, effectively disenfranchising the majority of Cuban citizens, he initiated a number of important projects, including a successful cam­paign to eradicate the deadly yellow fever epidemic. In 1902 he stepped down from his post, having presided over the adoption of a new constitution and the peaceful turnover of authority. He served a similar position in the Philippines before being selected army chief of staff in 1910. John Singer Sargent admired Wood and in 1903 sought out the opportunity to paint his portrait." -- National Portrait Gallery
General Wood is shown wearing the Medal of Honor which he won fighting the Apache in 1886. The citation reads:
The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Assistant Surgeon Leonard Wood, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in the Summer of 1886, in action in the Apache Campaigns in Arizona Territory. Assistant Surgeon Wood voluntarily carried dispatches through a region infested with hostile Indians, making a journey of 70 miles in one night and walking 30 miles the next day. Also for several weeks, while in close pursuit of Geronimo's band and constantly expecting an encounter, commanded a detachment of Infantry, which was then without an officer, and to the command of which he was assigned upon his own request. -- General Orders, April 8, 1898
The medal also appears on Woods grave in Arlington National Cemetery.

Leonard Wood
Major General U. S. Army
Captain Medical Corps
Col. 1st Vol. Cavalry
Military Governor of Cuba
Chief of Staff of the Army
Governor General of 
The Philippines
1869 - 1927
His Wife
Louise Adriana
1869 - 1943

The obverse of the medal simply inscribed:

United States of America

The reverse has this more individual inscription:

The Congress
Leonard Wood
Asst. Surg. U.S.A.
Apache Campaign

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