Hugh Douglas Berkeley

The following is the full obitiuary for Hugh Douglas Berkeley supplied by the U.S. Army.

Hugh Douglas Berkeley

No 3584

Class of 1894

Hugh Douglas Berkeley, son of Colonel Edmund and Mary Williams Berkeley, was born at his family home "Evergreen" in Prince Williams County, Virginia, the thirteenth child, on the thirteenth day of July 1871.

His family, prominent in the early life of Virginia, played its part in military service during the Civil War. The "Berkeley Regiment" as it was called, had his father, Edmund Berkeley as its colonel and three of his uncles and an order brother as officers.

At the early age of three, Douglas had his first ride on a horse and ever after he retained that great love of horses, dogs, hunting and nature in which he found the greatest pleasure.

His early lessons were learned at a little country school in Virginia. From there he went to Mr. Blackburn's school for boys in Alexandria, Virginia; later he went to Mississippi where he received his appointment to the United States Military Academy in 1889 at the age of Seventeen.

Due to severe eyestrain and a necessary leave of absence, he was turned back to graduate with the class of 1894. A conscientious student, he stood high in his class in the subjects in which he excelled, Mathematics and Engineering.

"Old Berk" as his friends fondly called him was n the surface quiet and reserved, but underneath there lurked a ready humor, a love of fun, and, apparently, an unconquerable desire for practical jokes. He was always a hard worker, with keep affections, and a loyal heart. As his men were to say of him later in his career, "You will always get a square deal with the Captain." He had great affection and respect for the enlisted men, and they returned his faith in them with service and devotion.

On receiving his appointment as Second Lieutenant of Cavalry, he joined the 1st Cavalry at Fort Apache, Arizona, and while on this duty he was in the field against hostile Indians. After Fort Apache he was stationed at Fort Reno, Oklahoma.

During the Spanish-American War, he served with his regiment in Cuba until August 1892, being engaged in the Battle of San Juan, July 1-3, and in the siege of Santiago to July 17, 1898. Returning to the United States with his Regiment, he was stationed at Fort Yates, North Dakota and Fort Russell, Wyoming.

He then served as Quartermaster on the United States Army Transport "Garonne" on his way to the Philippines in 1900. He served as Acting Regimental Quartermaster and Commissary Officer at Santa Thomas and Batangus. While on duty in the Philippines, he received his captaincy, February 22, 1901.

In September 1901, he returned to this country and was on duty with the 12th Cavalry at Fort Sam Houston and Fort Clark, Texas. Returning to the Philippines in 1903, he served as Regimental Quartermaster and as Depot Quartermaster with the 12th Cavalry until, in the spring of 1905, he came back to the United States to be stationed at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, as Regimental Quartermaster. He was then sent as Inspecting Quartermaster to Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1908, and later, was Disbursing Quartermaster and Assistant to the Chief Quartermaster, Department of Columbia, Portland, Oregon.

Upon relief from this detail, he was assigned to the 15th Cavalry at Fort Meyer, Virginia, where he served during 1912 and 1913. On January 1, 1914 he was transferred to the 7th Cavalry at Fort William McKinley, P. I., to serve with troops. He was stationed at Camp Stotsenburg, P. I. as Regimental Adjutant for the 7th Cavalry in 1915 and 1916.

When the United States entered the World War, Colonel Berkeley was stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas, and after brief periods of duty as an instructor, Reserve Officers' Training Camp, Fort Niagara, New York, and as mustering officer at Camp Custer, Michigan, he commanded the 117th Infantry at Camp Sevier, South Carolina, until April, 1918 and then the 308th Cavalry at Douglas, Arizona, until September, 1918. After a short course of instruction at the School of Fire, Fort Sill, Oklahoma, he commanded the 50th Field Artillery at Camp Doniphan, Oklahoma, for a brief period of time. Subsequently he was on recruiting duty as Kansas City, Missouri, and was a student at the School of the Line and the General Staff School and at the Army War College.

At his own request, he retired October 19, 1922, after over thirty-three years' service. He then moved to the Pacific Coast, making his home at LaJolla, California. He became very much interested in growing avocados, having a small orchard at Vista, California. Colonel Berkeley died on December 19, 1936. At his own request his funeral service was very quiet and simple. According to his wish, ashes were scattered on the Pacific Ocean he had grown to love so well.

December 5, 1896, Colonel Berkeley married Mary Pearson Bland, daughter of Judge H. Willys Bland of Reading, Pennsylvania. Mrs. Berkeley died in May 1936, only eight months before her husband.

Colonel Berkeley was survived by an only daughter, Catherine Bland Berkeley, three sisters, together with numerous nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews and finally a great-great niece.

General Craig, Chief of Staff, wrote of Colonel Berkeley: "An able Cavalry Officer of fine qualifications and attainments, Colonel Berkeley rendered many years of loyal service in the Army. Possessing sound judgment and wide experience, he at all times manifested a conscientious devotion to duty and performed the various tasks assignment his with characteristic zeal and efficiency. His death is deeply regretted."


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