Joseph T. Dickman

Major General
Joseph T. Dickman
Birth name Joseph Theodore Dickman
Born (1857-10-06)October 6, 1857
Dayton, Ohio, U.S.
Died October 23, 1927(1927-10-23) (aged 69)
Washington, District of Columbia, U.S.
Place of burial Arlington National Cemetery
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1883–1922
Rank Major General
Commands held 2d Cavalry Regiment
85th Division
3d Infantry Division
IV Corps
I Corps
Third Army

Apache Wars

Spanish–American War

Philippine–American War

  • Battle of Panay

Boxer Rebellion

  • Battle of Pa-ta-Chao

World War I

Awards Distinguished Service Medal
Croix de Guerre of France
Order of Leopold of Belgium
Grand Officer of the Order of the Crown of Italy
Commander of the Order of the Legion of Honour of France
Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath of the United Kingdom
Medal of Solidarity of Panama
Other work Memoirs (1927)
Translated General Von der Goltz's, "Conduct of War"

Joseph Theodore Dickman, KCB, (October 6, 1857 – October 23, 1927) was a United States Army officer who saw service in five wars, eventually rising to the rank of Major General.

Early life

Dickman was born in Dayton, Ohio. He attended the University of Dayton and graduated in the class of 1871. In 1881 he graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and was commissioned in the 3rd Cavalry.[1]

Military career

Apache Wars and Border Duty 1883–1898

Dickman graduated from the US Army Cavalry School in 1883 and proceeded directly to the Indian territory, where he participated in the Apache War from 1885–1886, to include the Geronimo Campaign. He next participated in the Mexican border patrol operations during the Garza Revolution against Garza revolutionists and the bandits, Benavides and Gonzales.[1]

His early experience sent him to Fort Riley, where he was an Instructor at the Cavalry and Light Artillery School from 1893–1894. He deployed to the Pullman Strike in Chicago 1894. Later that year, he was assigned to Fort Ethan Allen, Vermont.

Spanish–American War, 1898–1900

Dickman's deployment during the Spanish–American War was notable. He participated in the battle of San Juan Hill-El Caney, Santiago de Cuba. He served on the staff of General Joseph Wheeler during the Philippine–American War from 1899–1902 and at the Battles on the Island of Panay from 1899–1900.[1]

Boxer Rebellion, 1900

During the Boxer Rebellion, Dickman was Chief of Staff to General Adna R. Chaffee for the Peking Relief Expedition and fought in the battle at Pa-ta-Chao, Peking on September 26, 1900.[1]


Dickman was on the Army General Staff from 1902–1905. He was an instructor at the Army War College from 1905–1912. Dickman was the US Army Inspector General from 1912–1915, taking over 2nd US Cavalry in 1915. He was given command of the 85th Infantry Division, Camp Custer, Michigan, in August 1917.

World War I, 1917–1918

Commanding General, 3rd Infantry Division

Dickman was given command of the 3rd Infantry Division in November 1917, at the onset of World War I. He deployed 3rd Division to France aboard the Leviathan at noon, on March 4, 1918. He was the 3rd Division Commander at Chateau-Thierry in May 1918 and was made famous at the Second Battle of the Marne in July 1918. While allied forces on both flanks retreated, the 3rd Division stood fast in the face of fantastic enemy offensives, which led to their moniker, "The Rock of the Marne."

Commanding General, IV Corps

Dickman commanded IV Corps from August to September 1918, to include the Saint-Mihiel Offensive in September 1918.

Commanding General, I Corps

Dickman commanded I Corps from October to November 1918, to include the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.

Commanding General, Third Army, November 1918 – April 1919

Third Army was established under the command of Dickman by General John J. Pershing in France to advance to the Rhein and hold the Coblenz bridgehead, then prepare to serve after the war as the Army of Occupation of the Rhineland. The Third Army would have become the Army of Occupation whether or not the enemy signed the peace agreement. American fighting units not sent home were consolidated under Third Army and prepared to attack if Germany did not accept the terms of peace. The United States itself was not to sign the agreement but remained technically at war with Germany for two more years.[1]


Dickman returned from World War I to serve as President of the Tactics and Organization Board, which reported on lessons learned during the war from April–July 1919. Dickman served as Commanding General of the VIII Corps Area from 1919–21 He retired on October 6, 1921. He was later recalled to preside over postwar-Army downsizing board in 1922. His memoirs were published in 1927.

He died in Washington, D.C., on October 23, 1927.[1]

Dates of Rank

Second Lieut., 3d Cavalry, June 11, 1881
First Lieut., 3d Cavalry, Jan. 18, 1886
Captain of Cavalry, 8th Cavalry, May 27, 1898
Major, 26th U. S. Volunteer Infantry, July 5, 1899
Lieut.‑Colonel, 26th U. S. Volunteer Infantry, Sept. 13, 1899
Major 13th Cavalry, March 7, 1906
Lieut.‑Colonel of Cavalry, Feb. 29, 1912
Colonel of Cavalry, Dec. 14, 1914
Brigadier-General, U. S. A., May 15, 1917
Major-General, National Army, Aug. 5, 1917
Major-General, Jan. 9, 1919
Vacated Commission as Major-General, National Army, Only, Jan. 7, 1920
Major-General, U. S. A., Retired, Oct. 6, 1921, By Operation of Law.


Awards and decorations

American awards
Army Distinguished Service Medal
Indian Campaign Medal (Geronimo Campaign), 1885
Spanish Campaign Medal, 1898
Army of Cuban Occupation Medal, 1899
Philippine Campaign Medal, 1899
China Campaign Medal, 1900
Liberty badge, six major operations, 1919
Foreign awards
Croix de Guerre with palm (France), 1918
Grand Officer of the Order of Leopold I (Belgium), 1919
Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (Britain), 1919
Commander of the Order of the Legion of Honour (France), 1919
Grand Officer of the Order of the Crown (Italy), 1919
Medal of Solidarity (Panama)


The honorary degree of LL.D. was conferred on him by the University of Vermont.

Historical footnotes

USS Joseph T. Dickman

The USS Joseph T. Dickman (APA-13) and the USS Hunter Liggett (APA-14), along with the USS Leonard Wood (APA-12), were the largest attack transports in the Amphibian Force during World War II. They each carried 35 landing boats and 2 tank lighters, along with 51 officers and a crew of 634. These newly commissioned U.S. Navy vessels were operated by the US Coast Guard. The USS Joseph T. Dickman carried soldiers of the 4th Infantry to the beaches of Normandy during Operation Overlord on D-Day.

The Dickman Rifles

The famous National Society of Pershing Rifles had its origin in 1894, when future General John J. "Black Jack" Pershing, then a Second Lieutenant in charge of military instruction at the University of Nebraska, started a "Varsity Rifles" drill team. A year later the unit was recognized as a fraternity and took on the formal name of "Pershing Rifles."

Similarly, the Dickman Rifles was an honorary military society formed at the University of Dayton to honor Maj. Gen. Joseph T. Dickman, Class of 1871. In May 1931 the Dickman Rifles were invited to a Pershing Rifles drill competition. This exposure to the National Society of Pershing Rifles led to a petition from the members to join the National Society.

Published works




  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Davis, Jr., Henry Blaine (1998). Generals in Khaki. Raleigh, NC: Pentland Press, Inc. p. 107. ISBN 1571970886.
  2. "Joseph T. Dickman • Cullum's Register • 2905".
  3. "Joseph T. Dickman • Cullum's Register • 2905".
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Military offices
Preceded by
3d Infantry Division Commander
November 1917 – August 1918
Succeeded by
J.A. Irons
Preceded by
Hunter Liggett
I Corps Commander
October – November 1918
Succeeded by
Hunter Liggett
Preceded by
Third Army Commander
November 1918 – April 1919
Succeeded by
Hunter Liggett
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