William Harding Carter
First Lieutenant, 6th U.S. Cavalry. For actions at Cibicue, AZ, August 30, 1881
August 30, 1881
Accredited to New York, where he entered service, Carter was born Nov. 19, 1851, in Nashville, TN. Carter was a career soldier. He attended the Kentucky Military Institute and served as a mounted messenger in the Civil War before graduating from West Point in 1873. Commissioned a Second Lieutenant, he was assigned to the 8th Infantry in Wyoming and served on escort duty at Forts Fetterman and Laramie. In 1874, he participated in expeditions against the Cheyenne and Oglala Sioux. That summer, while stationed at Fort McDowell in Arizona, he transferred to the 6th U.S. Cavalry. He was later reassigned to the 5th Cavalry at Fort Verde.
Carter served as an army scout throughout the territory and, from April to July 1876, participated in the removal of the Chiricahua Apache. He oversaw construction of the first telegraph line from Fort Grant to Fort Apache. He spent a year scouting in Arizona, New Mexico and Mexico and was promoted to First Lieutenant.
He participated in the last stages of the campaign against Victorio in 1880. He took part in the Comanche Campaign and was awarded the Medal of Honor "for distinguished bravery" when he and two others rescued wounded soldiers under heavy fire during the Battle of Cibecue Creek, August 30, 1881.
Over the next 25, he continued to rise in rank, and was eventually promoted to major general in 1909. Leading up to World War I, Carter was extensively involved in the organization of the US Army, organizing and commanding the Maneuver Division. In 1913, he commanded the one of the four divisions of the "Stimson Plan," and finally became commanding general of the Hawaiian Department before he retired from service in 1915.
He was recalled to duty when the United States entered World War I, as commander of the Central Department of Chicago. He was later awarded the Distinguished Service Medal. He died May 24, 1925, in his home in Washington D.C. and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
His son William Vaulx Carter (1883–1973) was a Brigadier General in World War II.
Citation: Rescued, with the voluntary assistance of 2 soldiers, the wounded from under a heavy fire.