Arthur Medworth Ferguson
Lieutenant Colonel, United States Army
Medworth Ferguson of Kansas
Appointed from Kansas, Corporal and Sergeant, Company E, 20th Kansas Infantry, 2 May 1898 to 14 July 1899
First Lieutenant, 36th U.S. Volunteer Infantry, 5 July 1899
Honorably mustered out 30 June 1901
Second Lietuenant, 14th U. S. Infantry, 2 February 1901
First Lieuenant, 24 September 1902
Awarded the Medal of Honor, 7 February 1902 for most conspicious gallantry in action near Porac Luzon, Philippine Islands, 28 September 1899 when First Lieutenant, 36th U.S. Volunteer Infantry, in charging the enemy alone and capturing a captain.
Born in Coffey County, Kansas, December 11, 1877, he earned the Medal of Honor while serving in the Philippine Insurrection as First Lieutenant, 36th Infantry, United States Volunteers, at Porac, Luzon, Philippines, on September 28, 1899. The Medal was actually issued to him on March 8, 1902. He was also the holder of the Distinguished Service Cross for heroism.
He was a career Army officer and died at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, on February 20, 1922. He was buried in Section 3 of Arlington National Cemetery.
His first wife, Laura Magill Kenzie Ferguson
(died July 23, 1918, is buried with him, as is his second wife, Sarah Maddocks
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, 36th Infantry, U.S. Volunteers. Place and date: Near Porac, Luzon, Philippine Islands, 28 September 1899. Entered service at: Burlington, Kansas. Birth: Coffey County, Kansas. Date of issue: 8 March 1902.
Charged alone a body of the enemy and captured a Captain.
FERGUSON, ARTHUR M.
Corporal, U.S. Army
Company E, 20th Kansas Volunteer Infantry
General Orders No. 126, W.D., 1919
Home Town: Burlington, Kansas
Date of Action: April 26, 1899
The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Arthur M. Ferguson, Corporal, U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action at Calumpit, Philippine Islands, April 26, 1899, against an armed enemy.
At the imminent risk of his life Corporal Ferguson voluntarily crawled through a network of iron beams underneath a bridge and, inch by inch, worked his way hand over hand across the bridge until he was underneath an insurgent's outpost, obtaining a complete description of the condition of the bridge.
Other Award: Medal of Honor (Philippine Insurrection
He had previously received a citation for gallantry in action while serving as a Corporal with Company E, 20th Kansas Volunteer Regiment. That action is described in the Burlington Daily Republican on February 21, 1923.
"The insurgents were intrenched strongly at the Rio Grande and General Wheaton and his brigade, including the 20th Kansas, were bent on taking the position, by long odds the most formidable yet encountered. The ties and girders had been removed from the bridge and a small forticifaction at the end of the bridge commanded the approach so effectually that any attempt to carry it would be suicide. Colonel Funston was anxious to make the effort, however, and Ferguson volunteered to cross the bridge in the darkness and determine the feasibility of an attack. Stripping off his clothes, he made his way along the slippery and dangerous footing, where a misstep meant death in the river beneath, and the slightest noise meant death from an insurgent bullet. Ferguson got up to within 20 feet of the insurgent fortifactions and then returned. He reported that any assault was inpracticable and the project was abandoned. The next day Privates Trembley and White swam the river, and with 14 men, Colonel Funston put to rout 3,000 insurgents and captured the position, thereby winning the stars of a Brigadier General."
Colonel Ferguson later served in the Mexican Border Campaign and World War I. At the outbreak of World War I, he was assigned to Fort Riley , where he was an instructor at the first officers' training camp. He then became Chief Instructor at the second officers' camp at Fort Snelling. Afterward, he was assigned to the War Department as an assistant adjutant general of the U.S. Army, in charge of enlisted personnel. He received high praise from Secretary Baker and General Pershing. During the last five years of his military career, he served with distinction as Secretary, General Service Schools, Fort Leavenworth. He was instrumental in organizing the books division of the Fort Leavenworth schools, which publishes military textbooks for U.S. Army officers.
Colonel Ferguson died unexpectedly the morning on February 20, 1923, at Fort Leavenworth's hospital, following an operation for a hernia. He was 45 years old and left his wife, Mrs. Sarah Emily Ferguson. He had been expected to join his parents, brother and sister at Burlington, for his parents golden wedding anniversary on the day he died. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery (section 3, grave number 4016). The National Guard facility at Burlington is dedicated in memory of his service to the State of Kansas as the Ferguson Memorial Armory.
LAURA K W/O FERGUSON, A M
Updated: 29 September 2000 Updated: 19 January 2002 Updated: 24 April 2002 Updated: 15 February 2003 Updated: 14 February 2004 Updated: 23 December 2004 Updated: 14 September 2005 Updated: 9 July 2007
Photos By M. R. Patterson, 3 December 2004