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Edward Albert Ostermann
Major General, United States Marine Corps
Ohio State Flag
Medal of Honor. Rank-Organization: First Lieutenant, 15th Company of Marines (Mounted). Place-Date: Vicinity Fort Liberte, Haiti, 24 October 1915. Entered service at: Ohio. Birth: Columbus, Ohio, November 23, 1882. He was the last recipient for Haiti (1915) to die, May 18, 1969.

Born at Columbus, Ohio, on November 23, 1882, he attended public schools of  Milo, Columbus, and Dayton, Ohio. After attending Ohio Northern University at Ada for 2 and a half years, he enlisted in the Army October 21, 1899. He was discharged as a chief trumpeter at the expiration of a 3-year enlistment, and he remained a civilian for about one and one-half years and then reenlisted in Army on April 28, 1904. He was honorably discharged by purchase November 28, 1904 as a chief trumpeter with First Band, Artillery Corps.

He accepted a Second Lieutenant's commission in the Marine Corps on March 20, 1907 and served continuously until his retirement as a Major General on January  1, 1943. His long career took him to Cuba, Panama, China  Nicaragua, Mexico, Haiti, Hawaii and Philippines.

He was awarded  the Medal of Honor in 1917 for his conspicuous gallantry in  action incident to the capture of Fort Dipitie, Haiti, October 24, 1915. The citation accompanying the Medal states that a Marine Corps detachment was crossing river in a deep ravine at night when it was suddenly fired upon from three sides by about 400 Cacos concealed in the bushes about 100 yards from their objective, Fort Dipitie. The Marines fought their way forward to a good position and maintained it throughout the night  despite the continuous fire of the Cacos. At daybreak, the Marines, in 3 squads commanded by Lieutenant Ostermann, Captain William P. Upshur, and Gunnery Sergeant Daniel Daly, advanced in three different directions, surprising and scattering Cacos in all directions. Captain Upshur's and Lieutenant Ostermann's squads then went to capture the Fort with a total of 13 Marines. The Fort was demolished and burned and the garrison put to flight.

"These men were in pitch darkness surrounded by ten times their number and fighting for their lives," the citation relates.

"Had one squad failed, not one man of the party would have lived to tell the story." He, Captain Upshur who also lived to become a General, Gunnery Sergeant Daly (the fabulous recipient of two Medals of Honor) and Major Smedley D. Butler (another 2-time winner who also became a General), all received the Medal of Honor for that battle.

Later in the Haitian campaign, on November 11, 1915, he was wounded in action and returned to the US for hospitalization. Ordered to Washington, DC in 1938 to become Assistant Adjutant and Inspector of the Marine Corps, he  was advanced to the post of Adjutant and Inspector with rank of Brigadier General in February 1939.

With the coming of World War II, he requested combat duty as either a Brigadier General or as a Colonel. In refusing request as "impracticable at this time," the Marine Commandant expressed his appreciation for the Adjutant  and Inspector.

He was retired because of physical disability on January 1, 1943. Because of having been "specially commended for his performance of duty in actual combat" by virtue of the award of the Medal of Honor, General Ostermann was promoted to the rank of Major General on the retired list. He retired to a farm called Wakefield Manor at Huntle, Virginia, and commented that he was now "proud possessor of 4 cows, 40 hogs, 4 horses, 50 sheep, and 50 barred while pullets not to mention a pile of pamphlets from the Department of Agriculture telling me how to make them go."

His medals include the Medal of Honor, Purple Heart, Cuban Pacification Medal, USMC Expeditionary Medal with 2 stars, Mexican Service Medal, Nicaraguan Campaign Medal, Haitian Campaign Medal, WWI Victory Medal with West Indies Clasp, American Defense Service Medal, American Area Campaign Medal, WWII Victory Medal, and Republic of Haiti's Distinguished Service Medal in the grade of Officers.

He had two daughters, Katherine and Margaret. His usual residence was Chevy Chase Club, Chevy Chase, Maryland, and 5048 Klingle St, NW, Washington, DC.

He died on May 18, 1969 in a Fairfax, Virginia, nursing home at the age of 86. He was buried with full military honors on May 20, 1969, in Section 46, Grave 521, Arlington National Cemetery.


MARINE SHOT IN HAITI
Lieutenant E. A. Ostermann Slightly Wounded in Brush with Natives

WASHINGTON, November 13, 1915 - First Lieutenant Edward A. Ostermann, Marine Corps, was slightly wounded in the arm in a brush with hostile Haitien yesterday along the Bahon Railway, east of Capt Haitien.  A report to the Navy Department today said the Marine patrol had completed its work of pacification along the railway in that section, and would start out to the west tomorrow, with the expectation of returning to Captain Haitien in two days.

A mounted detachment of Marines visited the towns in the Artibonita Valley and found quiet and a friendly spirit toward the Americans.



EA Ostermann Photo
Photo Courtesy of the Home of Heroes

OSTERMANN, EDWARD ALBERT

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps, 15th Company of Marines (mounted). Place and date: Vicinity Fort Liberte, Haiti, 24 October 1915. Entered service at: Ohio. Born: 1883, Columbus, Ohio. 

Citation:

In company with members of the 15th Company of Marines, all mounted, 1st Lt. Ostermann left Fort Liberte, Haiti, for a 6-day reconnaissance. After dark on the evening of 24 October 1915, while crossing the river in a deep ravine, the detachment was suddenly fired upon from 3 sides by about 400 Cacos concealed in bushes about 100 yards from the fort. The marine detachment fought its way forward to a good position, which it maintained during the night, although subjected to a continuous fire from the Cacos. At daybreak, 1st Lt. Ostermann, in command of 1 of the 3 squads which advanced in 3 different directions, led his men forward, surprising and scattering the Cacos, and aiding in the capture of Fort Dipitie.


Courtesy of the United States Marine Corps:

Major General Edward Albert Ostermann, USMC, received his Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry in Haiti in 1915.

Edward Albert Ostermann was born at Columbus, Ohio on November 23, 1882, a son of Mr. and Mrs. Seigmund Ostermann. He attended the public schools of Milo, Columbus, and Dayton, Ohio. After attending Ohio Northern University at Ada for two and one-half years, he enlisted in the Army on October 21, 1899. Discharged a chief trumpeter at the expiration of a three-year enlistment, General Ostermann remained a civilian for about one and one-half years and then reenlisted in the Army on April 28, 1904. He was honorably discharged by purchase on November 12, 1905 as a chief trumpeter with the First Band, Artillery Corps.

The general accepted a second lieutenant's commission in the Marine Corps on March 20, 1907 and served continuously until his retirement as a major general on January 1, 1943.

General Ostermann's long career took him to Cuba, Panama, China, Nicaragua, Mexico, Haiti, Hawaii, and the Philippines.

He was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1917 for his conspicuous gallantry in action incident to the capture of Fort Dipitie, Haiti on October 24, 1915. The citation accompanying the Medal states that a Marine detachment was crossing a river in deep ravine at night when it was suddenly fired upon from three sides by about 400 Cacos concealed in the bushes about 100 yards from the objective, Fort Dipitie. The Marines fought their way forward to a good position and maintained it throughout the night despite the continuous fire of the Cacos. At daybreak, the Marines, in three squads commanded by Lieutenant Ostermann, Captain William P. Upshur, and Gunnery Sergeant Daniel Daly, advanced in three different directions, surprising and scattering the Cacos in all directions. Captain Upshur's and Lieutenant Ostermann's squads then went to the capture the fort with a total of 13 Marines. The fort was demolished and burned and the garrison was put to flight. "These men were in pitch darkness surrounded by ten times their number and fighting for their lives…" the citation relates,"…Had one squad failed, not one man of the party would have lived to tell the story…"

General Ostermann, Captain Upshur who also lived to become a general, Gunnery Sergeant Dan Daly (the fabulous recipient of two Medals of Honor) and Major Smedley D. Butler (another-two-time winner who also became a general), all received the Medal of Honor for that battle.

Later in the Haitian campaign, on November 11, 1915, the general was wounded in action and returned to the United States for hospitalization.

Ordered to Washington, D.C. in 1938 to become the Assistant Adjutant and Inspector of the Marine Corps, General Ostermann was advanced to the post of Adjutant and Inspector with the rank of brigadier general in February, 1939.

With the coming of World War II, General Ostermann requested combat duty as either a brigadier general or as a colonel. In refusing the request as "impracticable at this time", the Major General Commandant expressed his appreciation to the Adjutant and Inspector.

The general was retired because of physical disability on January 1, 1943. Because of having been "specially commended for his performance of duty in actual combat" by virtue of the award of the Medal of Honor, General Ostermann was promoted to the rank of major general on the retired list.

Retired to a farm called Wakefield Manor at Huntly, Virginia, General Ostermann died May 18, 1969.

General Ostermann earned the following medals and decorations: Medal of Honor, Purple Heart, Cuban Pacification Medal, Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal with two stars, Mexican Service Medal, Nicaraguan Campaign Medal, Haitian Campaign Medal, Victory Medal (World War I) with West Indies clasp, American Defense Service Medal, American Area Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, and the Republic of Haiti's Distinguished Service Medal in the grade of Officer.

EA Ostermann PHOTO
USMC Photo



Edward A. Osternamm Gravesite PHOTO
Photo courtesy of Raymond L. Collins

EA Ostermann Gravesite PHOTO June 2009 - Courtesy of Donna McLean Young
Photo By Donna McLean Young, Great-Neice of the General, June 2009

OSTERMANN, EDWARD ALBERT
MG   US MARINE CORPS
SPANISH AMERICAN WAR, WORLD WAR I, WORLD WAR II
DATE OF BIRTH: 11/23/1882
DATE OF DEATH: 05/18/1969
BURIED AT: SECTION 46  SITE 521
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
   
OSTERMANN, GRACE ROBINSON
DATE OF BIRTH: 10/08/1896
DATE OF DEATH: 01/20/1983
BURIED AT: SECTION 46  SITE 521
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
  WIFE OF OSTERMANN, EDWARD ALBERT
MG US MARINE CORPS

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Page Updated: 1 October 2000 Page Updated: 30 April 2001 Updated: 28 December 2002 Updated: 11 April 2003 Updated: 6 October 2007 
Updated: 15 December 2007 Updated: 11 June 2009
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