President Woodrow Wilson Appoints the Inspector General of the American Expeditionary Force in World War I

A confidant of General Pershing, he could make or break a military career

A rare document, a search of public sale records going back over 40 years showing none reaching that marketplace in over three decades

Andre Brewster was a veteran of frontier duty and the Spanish-American War. He was sent to Tientsin, China, during the Boxer Rebellion, and was awarded the Medal of Honor...

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President Woodrow Wilson Appoints the Inspector General of the American Expeditionary Force in World War I

A confidant of General Pershing, he could make or break a military career

A rare document, a search of public sale records going back over 40 years showing none reaching that marketplace in over three decades

Andre Brewster was a veteran of frontier duty and the Spanish-American War. He was sent to Tientsin, China, during the Boxer Rebellion, and was awarded the Medal of Honor for service on July 13, 1900, when under fire he rescued two men from drowning. Brewster had the respect and ear of the commander of U.S. forces in World War I, General John J. Pershing, and in June 1917 he went to France as Inspector General of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF). He remained in that position throughout World War I, and was responsible for investigating allegations of misconduct by members of the U.S. Army. According to the book, “The All-Americans at War: The 82nd Division in the Great War, 1917-1918” by James J. Cooke, General Brewster was “a hard-nosed regular Army officer…Brewster had little tact, and was one of the men John J. Pershing listened to. To run afoul of General Brewster meant a short career in the AEF.”

Document signed, as President, Washington, November 13, 1917, appointing “Andre W. Brewster” to the position of “Major General in the National Army”. The document is countersigned by Secretary of War Newton Baker.

In World War I the highest ranking soldier was General of the Armies John J. Pershing). Until the war’s end there were no lieutenant generals (at that point Hunter Liggett, commander of the First Army, and Robert L. Bullard, commander of the Second Army, were made temporary lieutenant generals). The next in rank after Pershing for almost the entire war were major generals such as Brewster. 108 men served as major generals, President Wilson appointing 102 of them after the declaration of war on April 6, 1917. Thus after Pershing, this is one of the top 102 appointments made by Wilson during the war.

We have never before had a World War I major general’s appointment, and a search of public sale records going back over 40 years shows only one other reaching that marketplace, and that was in 1980.

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