USMA Class of 1880. Cullum No. 2864.
Fiftieth Annual Report of the Association of Graduates of the United States Military Academy At West Point, New York, June 10th, 1919, Seeman & Peters Inc., Saginaw, Michigan.
Harris Lee Roberts
No. 2864. Class of 1880.
Died December 27, 1918, at Chicago, Illinois, aged 60 years.
Appointed by President U.S. Grant, entered the United States Military Academy in April 1878. Graduated June 12, 1880 and assigned to the 4th Infantry. Served with company and as Post Adjutant at Fort Fetterman, Wyoming, until spring 1881, when transferred to the 19th Infantry at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. In command of Fort Lyon, Colorado, October 1881, with detachment of twelve men. On relief from this duty proceeded with detachment of recruits to join company at Galveston, Texas, from which place the company proceeded by steamer to Fort Brown, Texas. Served at this post winter 1881 and 1882, also on detached service, border duty, at Santa Maria, Texas, in command of detachment of 8th Cavalry.
May 1882, ordered to Fort Ringgold, Texas, which post was in quarantine against yellow fever until fall of 1882.
Served with company at Fort Ringgold, Texas and in command of detachment of 8th Cavalry on border duty near Roma, Texas, until July 1884.
On college duty at Ada, Ohio, as instructor of military tactics, 1884 and 1886. Rejoined company at Fort Clark, Texas, 1886. Served there until 1888. With company at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, until May 1890, when regiment was ordered to Fort Wayne, Michigan. Examined for promotion and promoted to First Lieutenant, 1890. Assigned to the 21st Infantry, but attached and later transferred back to the 19th Infantry 1891 and 1895; also Constructing Quarter Master, Fort Wayne, in charge of construction of barracks and quarters and of new parade ground and river wall. Returned to Company duty 1897. With company and regiment in Division camp, Mobile, Alabama, April-June 1898. Examined and promoted to Captain and assigned to 19th Infantry, May 1898. With regiment and in command of company at Tampa, Florida, June-July 1898. Acting Quarter Master and in charge of breaking regimental camp, loading wagon train and loading regiment on Transport Cherokee, in addition to other duties, when regiment left Tampa, July 1898, as part of Schwan's Independent Brigade (Spanish-American War). Regiment landed at Ponce, Puerto Rico, August 2nd, 1898. Commanded company in camp near Ponce until taken ill with fever. In the hospital August-September. Left for United States on hospital ship, Relief, September 1898. On sick leave until December, when rejoined company at Yauco, Puerto Rico. Left Puerto Rico with regiment May 1899, for Philippine Islands on Transport Meade, which was wrecked in leaving harbor and detained one month. At Camp Meade, Pennsylvania, June-July 1899. Preparing company for Philippine service, left with company and battalion to Iloilo, September 1898. Quartered at San Augustine Barracks and performing outpost duty, September-October 1899. Commanding company on General Hughes' expedition to Capiz, November and December 1899. Combats at San Blas and Passi, commanding company at San Jose de Buena Vista, Antique province and engaged in various expeditions against insurgents along west coast of Panay, January-October 1900. Ordered with company to Island of Bohol and stationed at Tubigon in command of West District of Island, October 1900, to March 1901. Also filled civil offices of collector of Internal Revenue and Captain of Port. Commanded expedition against insurgents at Panaxsagan Hill, Bohol. Appointed Regiment Quarter Master and later Regimental Commissary and stationed at Cebu, Philippine Islands, as Chief Commissary and Chief Ordnance Officer 2nd District Visayas, March-October 1901. Also Post Treasurer, Depot Commissary, commanding company Philippine Scouts and Inspector of Native Police; also, on roster for officer of the day, G.C.M. and Boards of Survey. General Hughes' expedition against insurgents on Island of Cebu resulting in their surrender; had Cebu as a base at this time and was supplied from there by me (Subsistence and Ordnance).
October 1901, was appointed Regimental Recruiting Officer by Regimental Commander on account of longest continuous service with regiment. Left for United States October 1901, on Transport Sheridan, which was disabled in storm and lay in dry dock at Nagasaki, Japan, November 1901. Commanded provisional company on transport, arriving San Francisco, December 1901. Assumed duties as recruiting officer, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, January 1902. Tour expired November 1903. Attached to 9th Infantry, Madison Barracks, New York, November 1903 to February 1904. Leave of absence to May 1904. Joined regiment and company, Vancouver Barracks, May 1904. Commanding company and battalion, May-December 1904. Commanding battalion at rifle practice and maneuvers at Division Camp, American Lake, Washington and on march from Vancouver Barracks to American Lake, July-August 1904. On duty as umpire at maneuvers at Camp Atascadero, California, August-September 1904.
December 1904, transferred to 2nd Infantry, Mutual Transfer and stationed at Fort Logan, Colorado, December 1904 to August 1905, commanding company and battalion. Inspector of Colorado militia March-April 1905. Examined and promoted Major of Infantry, July 1905. Assigned to 26th Infantry and stationed at Fort Brown, Texas, commanding post and battalion, August 1905 to June 1906. Inspector Texas militia, April 1906. Ordered to Fort Sam Houston and stationed there commanding battalion, July 1906 to May 1907.
July-September 1906, regiment marched to Camp Mabry, Austin, Texas, 157 miles, engaged in maneuvers one month and marched back to Fort Sam Houston, 80 miles. Commanded battalion on these marches and maneuvers.
May 1907, regiment sailed for Philippine Islands; stationed at Cuartel de Espana, July 1907 to June 1909. Commanded battalion and in addition to other duties, was Survey officer, Department of Luzon, one and a half years. Leave of absence, China to Japan, six weeks. Joined regiment at Nagasaki, en route to United States, stationed, commanding battalion, Fort Wayne, Michigan, July 1909, to March 1911. Battalion on duty at National Rifle Match, Camp Perry, Ohio, August 1910 and at maneuvers Fort Benjamin Harrison, September 1910.
Promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel March 1911 and assigned to 22nd Infantry. Joined at maneuver camp Fort Sam Houston, May 1911, commanding 3rd Battalion. Stationed at Fort Sam Houston until February 1912, when regiment was ordered to border duty at Fort Bliss. Commanded battalion on this duty in camp on the border of El Paso and vicinity during the Orozco revolution, February 1912 to October 1913. Was in command at International bridges when Orozco evacuated Juarez and the Federals occupied it, August 15-23, 1912. Was selected by District Commander to command escort of Mexican Federal troops (Yaqui Indians) passing through United States from Juarez to Agua Prieta, opposite Douglas, Arizona. Apprehended Gonzalo Enrile and Colonel Rabelo, prominent revolutionists on their entry into the United States.
Regiment ordered to camp, 2nd Division, Texas City, February 1913. In command of same two weeks in May and six weeks in August-September, during rifle practice at Galveston, Texas.
Promoted to Colonel March, 13th, 1914, remained on duty until May 2, 1914, with the 22nd Infantry, when ordered to Laredo, Texas and attached to the 9th Infantry. Ordered to Fort Leavenworth as Commanding Officer of the Post, August, 23, 1914. Received orders to sail April 5th, 1916, for Honolulu, Hawaiian Islands. Served on duty on General Evans' staff until relieved September 7th, 1916, when ordered to Deming, New Mexico, for border duty. September 18, 1916, was given command of the Delaware Regiment. On November 25, 1916, ordered to report to District Commander El Paso, Texas and assigned to duty to the 23rd Infantry. Relieved from El Paso February 12, 1917 and ordered to the 6th Pennsylvania National Guard to Pennsylvania to muster out Brigade. On March 7th, 1916, ordered to report to the Commanding General Fort Sam Houston and on May 26th, 1917, was retired from active service on own application of forty years’ service. Put on active duty October 3, 1917 and ordered to Lincoln, Nebraska, as Military Instructor of the University, remained until September 3, 1918, when ordered to Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. After a month was ordered to Chicago to consult with physicians where he entered the Henrotin Memorial Hospital for treatment.
Colonel Harris Lee Roberts died December 27th, 1918, in the Henrotin Memorial Hospital, Chicago, Illinois and was buried at Manchester, Vermont, in the family burial ground, where his father, General B.S. Roberts and his mother, Elizabeth Sperry Roberts, are buried. Colonel Roberts was married to Miss Florence C. Eagar, daughter of Mrs. S.E. Eagar, San Antonio, Texas, May 27th, 1907.
Colonel Roberts is survived by a widow and one son, Robert Pierpont Eagar Roberts and a brother, General B.K. Roberts, United States Army, retired, who resides in Washington, D.C.
Elizabeth Sperry Roberts, daughter of Colonel H.L. Roberts by his first marriage, died from Spanish influenza, October 23, 1918, San Antonio, Texas.
Colonel Roberts is a direct descendant of John Roberts, who was at the Battle of Bennington with four sons. Colonel Roberts' father, Major-General B.S. Roberts, United States Army, went to West Point from Manchester, Vermont, in 1831; graduating therefrom in 1835. Colonel Roberts' mother was Elizabeth Sperry, daughter of Anson J. Sperry and Laura Pierpont, who was the daughter of Robert Pierpont, for whom Colonel Roberts' son is named.
Colonel Roberts was a thorough soldier, a perfect gentleman and much thought of by those who knew him. A fearless and faithful officer.
Gravesite Details Burial information from Annual Report of the Association of Graduates.
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