Lieutenant Luther Hare

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Lieutenant Luther Hare's story
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"If we've got to die, let's die like men! I am a fightin' son of a bitch from Texas!"

That's what Lieutenant Luther Hare said after having shouted the Rebel Yell (the Confederate warcry) during Reno's retreat in the valley of the Little Bighorn. Hare fired at the Indians and stood alone until he found a way to escape. His heroic stand saved many lives. Hare survived the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

Luther Hare's biography (source: Arlington Cemetery)

lrhare-nara.jpgLuther Rector Hare, military officer, son of Octavia Elizabeth (Rector) and Silas Hare, was born at Noblesville, Indiana, on August 24, 1851. In 1853 the Hares moved to Belton, Texas, where Luther began a long and adventurous life on the western frontier. After a seven-year residency (1858-65) at Mesilla, New Mexico, the family returned to Texas and settled in Sherman. There, after finishing school, Hare worked as a printer and typesetter in the offices of the Sherman Courier. In 1870 he secured an appointment to the United States Military Academy through the efforts of John C. Conner, the first Democratic congressman from Texas after the Civil War.

Hare graduated from West Point on June 17, 1874. He accepted an appointment as Second Lieutenant in the Seventh United States Cavalry and served first in Louisiana in the Reconstruction forces. In 1876 he fought with the Seventh Cavalry in the battle of the Little Bighorn, where he was a scout in Major Marcus Reno's battalion. Hare was commended for his bravery and was promoted to First Lieutenant on June 25, the day of the engagement. During the 1877 Nez Percé campaign Hare fought under Colonel Samuel Sturgis in the battle of Canyon Creek, Montana, where he was once again commended for gallantry. After that battle he continued in service on the Dakota frontier, where he took part in the Sioux Ghost Dance War, and in Arizona Territory on scouting expeditions against the last of the renegade Apaches. During his twenty-four years with the Seventh Cavalry he achieved the rank of Captain.

In 1898, with the outbreak of war in Cuba, Hare was granted a leave of absence to accept an appointment from the state of Texas as Lieutenant Colonel, First Regiment, Texas Volunteer Cavalry. Though he was promoted to full Colonel on June 2, Hare did not see action in Cuba due to the armistice signed in early August.

In February of the following year war broke out in the Philippines, and Hare was called upon to organize the Thirty-third Infantry regiment from Texas. Hare and the Thirty-third landed in Lingayen Gulf on November 7, 1899. Together with other units under General Lloyd Wheaton, the Texans fought at San Fabián, San Jacinto, Tagnadin Pass, and San José. Hare organized and led the Gillmore rescue party, for which he received worldwide recognition. He was awarded two Silver Star citations for his gallantry, and left the Philippines in early 1901 with the rank of brigadier general of volunteers.

He returned to Texas in 1901 with the United States Cavalry as commander of the third squadron of the Twelfth Regiment at Fort Sam Houston. He retired from active duty, with over thirty years service, on July 16, 1903. He subsequently accepted duty with the Texas National Guard and served at Austin as inspector and instructor of militia. He was given added duty as military advisor to Governor T. M. Campbell, a position he held until January 1911. In 1918 Hare was made commandant of the first ROTC at the University of Texas and was appointed professor of military science and tactics. After that service, he accepted the post of commandant, Student Army Training Corps, Simmons College (now Hardin-Simmons University), a position he held until February 1919, when he retired for the last time and returned to his home in Sherman.

Hare married Augusta Virginia Hancock, daughter of a prominent St. Paul military family, on June 21, 1878. His wife was the daughter of John Hancock, Colonel, United StatesArmy. They had three children. Colonel Hare died of throat cancer at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington on December 22, 1929. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. 

He died at the age of 78 at Walter Reed Hospital on December 22, 1929, and was interred in the National Cemetery at Arlington, VA. Besides his brother, Judge Silas Hare of Sherman, Texas, he was survived by his 3 daughters, Mrs. Camilla Lippincott, Mrs. Charles Field Mason and the Vicomtesse de Beughem of Brussels, Belgium.

LR Hare Gravesite PHOTO

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