Lt Luther Rector Hare


Luther Rector Hare, a fellow Hoosier, was born in Noblesville, Indiana on August 24, 1851. I have also read that he was born in Greencastle, Indiana. His parents were Octavia Elizabeth Rector and Silas Hare. In 1853 the Hare’s moved to Belton, Texas. From there they moved to Mesilla, New Mexico from 1858 through 1865 and then returned to Sherman, Texas.

Luther Hare worked as a printer and typesetter after completing school. In 1870 he secured an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point through the efforts of John C. Conner the first Democratic congressman from Texas after the Civil War. Luther Hare began his studies at West Point on September 1, 1870 and graduated on June 17, 1874, ranking 25th in his class of 41 graduates.

After graduating Luther Hare was appointed Second Lieutenant, 7th US Cavalry and served at Colfax, Louisiana until 1876 when he was transferred to Fort Abraham Lincoln, Dakota Territory. While at Fort Abraham Lincoln he was assigned to Company K, serving in the battalion commanded by Captain Frederick Benteen. During the ill-fated June 1876 expedition to the Little Bighorn River, Lt. Hare was on detached service assisting Lt. Charles Varnum, in the Reno Battalion, with the US Army Indian Scouts. After the valley fight on June 25, 1876 he rejoined Company K and engaged in the fighting atop Reno Hill.

During the fighting on Reno Hill, Lt. Hare served as Major Marcus Reno's acting adjutant, since Lt. Benjamin Hodgson had been killed as the Indian Braves routed the poorly led Troopers from the woods following Major Reno‘s "charge". Lt. Hare was commended for his bravery and promoted to First Lieutenant on June 25, 1976 the day of the Battle of The Little Big Horn.

After the 7th US Cavalry regrouped, following their defeat at the Little Big Horn, Lt. Luther Hare was transferred to Company I to fill the vacancy created by the death of Lt. James Porter. Lt. Hare was again commended for gallantry during the 1877 Nez Perce War, under the command of Colonel Samuel Sturgis at the Battle of Canyon Creek, Montana. Lt. Hare was called to testify at the Reno Court of Inquiry in 1879, stemming from Major Reno’s actions (or lack of) at the Battle of The Little Big Horn.

Prior to Lt. Hare’s Reno Court of Inquiry testimony in 1879, he wed Augusta Virginia Hancock on June 21, 1878. Augusta was the daughter of John Hancock, a Colonel in the United States Army. The Hare’s had three daughters.

After participating in the Battle of Wounded Knee on December 29, 1890 Lt. Hare was promoted to Captain, the result of a death during the action against Big Foot's Sioux prisoners. After the bloodbath at Wounded Knee Creek, Captain Hare served the 7th US Cavalry in the Arizona Territory on scouting expeditions against the last of the Apaches still not resigned to reservation life. On May 14, 1898, Captain Hare was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, 1st Texas Volunteer Cavalry and on June 14th was promoted to Colonel. Captain Hare had to request, and was granted, a leave of absence to accept the appointment from the state of Texas. Colonel Hare was mustered out of volunteer service in November 1898.

On July 5, 1899, he received appointment as Colonel, 33rd US Volunteer Infantry and took the regiment to the Philippines where war had broken out. Colonel Hare and the 33rd Volunteer Infantry arrived at Lingayen Gulf on November 7, 1899. The Texas Volunteers fought at San Fabián, San Jacinto, Tagnadin Pass, and San José. Colonel Hare won two Silver Stars for bravery, and when he left the Philippines in early 1901, it was as a Brigadier General of volunteers. Hare received his appointment as Brigadier General, US Volunteers, on June 1, 1900.

On February 2, 1901, Hare was promoted to Major, 12th US Cavalry, and on July 16, 1903 was retired for disability. Luther Hare then accepted a position with the Texas National Guard as Inspector General of the Militia from October 10, 1903 to June 30, 1905. During this period Luther Hare served as military advisor to Texas Governor T. M. Campbell until January 1911. From May 29, 1908 to January 15, 1911, Hare was Professor of Military Science at the University of Texas.

In 1918 Luther Hare was made commandant of the first ROTC at the University of Texas and appointed professor of military science and tactics. He next accepted the post of commandant, Student Army Training Corps, Simmons College (Hardin-Simmons University now), until February 1919, finally retiring for good.

Colonel Hare died of throat cancer at Walter Reed Army Hospital on December 22, 1929. Colonel Hare was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Colonel Hare in 1874 at West Point


Colonel Hare's grave at Arlington National Cemetery

Colonel Luther Hare





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