Lt. Gen. Milton J. Foreman: A Hero in the Spanish-American War and World War I
by Seymour “Sy” Brody
Lieutenant General Milton J. Foreman was a hero of the Spanish-American War, Mexican Border Service Campaign and World War I.
In the Spanish-American War, he enlisted in the Army as a private in Troop C, First Calvary, on December 5, 1895. He worked his way up th ranks until he was a captain. In the Mexican Border Service, he was a colonel commanding the First Calvary Division of the Illinois National Guard
Colonel Milton J. Foreman, of the Illinois National Guard, received the Distinguished Service Cross for bravery in World War I while serving in France. When his unit came under heavy artillery and machine gun fire, he crept through the German gunfire, laying out telephone wire so that he could tell his artillery where the enemy had its gun positions. Foreman found the enemy gun positions and directed his artillery to lay down a barrage of shells to destroy them.
General Foreman was awarded for bravery the Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star Citations, French Legion of Honor and the Belgian Order of the Crown. During World War II, Foreman was honored when a merchant liberty ship was named the S.S. Foreman.
When World War I ended, hew was discharged and appointed a colonel in the Illinois National Guard. He was promoted to brigadier general on June 23, 1920 and major general on March 19, 1921. Upon Foreman’s retirement, in 1931, he was promoted to Lieutenant General.
General Foreman was one of the organizers of the American Legion and he was elected chairman of its executive committee at the Paris Caucus, at which he represented Illinois. During the Legion's third national convention in 1921, he was designated as a past national commander by resolution.
Foreman was born on January 26, 1863, in Chicago, Illinois. He was educated here and eventually became an attorney, being admitted to the bar in 1899. He served as a member of the Chicago City Council from 1899 to 1911. In 1931 he was actively involved in organizing the Veterans’ Repeal League. He was appointed as a member of the Illinois State Liquor Control Commission.
He was very active in politics and civic affairs. Foreman had the confidence of presidents, cabinet members, senators, governors and mayors. He was a bachelor and a collector of rare books.
He died on October 18, 1935
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