General Charles Gould Morton was born on January 15, 1861 in Massachusetts, the son of Brigadier General Charles Morton. In 1879 he entered the U.S. Military Academy and graduated in 1883 with a commission as second lieutenant in the Sixth U.S. Infantry. He quickly rose through the ranks and served as a Lieutenant Colonel with the First Maine Volunteer Infantry during the Spanish American War.
From 1904 to 1905, while serving as Commander ofWarwick Barracks, he attended the Army War College, after which he served in various Inspector General positions. In 1912 he became an instructor for the Massachusetts National Guard. From 1913 to 1916, he commanded the 5th Infantry Regiment before commanding U.S. troops in Panama.
When he returned to the United States, he was assigned as the Commanding General of the Tenth Division, defending the Texas border from 1916 to 1917 during the Mexican Expedition.He participated in World War I as the Commanding General of the 29th Infantry Division.
From 1919 to 1921, after the armistice, Major General Morton returned to the U.S. as Commander of the Hawaiian Department before serving on the War Department General Staff for a year.He spent the final years of his career as the Commanding General of the Ninth Army Corps Area, headquartered at the Presidio of San Francisco, from 1922 until his retirement on January 15, 1925. He died in 1933 at Letterman General Hospital of a tetanus infection which was caused by wounds sustained lighting firecrackers on the Fourth of July for the young niece of his housekeeper.
Morton’s military career spanned 42 years and merited such honors as the Distinguished Service Medal, the Croix de Guerre with two palms, and the title of Commander of the Legion of Honor, for which he was awarded a plot in Arlington National Cemetery. In addition, the transport ship, the USS General C.G. Morton (AP-183), was named in his honor and saw service in World War II and the Korean War.
The Virginia P. Hosley Collection was donated to the Presidio Army Museum in 1979.
Last updated: February 28, 2015