b. 27/03/1860 Woodstock, Mississippi. d. 04/02/1922 New Orleans, Louisiana.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 23/07/1898 Manimani River, Cuba.
Heard was born on Woodstock Plantation, near Senatobia, Mississippi. He was appointed to West Point, graduating with the class of 1883. Several of his fellow classmates would go on to become general officers in their careers, such as Charles W. Kennedy, George H. Cameron, Harry C. Hale, George W. Read, Lawrence Tyson, Ira A. Haynes, Samson L. Faison, William C. Langfitt, Robert D. Walsh, Omar Bundy, Charles G. Morton, Tyree R. Rivers, John W. Ruckman, Isaac Littell and Clarence R. Edwards.
Heard deployed to Cuba as part of the 3rd US Cavalry. He departed Florida with his unit and 40-50 Cuban soldiers aboard the wooden fruit transport Wanderer, landing near the mouth of the Mani-Mani River near Bahia Hondo, west of Havana. A force of nearly 1,000 Spanish Cavalry charged Heard’s vastly outnumbered force as they were unloading supplies on the beach. Heard’s command of his men halted the Spanish force’s charge and caused them to fall back. Heard successfully regrouped his men and had them reboard their ship, evacuating all of his soldiers and wounded, leaving no one behind. Lieutenant Heard was awarded the Medal of Honor on June 21, 1899, for his actions at the Battle of Mani-Mani.
He was promoted to brigadier general in the National Army on October 1, 1918. He commanded the Hawaiian Department. In June 1919, Heard reverted to his permanent rank of colonel. Prior to the war, he had commanded the 8th Cavalry Regiment, the 5th Cavalry Regiment and then the 4th Cavalry Regiment. After the war, Heard commanded the 9th Cavalry Regiment at Camp Stotsenburg in the Philippines from September 1919 to November 1920. Returning to the United States, he commanded the 14th Cavalry Regiment at Fort Sam Houston from December 1920 to January 1922.
He married Mildred Jewell Townsend of New York City on June 3, 1886. Together, they had five sons.
After two men had been shot down by Spaniards while transmitting orders to the engine-room on the Wanderer, the ship having become disabled, this officer took the position held by them and personally transmitted the orders, remaining at his post until the ship was out of danger.
BURIAL LOCATION: US MILITARY ACADEMY POST CEMETERY, WEST POINT, NEW YORK.
SECTION VIII, ROW B, GRAVE 112.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: FAMILY.