Thomas Cruse MOH

b. 29/12/1877 Owensboro, Kentucky. d. 08/06/1943 Longport, New Jersey.

DATE OF MOH ACTION: 17/07/1882 Big Dry Fork, Arizona.

Thomas Cruse MOH

Cruse was born in Owensboro, Kentucky on December 29, 1857. Before attending West Point, he attended Centre College in Kentucky, 1874–1875. He graduated from West Point in 1879. Cruse was commissioned Second Lieutenant, in the 6th United States Cavalry upon graduation. Cruse was later an honor graduate of the Infantry-Cavalry School in 1891. He received the Medal of Honor “for distinguished gallantry in action with hostile Indians” at Big Dry Fork, Arizona on July 17, 1882. He received the medal on July 12, 1892. Three other men also received the Medal of Honor at Big Dry Fork, Arizona: Frank West, George H. Morgan, and Charles Taylor.

Cruse later served in the Philippine-American War. Later in his career, he graduated from the Army War College in 1916 and was promoted to Brigadier General on January 9, 1917. He retired from active duty in January 1918. Shortly after his retirement he was accused of involvement in a scandal involving quartermaster-acquisition procedures with Chicago manufacturing agent Henry H. Lippert. Lippert and his son Ralph were arrested; they argued that they had not committed fraud, and that Cruse had not been employed by them until after his retirement from the military. All three argued that Cruse had obtained an opinion from the Army’s Judge Advocate General, Enoch Crowder, which indicated that becoming an agent of the Lippert company did not violate the law. The case against Ralph Lippert was not pursued because he was drafted into the military. In April 1918, Cruse followed the advice of Henry Pinckney McCain, the Inspector General of the Army, to return to the Lipperts the money they had paid him (about $1,000), which ended his involvement in the matter. The case was resolved when authorities in Chicago reviewed the evidence against the Lipperts and declined to prosecute.

He then moved to Longport, New Jersey where he died at the age of 85. He authored the book “Apache Days and After” (1941).



Gallantly charged hostile Indians, and with his carbine compelled a party of them to keep under cover of their breastworks, thus being enabled to recover a severely wounded soldier.