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Kneedler: Prominent Army Officer and Beloved Coronado Physician

by Mary Ellen Cortellini

Merriam Press Military Biography

eBook not available

Paperback - ISBN 978-1576386392 - $27.95

Hardcover not available

Kneedler is a compilation of historical documents, that brings Major William Ludwig Kneedler and his family back-to-life for the reader and highlights the strong Army presence in the City of San Diego at the turn of the twentieth century.

During Kneedler’s Army career he crossed paths with General Arthur MacArthur (General Douglas MacArthur’s father), Admiral Caspar Goodrich, President William Howard Taft and others.

He served as Post Surgeon at West Point and Fort Rosecrans (known today as Naval Base Point Loma).

And he played a key role in the aftermath of one of the worst peacetime disasters in Naval history, the USS Bennington explosion.

After attending Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, William Ludwig Kneedler entered the Army as a surgeon and served 27 years.

He saw service in the Indian Wars of the Northwest, the Spanish American War, and as Executive Officer of the United States Hospital Ship Missouri, traveling around the world.

Upon his return to San Diego in May 1902, he was Post Surgeon at Fort Rosecrans until November 1905.

His last charge was in the Philippine Islands where he served as Attending Surgeon.

Major Kneedler retired from the Army in July 1906, returning to Coronado and entering private practice.

His home was designated a Coronado Historical Landmark in 1978.

The old post hospital building at Fort Rosecrans still stands today.



The Early Years

The Kneedlers Head to West Point

The Spanish-American War and the Philippine Commission

San Diego Barracks

The Kneedler Home Along Ocean Blvd. on Coronado

Across the Bay at Fort Rosecrans

Captain Ernest D. Scott, Future Commanding Officer of Fort Rosecrans and Society Wedding to Ella von Gerichten, 1903

Ensign Newman K. Perry, Officer on the USS Bennington and Society Wedding to Vipont Doane, 1903

Buildup of Fort Rosecrans

Army and Navy Socializing at San Diego

USS Bennington Tragedy in San Diego Bay, 1905, Death of Perry and 64 Sailors, and Efforts by Kneedler and Scott Directing the Rescue of Survivors, Funerals and Burials, with Establishment of Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery and Bennington Memorial

Major Kneedler's Retirement and Later Years

Daughter Jessie Kneedler's Society Wedding

Major Kneedler's Granddaughters

Major Kneedler's Gravesite

Epilogue: 710th Ordnance Company (EOD) Honoring the Promise 100 Years Later

William Cronan, Medal of Honor

Heber and Jerauld Ingle

The Fort Rosecrans-Chi Omega Connection (Col. Frederick L. Dengler and Jean Vincenheller Dengler)

Rear Admiral Caspar Goodrich and Lt. Caspar Goodrich Jr.

Songs "Army Blue" and "Benny Havens, Oh!"

Kneedler House Designated Coronado Landmark

2007 Dedication of Monument to Fort Rosecrans Soldiers, Past and Present including Major Kneedler

Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Six Memorial

132 8.5x11-inch pages, 200 color and B&W photos, illustrations, and documents

Kneedler: Prominent Army Officer and Beloved Coronado Physician

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