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Kneedler: Prominent Army Officer and Beloved Coronado Physician

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Prominent Army Officer and Beloved Coronado Physician
  • by Mary Ellen Cortellini
    • Merriam Press Military Biography Series
      • Second Edition 2017
      • 132 8.5x11-inch pages
      • 200 color and B&W photos, illustrations, and documents
Kneedler is a compilation of historical documents. It 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.

  • Introduction
  • 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 U.S.S. Bennington and Society Wedding to Vipont Doane, 1903
  • Buildup of Fort Rosecrans
  • Army and Navy Socializing at San Diego
  • U.S.S. 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

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