• Three Barths steeped in Army, post history

  • There is only one building on post that is named for three members of the same family, all who served as Army general officers.

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  • Quentin Schillare | Special to the Fort Leavenworth Lamp
    Fort Leavenworth has many things named for groups of people: the housing areas honoring Native American nations, the streets memorializing Army regiments, and the Single Soldier Quarters with each wing honoring a different namesake. However, there is only one building on post that is named for three members of the same family, all who served as Army general officers. Obscure now because the last of them died almost 50 years ago, the Barth family was quite prominent in Army circles for more than a century.
    Charles H. Barth (1858-1926) graduated from Leavenworth High School in 1876 and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., in 1881. He was commissioned in the 12th Infantry and served with his regiment in Nebraska, Georgia and New York before graduating from the renamed (in 1886) Infantry and Cavalry School in 1891. He remained as an instructor and senior instructor at the school and the collocated staff college in 1891-93. Barth was appointed the post adjutant in 1893.
    Before World War I he was stationed in California, New York, Texas, Illinois and Washington, D.C. He served twice in the Philippines before and after the war. Barth commanded the 81st Division in the continental United States and in France in World War I. After retirement from the Army, Barth served as the governor of the Leavenworth Soldiers Home from 1925-26. He is buried with fellow governors near the main obelisk in the Leavenworth National Cemetery.
    The oldest son of Charles H. Barth, George B. “Bitt” Barth (1897-1969) graduated from USMA in 1918 and was commissioned in the 40th Infantry. He was at Fort Leavenworth with the 49th Infantry in 1919 and on occupation duty in Germany. He branch transferred to field artillery in 1923. He served as a Reserve Officer Training Corps instructor at Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn University) from 1927-30.
    Barth studied at the Command and General Staff School, 1934-36, and returned to the renamed Command and General Staff College as chief of staff in 1949. In the run-up to World War II, Barth served variously as a field artillery brigade S-3 and executive officer, division G-3 and chief of staff, and task force deputy chief of staff. He achieved a stellar reputation while in command of the 357th Infantry, 90th Infantry Division, in the Normandy Campaign of 1944 where he was badly wounded.
    Barth was director of operations and training and then chief of staff at CGSC, 1948-49. Brig. Gen. Barth commanded the 25th Infantry Division Artillery during the dark early days of the Korean War in the Pusan Perimeter. Maj. Gen. Barth later served with a military mission to Greece and as the deputy commanding general of the First Army. He is buried at the Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery.
    Charles H. Barth Jr. (1903-1943) was born in Leavenworth, the youngest son of Brig. Gen. Charles H. Barth. As a young man, he attended Princeton for a year but entered West Point in 1921 and graduated in 1925 as First Captain, commissioned in the Corps of Engineers. He obtained an engineering degree from Cornell in 1927 and taught engineering (1927-32) and chemistry and electricity (1933-34) at West Point, and later served with the 3rd Engineers in Hawaii in 1934-36.
    Page 2 of 2 - He was a member of the CGSC class of 1940 and left when the Regular Course ended early in February for an assignment in Panama. Barth served as an engineer in Panama rising to be the supervising engineer of the special engineering division, 1940-41. After service in Cairo, Egypt, with U.S. Army Forces in the Middle East, Brig. Gen. Barth served as chief of staff to Lt. Gen. Frank M. Andrews, commander of U.S. Army Europe, in London, 1942-43. He died in a B-24 bomber crash in Iceland on May 3, 1943, along with Andrews while on an inspection tour. Barth is buried in the West Point Post Cemetery.
    Barth Hall, at the corner of Kearny and McClellan avenues, was constructed in 1881 as the first home of the School of Application for Cavalry and Infantry established that year. It replaced an earlier building on the site that was used as a hospital. Because of its location on the southwest side of Main Parade, it has served a number of other roles since its construction, including post headquarters, an enlisted men’s club and a bank. Barth Hall is currently houses the headquarters of the Mission Command Training Program.
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