West Point in the Making of America






Andrew Summers Rowan

Portrait, Andrew Summers Rowan

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Message to Garcia

Message to Garcia

Andrew Summers Rowan (1857–1943)

Rowan’s army career was, for the most part, unremarkable: garrison duty at various posts in the United States; some survey work in Central America; a Washington assignment in the Adjutant General’s Office; appointment as military attaché to Chile; staff service in Puerto Rico and Cuba during the War with Spain; some time in the Philippines; a year teaching military science in Kansas; and retirement as major after thirty years service.

There was one spectacular break in the routine. Early in 1898, Rowan was dispatched on a secret mission to obtain information on the strength of rebel forces in Cuba from their leader, Gen. Calixto Garcia. Rowan landed on the island the day Spain declared war, found Garcia, and returned with the information in eleven days. Rowan’s exploit inspired a much–reprinted and much–translated 1899 pamphlet by Elbert Hubbard, Message to Garcia, that made the officer’s name world famous.


Monumental Projects

Key Figures

Frank Ross McCoy
Frank Ross McCoy
Class of 1897

Andrew Summers Rowan
Andrew Summers Rowan
Class of 1881

Smithsonian National Museum of American History

West Point in History Introduction 1802–1860 1861–1870 1866–1914 1914–1918 Epilogue Introduction 1802–1860 1861–1870 1866–1914 1914–1918 Epilogue The Army in the West Wars for Empire Monumental Projects