John Coalter Bates
|Born||August 26, 1842|
St. Charles County, Missouri
|Died||February 4, 1919 (aged 76)|
San Diego County, California
|Service/||United States Army|
|Years of service||1861–1906|
|Commands held||Chief of Staff of the United States Army|
1st Division, Eighth Army Corps
|Battles/wars||American Civil War
|Relations||Edward Bates (father)|
John Coalter Bates (August 26, 1842 – February 4, 1919) was a United States Army officer who served as Chief of Staff of the United States Army from January to April 1906. Along with Arthur MacArthur Jr., Bates was one of the last American Civil War veterans still on active duty in the United States military at the time of his retirement.
Bates was born in St. Charles County, Missouri to congressman and future Attorney General Edward Bates and Julia Davenport Coalter. He was educated at Washington University in St. Louis. He was commissioned a first lieutenant with the 11th Infantry Regiment and later became an aide to General George G. Meade, reaching the brevet rank of lieutenant colonel for gallant and meritorious service in operations resulting in the capture of Richmond and surrender of General Robert E. Lee’s army in April 1865.
Bates later served on the Indian Frontier for many years (being promoted to major in 1882 and to lieutenant colonel in 1886), was made a colonel of the 2nd Infantry Regiment in 1892, and in May 1898 was promoted to brigadier general of an Independent Brigade consisting of the 3rd Infantry Regiment and 20th Infantry Regiment in the Spanish–American War and commanded a division of volunteers in the Philippines in the early stages of the Philippine–American War. He was military governor of Cienfuegos in 1899, went that year to the Philippines, where he conducted the negotiations with the Sultan of Sulu. From 1900–1901, he commanded the 1st Division, Eighth Army Corps, conducted operations against insurgents in southern Luzon, and then commanded that department.
Bates commanded a provisional division in maneuvers at Fort Riley and commanded the Departments of the Missouri and the Lakes from 1901–1904 and later the Northern Division for a year before serving as Chief of Staff of the United States Army from January 15 to April 13, 1906. During this time, he was promoted to Lieutenant general. He retired from active service in April 1906 having reached the mandatory retirement age of 64. He was the last Army Chief of Staff to have served in the American Civil War.
Bates was a member of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States and the Grand Army of the Republic. He died in San Diego, California on February 4, 1919.
|First lieutenant||1 May 1861||Regular Army|
|Captain||1 May 1863||Regular Army|
|Brevet major||1 August 1864||Regular Army|
|Brevet lieutenant colonel||9 April 1865||Regular Army|
|Major||6 May 1882||Regular Army|
|Lieutenant colonel||19 October 1886||Regular Army|
|Colonel||25 April 1892||Regular Army|
|Brigadier general||4 May 1898||Volunteers|
|Major general||8 July 1898||Volunteers|
|Brigadier general||2 February 1901||Regular Army|
|Major general||15 July 1902||Regular Army|
|Lieutenant general||1 January 1906||Regular Army|