General Amos W. W. Woodcock of Salisbury, Maryland (1883-1964): Gentleman, soldier, scholar, and good citizen
MetadataShow full item record
Type of Work92 pages
SubjectsWoodcock, A. W. W. (1883-1964)
World War One
Japanese War Crimes
St. John’s College, Annapolis
General Amos Walter Wright Woodcock was a native of Salisbury, Maryland, whose life (1883-1964) was intimately intertwined with many of the major events of the first half of the 20th century; and in many cases he played a significant role in them. Woodcock lived his life with a strong (perhaps not quite Victorian, but at least an Edwardian) sense of morality, patriotism, and dedication to public service. As a devout Methodist he accepted the teachings of John Wesley that emphasized “duty” as important for a respectable life as prudence, earnestness, and moral fervor. He served his community, state, and country in numerous capacities, including army officer, school board president, Assistant Attorney General, U.S. Attorney, Director of Prohibition, and college president. Why has this Renaissance man of great accomplishment and public service been forgotten, even in his hometown? Perhaps it is because some of his most well-known efforts were not completely successful (and there are some who would say that they were wrong-headed failures). Perhaps because he never married and had no wife or children to carry on his name after his death he was simply forgotten. But it is very likely due to the fact that he held and expressed views that were considered to be “old-fashioned,” and that he was a bit of a gadfly. He was a Victorian man in the modern era; he experienced the “struggle between these two worlds,” and he was (for the most part) unable to modify the habits and perspectives with which he had been indoctrinated as a young man. He was perceived as being out of touch with the modern world and as having a haughty disdain of modern life, and many people were probably just as glad to have him gone.