I visited Reelfoot Lake in West Tennessee yesterday to see family we haven’t seen in years. I love historic markers and was pleased to find three while at the lake. I didn’t have the opportunity to get out of the car and get a closer photo of the Gen. Cates marker, and it’s illegible in my photo, so I looked up the text and have included it here:
Clifton B Cates was born on August 31, in Cates Landing, Tennessee. He attended school in Lake County and the Missouri Military Academy in Mexico, Missouri. A graduate of the law school of the University of Tennessee, Cates served as combat commander in both the first and second World Wars. His Marine service included combat duty in five operations in World War I and four operations in World War II. Cates served in China with the Fabled Fourth Marines. After commanding the Second Battalion, Sixth Marines in 1937, Cates led the First Marine Regiment. First Marine Division on Guadalcanal during World War II. As a Brigadier General, Cates commanded the Fourth Marine Division during the conquest of Tinian and Iwo Jima in 1944. Cates was the first Tennessean to achieve the rank of full general. From 1948 to 1952, General Cates served as the 19th Commandant of the Marine Corps. Wounded seven times, General Cates received many American and foreign medals. A member of the US Marine Corps for thirty-seven years, General Cates' military service extended to the Korean War. He died in 1970 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.