A graduate of Harvard Medical School (1884), Wood began his military
career the next year as a civilian contract surgeon with the U.S. Army in the
Southwest, achieving the rank of captain and assistant surgeon by 1891. He
was awarded a Medal of Honor for his service with the expedition against
the Apache Indians who were resisting the capture of their leader, Geronimo
After the outbreak of the Spanish-American War (1898), Wood and his
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the tenth ballot. The following year, President Harding--recognizing Wood's
administrative talent and experience--appointed him to the Wood-Forbes
Mission to the Philippines. The mission reported that a grant of immediate
independence to the islands would be premature and urged the U.S.
government not to be left in a position of responsibility without authority.
Wood was then appointed governor-general of the Philippines, a post he
held until forced to resign by a terminal illness in 1927.