Shafter, William Rufus, 1835–1906, American general, b. Galesburg, Mich. He served in the Union army during the Civil War and in 1867 joined the regular army, rising to become brigadier general (1897). In the Spanish-American War he was placed in command of the army that in June, 1898, invaded Cuba. After hard fighting at El Caney and San Juan Hill, the expedition entered Santiago on July 17. Shafter was much criticized, however, because the expedition had been poorly prepared and ill-equipped and the mortality rate from disease was high. Shafter retired in 1899 and was advanced to major general on the retired list in 1901.