Born in Pennsylvania in 1838, Major General John Rutter Brooke began his military career in 1861 as a captain of volunteers in the Civil War and eventually achieved the rank of major general of volunteers. He retired at war's end, but later returned to work his way up through the ranks of the regular army. In the Spanish-American War, he commanded the 1st Corps of the Army. In Puerto Rico he landed in Arroyo with General Hains, and reached Guayama by the time the armistice was signed. When General Miles left the island in October of 1898 to return to the U.S., Brooke became military governor and head of the army of occupation in the U.S. military government. On the 6th of December, Brooke was replaced by General Henry, and by the 13th, was named to the same position in Cuba.