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After receiving a law degree from Harvard University, Edward (Peter) Bowditch came to the Philippines in 1907 and became Secretary to the Governor General, and Secretary and Vice Governor of Moro Province, a position he held until 1914 when it was transferred from military to civil control. Bowditch then served with the first civil governor of Moro Province for a period of six months. During World War I, he served in France, becoming personal A.D.C. to General Pershing. He was a member of the Harbord Mission to Armenia in 1919, served as an officer in the 5th and 12th Cavalry regiments, and returned to the Philippines as a member of the Wood-Forbes Mission in 1921.