Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 21 June

Medal of Honor recipient Jared C Monti. Courtesy the CMOHS.

Today opens with the Boxer Rebellion, for more on that, see yesterday’s post. The entries for this day show one of the frustrations of doing these daily posts – the little inconsistencies that pop up in the official records.

CAMPBELL, Albert R. RANK: PRIVATE (HIGHEST RANK: CORPORAL) DATE: JUNE 21, 1900 PLACE: TIENTSIN, CHINA
CITATION: In action at Tientsin, China, 21 June 1900. During the advance on Tientsin, Campbell distinguished himself by his conduct.

[N.B. Foley’s action date is cited variously as 13 July, 19 July, and 21 June. Francis’ citation also says 13 July. However, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society database lists both on 21 June while the citation for their entry says 13 July. I’ve asked for clarification. Ed.]
FOLEY. Alexander J RANK: SERGEANT (HIGHEST RANK: FIRST SERGEANT) UNIT/COMMAND: U.S.S. MONADNOCK DATE: JUNE 21, 1900 PLACE: NEAR TIENTSIN, CHINA
CITATION: In the presence of the enemy during the battle near Tientsin, China, 13 July 1900, Foley distinguished himself by meritorious conduct.

FRANCIS, Charles R. RANK: PRIVATE (HIGHEST RANK: SECOND LIEUTENANT) DATE: JUNE 21, 1900 PLACE: TIENTSIN, CHINA
CITATION: In the presence of the enemy during the battle near Tientsin, China, 13 July 1900, Francis distinguished himself by meritorious conduct.

KATES, Thomas W. RANK: PRIVATE (HIGHEST RANK: SERGEANT) DATE: JUNE 21, 1900 PLACE: TIENTSIN, CHINA
CITATION: In presence of the enemy during the advance on Tientsin, China, 21 June 1900, Kates distinguished himself by meritorious conduct.

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Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 20 June

Medal of Honor recipient William J O’Brien. Courtesy the CMOHS.

There are thirty Medals awarded for actions this day, twenty-eight from the China Relief Expedition (see 55 Days at Peking) bookended by a lifesaving award and a hard-dying battalion commander in WWII.

First up – from the Korean Campaign of 1871.  Today this would be awarded as a Navy and Marine Corps Medal, the naval service’s highest award for heroism not involving armed combat.

BENSON, JAMES

Rank and organization: Seaman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1845, Denmark. Enlisted at: Yokohama, Japan. G.O. No.: 180, 10 October 1872. Citation: On board the U.S.S. Ossipee, 20 June 1872. Risking his life, Benson leaped into the sea while the ship was going at a speed of 4 knots and endeavored to save John K. Smith, landsman, of the same vessel, from drowning.

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Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 19 June

Medal of Honor recipient John W Meagher. Courtesy the CMOHS.

There are 24 Medals awarded for actions on this day – 17 of them from one event.

We start off with the Civil War, and another one of those “mess o’ medals” that characterize some Navy engagements. Remember, the Medal of Honor was our first formal award for heroism since the lapsing of the Purple Heart, an award instituted by General George Washington, and not originally associated with combat wounding, as it is now. During the era of the Civil through Spanish American Wars, the Medal of Honor was the only award available on a regularized basis. What follows now are 17 awards for the same fight among the crew of the same ship, which in modern times would probably be spread amongst the Bronze and Silver Stars. Continue reading “Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 19 June”

Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 18 June

Medal of Honor recipient James G Clark. Courtesy the CMOHS.

There are four Medals awarded for action in the Civil War, all on the exact same day, in two battles, at opposite ends of Virginia.

We’re back for the last day of the Battle of Petersburg. Let’s let Confederate General Beauregard relate what it was to face men such as the three who earned Medals on that last day of the battle, before the Armies settled down to the Siege. From “Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, Volume 4.” Continue reading “Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 18 June”

Do a buddy a favor

[This is a slightly edited old post from the old blog – the edits removed some time-based references. While not this house and flag, I did drop off a flag today, coming back from the Grumpy Old Men Breakfast Club.]

Do a buddy a favor.png

This isn’t trolling for you guys to say nice things to me – it’s to inspire you to do what I do, now and again.

This is a house along the route I used to drive a couple of times a week. It’s not as obvious in the picture, but that flag is tattered, tired, and ratty. The hem is gone and the stripes are starting to separate.

The home is not in great shape. I took a risk going up those stairs, if only because of the size of the shadow I cast.

Based on the evidence going up to the door, a former Marine lives there.

I just left the flag and the note. To my lights, there’s less chance of embarrassing someone – because the intent is not to shame someone. It’s to brighten their day a tiny bit, in a way that I can.  I’ve done this about a dozen times.  Flags are cheap.

Just paying my respects to my brothers and sisters in arms.

You drive by these homes, too. Every day.

The 4th of July is coming up, Flag Day was this past week…

Cut a brother a huss, to reach back to a nearly forgotten war. You can afford it, and they probably can’t.

Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 17 June

Medal of Honor Recipient William R Parnell. Courtesy the CMOHS.

There are 19 Medals awarded on this day in history, all of them from the 19th century, starting with the Civil War through the Indian Campaigns.

First up – here’s an interesting story in this citation from a battle at Aldie, Virginia, in 1863.  Colonel DiCesnola of the 4th New York was under arrest (which also means unarmed) when his unit was attacked.  He led his regiment anyway – under circumstances where he actually could have sat the fight out.  Turns out he was an interesting fellow, very much a product of his time.  Soldier,  founder of a military college, amateur archaeologist, director of an art museum

DI CESNOLA, LOUIS P.

Rank and organization: Colonel, 4th New York Cavalry. Place and date: At Aldie, Va., 17 June 1863. Entered service at: New York, N.Y. Born: 29 June 1832, Rivarola, Piedmont, Italy. Date of issue: Unknown. Citation: Was present, in arrest, when, seeing his regiment fall back, he rallied his men, accompanied them, without arms, in a second charge, and in recognition of his gallantry was released from arrest. He continued in the action at the head of his regiment until he was desperately wounded and taken prisoner.

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Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 16 June

Medal of Honor recipient Robert H McCard. Courtesy the CMOHS.

There are seven Medals awarded for actions on this day.  Three from the Civil War, three from World War II, and one from Vietnam.

GREGG, JOSEPH O.
Rank and organization: Private, Company F, 133d Ohio Infantry. Place and date: Near the Richmond & Petersburg Ry., Va., 16 June 1864. Entered service at: ——. Born: 5 January 1841, Circleville, Ohio. Date of issue: 13 May 1899. Citation: Voluntarily returned to the breastworks which his regiment had been forced to abandon to notify 3 missing companies that the regiment was falling back; found the enemy already in the works, refused a demand to surrender, returning to his command under a concentrated fire, several bullets passing through his hat and clothing.

JACKSON, FREDERICK R.
Rank and organization: First Sergeant, Company F, 7th Connecticut Infantry. Place and date: At James Island, S.C., 16 June 1862. Entered service at: New Haven, Conn. Birth: New Haven, Conn. Date of issue: 1863. Citation: Having his left arm shot away in a charge on the enemy, he continued on duty, taking part in a second and a third charge until he fell exhausted from the loss of blood.

LEWIS, DEWITT CLINTON
Rank and organization: Captain, Company F, 97th Pennsylvania Infantry. Place and date: At Secessionville, S.C., 16 June 1862. Entered service at: ——. Birth: West Chester, Pa. Date of issue: 23 April 1896. Citation: While retiring with his men before a heavy fire of can1ster shot at short range, returned in the face of the enemy’s fire and rescued an exhausted private of his company who but for this timely action would have lost his life by drowning in the morass through which the troops were retiring.

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Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 15 June

Medal of Honor recipient James K Sturgeon. Courtesy the CMOHS.
15 June.  Three eras, 10 Medals, and no one died while earning theirs.

Civil War

First up is Lieutenant William H. Appleton, who is cited for two actions. The first, on 15 June, 1864 was as Petersburg, Virginia, where he was the first soldier of General W. F. Smith’s XVIIIth Corps to break into the Confederate works held by Beauregard’s men. Lieutenant Appleton was the first to break into the (unknown to General Smith) comparatively lightly held, and the initial assault captured 5 of the 13 works. However, Smith, whose corps had been savaged in the fighting at Cold Harbor when attacking a (fully manned) fortification belt less impressive than those at Petersburg, stopped for the night to rest and reset, unaware that Petersburg was his for the taking, Beauregard stating that at this point Petersburg was ‘at the mercy of the Federal commander, who had all but captured it.’ 3 months later, along with 15 other soldiers, he would be cited for the assault at New Market Heights. We’ll cover that one when we get to it. Continue reading “Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 15 June”