Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 30 June

There are fourteen Medals awarded for actions on this day, spanning from the Civil War to Vietnam – but skipping WWI, WWII, and Korea, which is kind of interesting.  We have another Drummer Boy stepping up this day.

Civil War

BRONNER, AUGUST F.

Rank and organization: Private, Company C, 1st New York Artillery
Place and date: At White Oak Swamp, Va., 30 June 1862. At Malvern Hill, Va., 1 July 1862
Date of issue: Unknown
Citation: Continued to fight after being severely wounded.

BURKE, THOMAS

Rank and organization: Private, Company A, 5th New York Cavalry
Place and date: At Hanover Courthouse, Va., 30 June 1863
Date of issue: 11 February 1878
Citation: Capture of battle flag.

HOWARD, HENDERSON C.

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company B, 11th Pennsylvania Reserves
Place and date: At Glendale, Va., 30 June 1862
Entered service at: Indiana, Pa.
Date of issue: 30 March 1898
Citation: While pursuing one of the enemy’s sharpshooters, encountered 2 others, whom he bayoneted in hand-to-hand encounters; was 3 times wounded in action.

KING, RUFUS, JR.

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, 4th U.S. Artillery
Place and date: At White Oak Swamp Bridge, Va., 30 June 1862
Entered service at: New York
Date of issue: 2 April 1898
Citation: This officer, when his captain was wounded, succeeded to the command of two batteries while engaged against a superior force of the enemy and fought his guns most gallantly until compelled to retire.

LEVY, BENJAMIN

Rank and organization: Private, Company B, 1st New York Infantry
Place and date: At Glendale, Va., 30 June 1862
Date of issue: 1 March 1865
Citation: This soldier, a drummer boy, took the gun of a sick comrade, went into the fight, and when the color bearers were shot down, carried the colors and saved them from capture.

McMAHON, MARTIN T.

Rank and organization: Captain, and aide-de-camp U.S. Volunteers
Place and date: At White Oak Swamp, Va., 30 June i862
Entered service at: California
Date of issue: 10 March 1891
Citation: Under fire of the enemy, successfully destroyed a valuable train that had been abandoned and prevented it from falling into the hands of the enemy.

SHAMBAUGH, CHARLES

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company D, 11th Pennsylvania Reserves
Place and date: At Charles City Crossroads, Va., 30 June 1862
Entered service at: Indiana County, Pa.
Date of issue: 17 July 1866
Citation: Capture of flag.

UHRL, GEORGE

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Light Battery F, 5th U.S. Artillery
Place and date: At White Oak Swamp Bridge, Va.. 30 June 1862
Date of issue: 4 April 1898
Citation: Was 1 of a party of 3 who, under heavy fire of advancing enemy, voluntarily secured and saved from capture a field gun belonging to another battery, and which had been deserted by its officers and men.Place and date: At White Oak Swamp, Va., 30 June 1862. At Malvern Hill, Va., 1 July 1862
Date of issue: Unknown
Citation: Continued to fight after being severely wounded.

Continue reading “Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 30 June”

The Southern Cross of Honor

Also known as the “Confederate Medal of Honor.”

John (NTA) opined thusly in a comment on one of my Medal of Honor posts:

There were (as far as I know) no Confederate States of America awards for heroism. As we read of the heroic deeds of our northern born ancestors, we should not lose sight of the considerable heroism from the military forces from the southern part of our now re-united nation.

We must remember their deeds as well, as many military members today have long family histories of military service in the U.S. (and a few with C.S.) service to be proud of.

 

There was, in fact, a Medal of Honor for the Confederacy, established in 1862.  But, even though I am a direct lineal descendant of three Confederate soldiers, and cousin to at least two others, I am not going to mix them into the lists of the United States Medal of Honor.  Leave aside that there is no detail available commensurate with the (limited) citation data available for Civil War era Union awards, like it or not, to list the Confederate Medals in my US listing would be similar to adding in Victoria Crosses, Croix du Guerre, and, more aptly, Pour Le Merite holders.

Those soldiers earned their honors trying very hard to *not* be US soldiers, and I am going to honor their wishes in that regard.

But for those with an interest in that aspect of Southern history – here’s a list of recipients of the Confederate Medal of Honor.  

Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 29 June

Medal of Honor recipient Steven L Bennett. Courtesy the CMOHS.

There are seven Medals awarded for actions on this day. We open, as we often do, with the Civil War, and three Medals, all awarded well after the war was over.

HICKEY, DENNIS W.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company E, 2d New York Cavalry
Place and date: At Stony Creek Bridge, Va., 29 June 1864
Date of issue: 18 April 1891
Citation: With a detachment of 3 men, tore up the bridge at Stony Creek being the last man on the bridge and covering the retreat until he was shot down.

QUINLAN, JAMES

Rank and organization: Major, 88th New York Infantry
Place and date: At Savage Station, Va., 29 June 1862
Entered service at: New York, N.Y.
Date of issue: 18 February 1891
Citation: Led his regiment on the enemy’s battery, silenced the guns, held the position against overwhelming numbers, and covered the retreat of the 2d Army Corps.

WHITAKER, EDWARD W.

Rank and organization: Captain, Company E, 1st Connecticut Cavalry
Place and date: At Reams Station, Va., 29 June 1864
Entered service at: Ashford, Conn.
Date of issue: 2 April 1898
Citation: While acting as an aide voluntarily carried dispatches from the commanding general to Gen. Meade, forcing his way with a single troop of Cavalry, through an Infantry division of the enemy in the most distinguished manner, though he lost half his escort.

Continue reading “Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 29 June”

He’s right, yanno

Me, talking with the DIVARTY staff while running a .45 qual* range. Officers have big egos and are crybabies.
It was fun to take their weapon, load in a magazine, and put 8 into the 10 ring at 25 feet.
They probably sat on my subsequent promotion boards.

The truth hurts!

*I’m lying. Officers, who set the standards, decided that people armed with pistols didn’t need to “qualify,” just “familiarize.”

I truly believe because most of them couldn’t shoot, the Army didn’t want to buy the ammo to train with, and this let officer egos off the hook. I, however, as the HHB commander, did *not* let their egos off the hook.

Like I said, they prolly sat on my promotion boards and got them some payback. 😉

Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 28 June

Medal of Honor recipient Michael P Murphy. Courtesy the CMOHS.

[NB – I wrote this one before the relative flood of Medals from the war in Afghanistan started flowing, and back when the ones that had been awarded were all posthumous. -the Armorer]

While the criteria for the Medal has changed over time, I exalt no Medal holder over another as we should honor the opinion of their contemporaries, and not apply a filter informed from a remove of decades to over a century.  But I understand that a lot of these Medals can seem, well, *musty* when most of the people alive today were not alive when most of them were earned.  It truly is history in it’s driest sense for many people.

Today, we have a Medal earned and awarded during the lives of most of the people on the planet.  In historical terms, it’s a current event.

And in recognition of that, we’ll open with it.  The only Medal of Honor awarded thus far for actions in Operation Enduring Freedom – Navy Seal Lieutenant Michael Murphy, who earned his Medal 27-28 June, 2005, near Asadabad, Konar Province, Afghanistan, as a part of Operation Redwing.

*MURPHY, MICHAEL P.

Rank and Organization: Lieutenant, United States Navy
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as the leader of a special reconnaissance element with Naval Special Warfare Task Unit Afghanistan on 27 and 28 June 2005. While leading a mission to locate a high-level anti-coalition militia leader, Lieutenant Murphy demonstrated extraordinary heroism in the face of grave danger in the vicinity of Asadabad, Konar Province, Afghanistan. On 28 June 2005, operating in an extremely rugged enemy-controlled area, Lieutenant Murphy’s team was discovered by anti-coalition militia sympathizers, who revealed their position to Taliban fighters. As a result, between 30 and 40 enemy fighters besieged his four-member team. Demonstrating exceptional resolve, Lieutenant Murphy valiantly led his men in engaging the large enemy force. The ensuing fierce firefight resulted in numerous enemy casualties, as well as the wounding of all four members of the team. Ignoring his own wounds and demonstrating exceptional composure, Lieutenant Murphy continued to lead and encourage his men. When the primary communicator fell mortally wounded, Lieutenant Murphy repeatedly attempted to call for assistance for his beleaguered teammates. Realizing the impossibility of communicating in the extreme terrain, and in the face of almost certain death, he fought his way into open terrain to gain a better position to transmit a call. This deliberate, heroic act deprived him of cover, exposing him to direct enemy fire. Finally achieving contact with his Headquarters, Lieutenant Murphy maintained his exposed position while he provided his location and requested immediate support for his team. In his final act of bravery, he continued to engage the enemy until he was mortally wounded, gallantly giving his life for his country and for the cause of freedom. By his selfless leadership, courageous actions, and extraordinary devotion to duty, Lieutenant Murphy reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Continue reading “Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 28 June”