Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 1 June

There are ten Medals awarded for actions on this date, nine from the Civil War and one from the Indian Campaigns.  The Modern Era takes a knee.  Brevet Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin, Lieutenant Capron, and Sergeant Martin are listed here on 1 June because their citations had no specific dates, just listed a month and year.  In the case of our gallant artillery officer Benjamin, his citation covers from June 1861 to May 1864, quite a span of heroic artillery-ing!

Medal of Honor recipient Samuel Benjamin, shown here as a West Point cadet. Courtesy the CMOHS

Four from the Civil War battle of Fair Oaks, fought 1 June, 1862.  Heh.  Back in the day, the NY Times actually covered things like that, without any snarkitude.  Haskell went on to gain a commission, and was enmeshed in the desperate fighting to repel Pickett’s charge, 3 July 1863.  Interestingly enough, Haskell was killed at Cold Harbor – where that second group of Medals was earned.  Howard had a mixed career during the Civil War, his corps being roughly handled at Chancellorsville and Gettysburg – but he stuck it out and went on to conduct the campaign to subdue the Nez Perce and to found Howard University.

TOMPKINS, Charles H. RANK: FIRST LIEUTENANT (HIGHEST RANK: BREVET BRIGADIER GENERAL) UNIT/COMMAND: 2D U.S. CAVALRY DATE: JUNE 1, 1861 PLACE: FAIRFAX, VIRGINIA, USA
CITATION: Twice charged through the enemy’s lines and, taking a carbine from an enlisted man, shot the enemy’s captain.

O’BEIRNE, James R RANK: CAPTAIN (HIGHEST RANK: BRIGADIER GENERAL) UNIT/COMMAND: COMPANY C, 37TH NEW YORK INFANTRY DATE: JUNE 1, 1862 PLACE: FAIR OAKS, VIRGINIA, USA
CITATION: Gallantly maintained the line of battle until ordered to fall back.

BENJAMIN, Samuel N RANK: FIRST LIEUTENANT (HIGHEST RANK: BREVET LIEUTENANT COLONEL) UNIT/COMMAND: 2D U.S. ARTILLERY DATE: JUNE 1861 – MAY 1864 PLACE: BULL RUN TO SPOTSYLVANIA, VIRGINIA
CITATION: Particularly distinguished services as an artillery officer.

*CAPRON JR., Horace RANK: SERGEANT (HIGHEST RANK: FIRST LIEUTENANT) UNIT/COMMAND: COMPANY G, 8TH ILLINOIS CAVALRY DATE: JUNE 1862 PLACE: CHICKAHOMINY & ASHLAND, VIRGINIA, USA
CITATION: Gallantry in action.

GRANT, GABRIEL Rank and organization: Surgeon, U.S. Volunteers. Place and date: At Fair Oaks, Va., 1 June 1862. Entered service at: New York. Born: Newark, N.J. Date of issue: 21 July 1897. Citation: Removed severely wounded officers and soldiers from the field while under a heavy fire from the enemy, exposing himself beyond the call of duty, thus furnishing an example of most distinguished gallantry.

HASKELL, FRANK W. Rank and organization: Sergeant Major, 3d Maine Infantry. Place and date: At Fair Oaks, Va., 1 June 1862. Entered service at: Waterville, Maine. Born: 1843, Benton, Maine. Date of issue: 8 December 1898. Citation: Assumed command of a portion of the left wing of his regiment, all the company officers present having been killed or disabled, led it gallantly across a stream and contributed most effectively to the success of the action.

HOWARD, OLIVER O. Rank and organization: Brigadier General, U.S. Volunteers. Place and date: At Fair Oaks, Va., 1 June 1862. Entered service at: Maine. Born: 8 November 1830, Leeds, Maine. Date of issue: 29 March 1893. Citation: Led the 61st New York Infantry in a charge in which he was twice severely wounded in the right arm, necessitating amputation.

And two from the Civil War battle of Cold Harbor, fought 1 June 1864.  MG Guy Henry, aside from his performance at Cold Harbor, was breveted for bravery (meaning he got a ceremonial promotion – the rank and honors, but not the pay, just like Custer) for his performance at the Battle of the Rosebud in Montana.  He soldiered on through the Spanish American War, and was one of the first Governors of Puerto Rico.

HENRY, GUY V. Rank and organization: Colonel, 40th Massachusetts Infantry. Place and date: At Cold Harbor, Va., 1 June 1864. Entered service at: Reading Pa. Birth: Fort Smith, Indian Ter. Date of issue: 5 December 1893. Citation: Led the assaults of his brigade upon the enemy’s works, where he had 2 horses shot under him.

HILL, EDWARD Rank and organization: Captain, Company K, 1 6th Michigan Infantry. Place and date: At Cold Harbor, Va., 1 June 1864. Entered service at: Detroit, Mich. Birth: Liberty, N.Y. Date of issue: 4 December 1893. Citation: Led the brigade skirmish line in a desperate charge on the enemy’s masked batteries to the muzzles of the guns, where he was severely wounded.

Indian Campaigns

MARTIN, Patrick RANK: SERGEANT UNIT/COMMAND: COMPANY G, 5TH U.S. CAVALRY DATE: JUNE 1873 PLACE: CASTLE DOME, SANTA MARIA MOUNTAINS, ARIZONA, USA
CITATION: Gallant services in operations of Capt. James Burns, 5th U.S. Cavalry

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*Indicates a posthumous award. Lieutenant Capron survived his Medal action, but was KIA in 1864, and his Medal was not awarded until 1865.

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Published by The Armorer

A grumpy old Cincinnatus who feeds goats, dogs, cats, ducks, peafowl, a horse, and sundry avians, especially in the winter. From time to time you will see guns. Until such time as the Progressives repeal the 2nd Amendment, everything you see is legal, Federal, State, Local, where I live. Your progressive paradise may have different rules. Don't project them onto me. Federalism still exists, even if it is but a shadow of what the Framers intended.

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