Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 20 July

Medal of Honor recipient Gilbert G Collier. Courtesy the CMOHS.

We open with the Civil War, the Battle of Peachtree Creek, part of the Atlanta Campaign. A flag capture, a flag rescue, some conspicuous coolness (and he wasn’t even a rock star), some reckless bravery, and a touch of “leave no man behind.”

BUCKLEY, DENNIS

Rank and organization: Private, Company G, 136th New York Infantry. Place and date: At Peach Tree Creek, Ga., 20 July 1864. Entered service at: Avon, N.Y. Birth: Canada. Date of issue: 7 April 1865. Citation: Capture of flag of 31st Mississippi (C.S.A.).

CROSIER, WILLIAM H. H.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company G, 149th New York Infantry. Place and date: At Peach Tree Creek, Ga., 20 July 1864. Entered service at: Skaneateles, N.Y. Birth: Skaneateles, N.Y. Date of issue: 12 January 1892. Citation: Severely wounded and ambushed by the enemy, he stripped the colors from the staff and brought them back into the line.

HAPEMAN, DOUGLAS

Rank and organization: Lieutenant Colonel, 104th Illinois Infantry. Place and date: At Peach Tree Creek, Ga., 20 July 1864. Entered service at: Ottawa, Ill. Born: 15 January 1839, Ephratah, Fulton County, N.Y. Date of issue: 5 April 1898. Citation: With conspicuous coolness and bravery rallied his men under a severe attack, re-formed the broken ranks, and repulsed the attack.

SHANES, JOHN

Rank and organization: Private, Company K, 14th West Virginia Infantry. Place and date: At Carters Farm, Va., 20 July 1864. Entered service at:——. Birth: Monomgalis County, W.Va. Date of issue: 31 January 1896. Citation: Charged upon a Confederate field-piece in advance of his comrades and by his individual exertions silenced the piece.

WILLIAMS, WILLIAM H.

Rank and organization: Private, Company C, 82d Ohio Infantry. Place and date: At Peach Tree Creek, Ga., 20 July 1864. Entered service at: Miami County, Ohio. Birth: Hancock County, Ohio. Date of issue: 19 June 1894. Citation: Voluntarily went beyond the lines to observe the enemy; also aided a wounded comrade.

Continue reading “Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 20 July”

Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 19 july

Medal of Honor recipient John G Gertsch. Courtesy the CMOHS.

Again, we open with the Civil War

DODDS, EDWARD E.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company C, 21st New York Cavalry. Place and date: At Ashbys Gap, Va., 19 July 1864. Entered service at: Rochester, N.Y. Birth: Canada. Date of issue: 11 June 1896. Citation: At great personal risk rescued his wounded captain and carried him from the field to a place of safety.

Now we move on to the Philippine Insurrection.

BYRNE, BERNARD A.

Rank and organization: Captain, 6th U.S. Infantry. Place and date: At Bobong, Negros, Philippine Islands, 19 July 1899. Entered service at: Washington, D.C. Birth: Newport Barracks, Va. Date of issue: 15 July 1902. Citation: Most distinguished gallantry in rallying his men on the bridge after the line had been broken and pushed back.

Then, on to World War I Continue reading “Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 19 july”

Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 18 July

Medal of Honor recipient William H Carney. Courtesy the CMOHS.

We open with the Civil War – and Fort Wagner, where the 54th Massachusetts Colored Infantry charged into… Glory.

CARNEY, WILLIAM H.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company C, 54th Massachusetts Colored Infantry. Place and date: At Fort Wagner, S.C., 18 July 1863. Entered service at: New Bedford, Mass. Birth: Norfolk, Va. Date of issue: 23 May 1900. Citation: When the color sergeant was shot down, this soldier grasped the flag, led the way to the parapet, and planted the colors thereon. When the troops fell back he brought off the flag, under a fierce fire in which he was twice severely wounded.

CROSS, JAMES E.

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company K, 12th New York Infantry. Place and date: At Blackburns Ford, Va., 18 July 1861. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Darien, N.Y. Date of issue: 5 April 1898. Citation: With a companion, refused to retreat when the part of the regiment to which he was attached was driven back in disorder, but remained upon the skirmish line for some time thereafter, firing upon the enemy.

HIBSON, JOSEPH C.

Rank and organization: Private, Company C, 48th New York Infantry. Place and date: Near Fort Wagner, S.C., 13 July 1863, Near Fort Wagner, S.C., 14 July 1863; Near Fort Wagner, S.C., 18 July 1863. Entered service at: New York, N.Y. Birth: England. Date of issue: 23 October 1897. Citation: While voluntarily performing picket duty under fire on 13 July 1863, was attacked and his surrender demanded, but he killed his assailant. The day following responded to a call for a volunteer to reconnoiter the enemy’s position, and went within the enemy’s lines under fire and was exposed to great danger. On 18 July voluntarily exposed himself with great gallantry during an assault, and received 3 wounds that permanently disabled him for active service.

RAND, CHARLES F.

Rank and organization: Private, Company K, 12th New York Infantry. Place and date: At Blackburns Ford, Va., 18 July 1861. Entered service at: Batavia, N.Y. Birth: Batavia, N.Y. Date of issue: 23 October 1897. Citation: Remained in action when a part of his regiment broke in disorder, joined another company, and fought with it through the remainder of the engagement.

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Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 17 July

Medal of Honor recipient Charles F Pendleton. Courtesy the CMOHS.

Today we open with period of Indian Campaigns. As is usual for the Indian Campaigns – if a fight generated one Medal, it tended to generate several, indicative of the lack of options for recognizing heroic conduct during the era.   Battle of the Big Dry Wash, Arizona, is one of those fights.

CRUSE, THOMAS

Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, 6th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Big Dry Fork, Ariz., 17 July 1882. Entered service at: Owensboro, Ky. Birth: Owensboro, Ky. Date of issue: 12 July 1892. Citation: Gallantly charged hostile Indians, and with his carbine compelled a party of them to keep under cover of their breastworks, thus being enabled to recover a severely wounded soldier.

MORGAN, GEORGE H.

Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, 3d U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Big Dry Fork, Ariz., 17 July 1882. Entered service at: Minneapolis, Minn. Birth: Canada. Date of issue: 15 July 1892. Citation: Gallantly held his ground at a critical moment and fired upon the advancing enemy (hostile Indians) until he was disabled by a shot.

TAYLOR, CHARLES

Rank and organization: First Sergeant, Company D, 3d U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Big Dry Wash, Ariz., 17 July 1862. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Baltimore, Md. Date of issue: 16 December 1882. Citation: Gallantry in action.

WEST, FRANK

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, 6th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Big Dry Wash, Ariz., 17 July 1882. Entered service at: Mohawk, N.Y. Birth: Mohawk, N.Y. Date of issue: 12 July 1892. Citation: Rallied his command and led it in the advance against the enemy’s fortifled position.

Continue reading “Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 17 July”

Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 16 July

Medal of Honor recipient Edward A Walker. Courtesy the CMOHS.

Today we open in the period of the Interim Awards, 1871-1898, with another rescue of a drowning sailor – which today would be a Navy and Marine Corps Medal for heroism not involving combat.

COSTELLO, JOHN

Rank and organization: Ordinary Seaman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1850, Rouses Point, N.Y. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 214, 27 July 1876. Citation: On board the U.S.S. Hartford, Philadelphia, Pa., 16 July 1876. Showing gallantry, Costello rescued from drowning a landsman of that vessel.

We follow with a small skirmish during the Philippine Insurrection.

FORBECK, ANDREW P.

Rank and organization: Seaman, U.S. Navy. Born: 29 August 18,9, New York. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 55, 19 July 1901. Citation: For distinguished conduct in the presence of the enemy during the battle of Katbalogan, Samar, Philippine Islands, 16 July 1900.

STOLTENBERG, ANDREW V.

Rank and organization: Gunner’s Mate Second Class, U.S. Navy. Born: Boto, Norway. Accredited to: California. G.O. No.: 55, 29 July 1899. Citation: For distinguished conduct in the presence of the enemy in battle at Katbalogan, Samar, Philippine Islands, 16 July 1900.

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Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 15 July

Medal of Honor recipient George P. Hays. Courtesy the CMOHS.

There are seven Medals awarded for actions on this day in history. We open with a naval engagement on the Yazoo River, with a crewman of the USS Carondelet against the Confederate ram CSS Arkansas.

MORRISON, JOHN G.

Rank and organization: Coxswain, U.S. Navy. Entered service at: Lansingburg, N.Y. Born: 3 November 1842, Ireland G.O. No.: 59, 22 June 1865. Citation: Serving as coxswain on board the U.S.S. Carondelet, Morrison was commended for meritorious conduct in general and especially for his heroic conduct and his inspiring example to the crew in the engagement with the rebel ram Arkansas, Yazoo River, 15 July 1862. When the Carondelet was badly cut up, several of her crew killed, many wounded and others almost suffocated from the effects of escaped steam, Morrison was the leader when boarders were called on deck, and the first to return to the guns and give the ram a broadside as she passed. His presence of mind in time of battle or trial is reported as always conspicuous and encouraging.

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Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 14 July

Medal of Honor Recipient Charles M Holton. Courtesy the CMOHS,

Today is an unusual day thus far in the series – only one Medal, awarded for actions at Falling Waters, Viriginia, during the Civil War, in a skirmish during the Union Army of the Potomac’s pursuit of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia during the latter’s withdrawal from Gettysburg.

HOLTON, CHARLES M.
Rank and organization: First Sergeant, Company A, 7th Michigan Cavalry. Place and date: At Falling Waters, Va., 14 July 1863. Entered service at: Battle Creek, Mich. Born: 25 May 1838, Potter, N.Y. Date of issue: 21 March 1889. Citation: Capture of flag of 55th Virginia Infantry (C.S.A.). In the midst of the battle with foot soldiers he dismounted to capture the flag.

Let First Sergeant Holton tell the tale, as quoted in Deeds of Valor By Walter F. Beyer and Oscar Frederick Keydel: Continue reading “Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 14 July”

Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 13 July

Medal of Honor recipient Ryan M Pitts.
U.S. Army photo by Monica King.

There are 12 13 Medals awarded for actions on this day in only two fights, one during the Indian Campaigns and the other during the China Relief Expedition – and now, one in Afghanistan. Today’s list reflects the fact that we really had no other award of this nature to bestow back in the 19th century.**  Many of these awards here today would most likely be Bronze Stars w/V, Silver Stars, and Distinguished Service Crosses.  That said – bear in mind that all these awards have been reviewed and stood the test of time.  With an average of a little over 9 per day, today is one of those days that makes up for the short ones.

During the Indian Campaigns, a fight with the Apaches in the Whetstone Mountains of Arizona. Continue reading “Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 13 July”

Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 12 July

Medal of Honor Recipient Roy W Harmon. Courtesy the CMOHS.

There are 20 Medals awarded for actions on this day.  As is usual when there are this many on a given day, the bulk come from the 19th Century to prior to WWI, when the award criteria (and the entire award system) were different.

The Medal spread itself all over on this day.  The Civil War, the Indian Campaigns, the China Relief Expedition, World War II and Vietnam.

Civil War.  The first Medal is for the Battle of Peachtree Creek – which was fought on 20 July 1864, but the citation reads 12 July.  Digging around, I see that references citing this Medal prior to the official Senate book cite the 20 July battle, and not the 12th.  I suspect the date of the 12th for this citation is in error.  But I’m leaving it here, with this caveat, since I’m using the official US Army source at the Center for Military History, which itself publishes this caveat: Continue reading “Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 12 July”

Today’s Medal of Honor Moment for 11 July

Medal of Honor recipient Gordon R. Roberts. Courtesy the CMOHS.

There are four Medals awarded for actions on this day in history. Today we open with the Indian Campaigns, and the Battle of the Clearwater. While a win for the Army, the Nez Perce gave General O.O. Howard a bloody nose and lived to fight another day, though in the end, the Nez Perce War ended badly for the Nez Perce, with Chief Joseph famously attributed as saying, “Hear me, my chiefs! I am tired. My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands I will fight no more forever.”

HUMPHREY, CHARLES F.Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, 4th U.S. Artillery. Place and date: At Clearwater, Idaho, 11 July 1877. Entered service at: ——. Birth: New York. Date of issue: 2 March 1897. Citation: Voluntarily and successfully conducted, in the face of a withering fire, a party which recovered possession of an abandoned howitzer and 2 Gatling guns lying between the lines a few yards from the Indians

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