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Gettysburg Medal of Honor recipients

Discussion in 'Battle of Gettysburg' started by pamc153PA, Jun 23, 2012.

  1. pamc153PA

    pamc153PA Major Forum Host

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    I've been reading my way through the book Gettysburg Medal of Honor Recipients by Charles Hanna, which I picked up the last time I was at the Gettysburg VC. I'm finding a lot of information that I'd never seen before, and am totally enjoying it.

    While I was looking around in the internet, I found some interesting info about Medal of Honor recipients with a connection to Gettysburg, and thought someone here might find it interesting.

    • According to the National Park Service, there were 63 Medal of Honor which were awarded for service at Gettysburg. Of those, 8 were for actions on July 1st, 23 were for actions July 2nd, and 30 were for actions on July 3rd. Two others covered more than one of those dates.
    • Of the 63, 10 served in the I Corps, 27=II Corps, 6=III Corps, 9=V Corps, 1=VI Corps, 3=XI Corps, 1=XII Corps, 2=Artillery Reserve, and 4=Cavalry Corps.
    • The most decorated regiments at Gettysburg were the 19th Massachusetts and the 6th Pennsylvania Reserves with 5 Medals of Honor each.
    • The Park Service’s count of 63 medals for service “at Gettysburg” actually includes one for an action in Fairfield, PA (Private George C. Platt (6th U.S. Cav.) and one for an action in Millerstown, PA (Sgt Martin Schwenk, also 6th U.S. Cav.). Both actions were on July 3rd.
    • The 63 does not include Maj. Charles E. Capehart (1st WV Cav.) who was awarded his MOH for service on at Monterey Pass (near Fountaindale, PA). Although in the Gettysburg campaign, his action was on July 4th, after the official end of the battle.
    • There were two people who received the MOH for service at Gettysburg but whose citation is also for gallantry at another battle — and they aren’t counted as double award recipients. 1st Sergeant George W. Roosevelt, 26th Pennsylvania, was awarded the MOH for service at Bull Run on 30 August 1862 and in Gettysburg on 2 July 1863. Capt James Pipes, 140th Pennsylvania, was awarded the MOH for service in Gettysburg on 2 July 1863 and at Reams Station on 25 August 1864. Unlike four people in the Civil War who received two Medals of Honor each (see below), Roosevelt and Pipes each got one medal for gallantry at two different engagements.
    • Of the 63 award recipients for service at Gettysburg, there were 2 Musicians, 12 Privates, 12 Corporals, 16 Sergeants, 2 First Sergeants, 2 Second Lieutenants, 1 Lieutenant, 7 Captains, 3 Majors, 1 Lieutenant Colonel, 2 Colonels, 1 Brigadier General, and 1 Major General.
    • Only 7 were awarded to men who commanded regiments/batteries or higher (Chamberlain, Fuger, Huidekoper, Sellers, Sickles, Veazey, and Webb).
    • 17 other commanders at Gettysburg would receive the MOH for service elsewhere: 8 for service before Gettysburg and 9 for service after Gettysburg.
    • The first awards of the MOH for service at Gettysburg were issued 17 months after the battle (1 Dec 1864)
    • None of those who were in command at Gettyburg were awarded a MOH prior to 1890.

    http://www.segtours.com/blog/archives/347
     

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  3. kholland

    kholland Captain Forum Host Trivia Game Winner Retired Moderator

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    Good post. I wonder if Sickles would have gotten one if he hadn't lost a leg. There should have been more medals for regiment commanders. Congrats on being named Gettysburg Forum host.
     
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  4. pamc153PA

    pamc153PA Major Forum Host

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    Something tells me Sickles was not pleased he couldn't "buy" himself one! And thanks for the congrats--likewise for you on the Antietam Forum!

    Pam
     
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  5. reading48

    reading48 Captain

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    It would now be 64 M. O. H. men at G/B..........Alonzo Cushing received the M.O.H. 2 years ago 147 yrs after the battle.....
     
  6. LT.J.H.McDaniel

    LT.J.H.McDaniel Sergeant Major

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    Thats very interesting information. Thanks for posting!
     
  7. jessgettysburg1863

    jessgettysburg1863 2nd Lieutenant

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  8. donna

    donna Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host

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    Very interesting information. Thanks for the post.

    I have a book, "Medal of Honor" by Allen Milkaelian. It is one of my library sales finds. It has nice history of Medal of Honor and then has some recipients from Civil War to Vietnam War.

    For Civil War has Dr. Mary Edwards Walker and Leopold Karpeles. It is a nice addition for our library.
     
  9. JerseyBart

    JerseyBart Brigadier General Moderator Forum Host

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    So those are the 64...63 of which are likely definitely deserved...looking at you Sickles.

    Who else deserves on? State the soldier (enlisted or officer) and state your case. Could be fun. Heck, even name a Confederate whose actions would have earned him a MOH, if he wasn't fighting for the "other side."
     
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  10. W. Richardson

    W. Richardson Captain

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    Weren't a good deal of the MOH's awarded for merely picking up flags ?

    Respectfully,

    William
     
  11. JerseyBart

    JerseyBart Brigadier General Moderator Forum Host

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    I don't know how many, but a number of soldiers did get medals for winning "capture the flag," even if capturing the flag only meant picking it up from off the ground and showing it to someone in charge before a comrade took it from you to do the same.
     
  12. JerseyBart

    JerseyBart Brigadier General Moderator Forum Host

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    How about Strong Vincent for a MoH @ Gettysburg??? He ignored the chain of command and it actually did some good helping to defend the Union left.

    On the other hand, Dan Sickles ignored an order, jeopardized the Union position, cost possibly many more lives than would have been lost on July 2nd and then got to go to D.C., tell the battle summary as if he won it single-handedly and with some help had Meade put before a jury for attempting to retreat to the Pipe Creek line and lose the battle. ...medal clanged around his neck until he died anyway...

    Who else is worthy of a MoH?
     
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  13. Mdiesel

    Mdiesel First Sergeant

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    Good point, the standards for winning the MOH are much more stringent today then there were during the Civil War. That's not to say they didn't deserve the medal by thier standards of the time. Certainly, the actions of many Civil War MOH winners would have earned that honor in any era. But I quess they were kinda inventing the criteria for the nations highest military award as they went.
     
  14. JerseyBart

    JerseyBart Brigadier General Moderator Forum Host

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    Very true...and I'm not saying that the men who won medals for capturing a flag weren't heroic in whatever battle they won a MoH for. They were, but whenever you read about some of the winners, the specific reason stated is for capturing the flag of a Confederate regiment.
     
  15. Mdiesel

    Mdiesel First Sergeant

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    Totally agree with you. Can't remember a specific incident @ Gettysburg off hand but Antietam does come to mind. In the Bloody Cornfield a PA soldier merely picked the famous 'Wigfall Flag' of the 1st Texas from amoung the dead color guard, & was later given the MOH. Now any man setting foot on that field was certainly brave. But all he had to do to 'capture' that flag was take it from men who were already dead.
     
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  16. deleson1

    deleson1 Sergeant

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    I think Spears deserved one as much as Chamberlin.
     
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  17. JerseyBart

    JerseyBart Brigadier General Moderator Forum Host

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    Anyone from the 1st Minnesota receive a MoH because they certainly deserved many!!!
     
  18. Silverfox

    Silverfox Sergeant

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    As I understand it, Lt. James J. Purman was awarded the medal of honor at Gettysburg. Thanks to Thomas Park Oliver a Confederate Lt. he was able to receive it while alive. It seems that Lt. Oliver carried a wounded Lt. Purman to safety after he had been badly wounded in the Wheatfield. Lt. Oliver was with the 24th Georgia and years later Mr. Purman looked him up. He met him in Washington and introduced Mr. Oliver to then President Teddy Roosevelt. This was on C-Span recently.
     
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  19. kholland

    kholland Captain Forum Host Trivia Game Winner Retired Moderator

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    And by far the last Medal of Honor presented for Gettysburg was Alonzo Cushing who just got his two years ago.

    Seven score and seven years ago, a wounded Wisconsin soldier stood his ground on the Gettysburg battlefield and made a valiant stand before he was felled by a Confederate bullet.

    Now, thanks to the dogged efforts of modern-day supporters, 1st Lt. Alonzo Cushing shall not have died in vain, nor shall his memory have perished from the earth.

    Descendants and some Civil War history buffs have been pushing the U.S. Army to award the soldier the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military decoration. They'll soon get their wish.

    Secretary of the Army John McHugh has approved their request, leaving a few formal steps before the award becomes official this summer. Cushing will become one of 3,447 recipients of the medal, and the second from the Civil War honored in the last 10 years.

    It's an honor that's 147 years overdue, said Margaret Zerwekh. The 90-year-old woman lives on the land in Delafield where Cushing was born, and jokes she's been adopted by the Cushing family for her efforts to see Alonzo recognized.

    "I was jumping up and down when I heard it was approved," said Zerwekh, who walks with two canes. "I was terribly excited."

    Cushing died on July 3, 1863, the last day of the three-day battle of Gettysburg. He was 22.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-201_162-6502241.html
     
  20. JerseyBart

    JerseyBart Brigadier General Moderator Forum Host

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    Reading the accounts of what he did, in the physical condition that he was in, I cannot imagine how he was forgotten for so long. I was elated to hear that he finally got his due!!!
     
  21. LoyaltyOfDogs

    LoyaltyOfDogs First Sergeant

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    We also thought that Alonzo Cushing had received the Medal of Honor, so we were surprised to read this December 2012 news story recently, which reported that the effort to award the medal had been stalled by a congressional conference committee. Don't know if any further effort has been made yet. Does anyone here know?

    http://www.livinglakecountry.com/la...al--at-least-this-year-7a83k1q-184449941.html
    We can only imagine that those who struck out the amendment to waive the nomination deadline must not have read this account of Lt. Cushing's heroic action by NPS historian D. Scott Hartwig:
    http://npsgnmp.wordpress.com/2012/06/21/lieutenant-cushing/
     
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