Discussion Searching for the names of the officers awarded the Kearny Cross Medal

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...They are listed below, along with my best guess as to their correct identity:

#44, "Lieut. L. D. Bunipers", 57th Pennsylvania Infantry (Lorenzo D. Bumpas?)
#108, "Lieut. Fred. Althan", 38th New York Infantry (Frederick D. Althouse?)
#162, "Lieut. James Emri", 99th Pennsylvania Infantry (James Ennis?)
#211, "Lieut. Wm. Hall", 3rd Maine Infantry (William H. Hale?)
#216, "Lieut. J. W. Hart", 20th Indiana Infantry (Isaac W. Hart?)
#263, "Lieut. J. B. Schuler", 87th New York Infantry (John D. Schuller?)
#274, "Capt. J. Louis Maynard", 63rd Pennsylvania Infantry (Timothy L. Maynard?)
...
If I see it correctly your guesses are in accordance with the regimental muster rolls, right? Transcription errors are sadly frequent; and once they´re in the system they used to get copied countless times. So you really have a point with that.
 
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spinnin4s

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I just acquired an original Kearny medal #309 to a 1st Lt. R. H. Millar (could be wrong on the spelling-hard to read the engraved script). Medal mounted in an old glass frame along with an Army of the Potomac medal. Both with original ribbons and bars. Would appreciate any information on the recipient? Will try to get decent photos.
 

spinnin4s

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I just acquired an original Kearny medal #309 to a 1st Lt. R. H. Millar (could be wrong on the spelling-hard to read the engraved script). Medal mounted in an old glass frame along with an Army of the Potomac medal. Both with original ribbons and bars. Would appreciate any information on the recipient? Will try to get decent photos.
 

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spinnin4s

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I think I found him:
R. Howard Miller, 1st Lt. Co. E. Wounded at Petersburg VA June 22, 1864. Any chance there exists a photo of him?
 
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Bob Velke

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Beautiful medal!

Robert Howard Millar
(He spelled it with an "A" even though government records show "E")
Lt, Co. E, 63rd Pennsylvania Infantry
Born 3/16/1837 in Glenshaw, Allegheny Co, PA.
Died 2/1/1899 in Pittsburgh, PA.
Buried : Greenwood Cemetery, Glenshaw, PA.

millar_r_howard_@$urp_#766.jpg

millar_r_howard_$cwsi(2)_#766.jpg
miller_r_howard_$cwpi_#766.jpg
millar_r_howard_$ts_#766.jpg

obituary.jpg

Photo is from Gilbert Adams Hays' "Under the Red Patch: Story of the Sixty Third Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-1864." (Pittsburgh: Sixty Third Pennsylvania Volunteers Regimental Association, 1908).
Obituary is from The Pittsburgh Press, 2 Feb 1899, pg 11.
Tombstone photo is from FindAGrave.com.
 
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GFSnell3

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Hi Bob:
Did you ever finish you book? I'm interested in how the soldiers were nominated and selected for the Kearny. Was paperwork submitted? Does that paperwork still exist and if so where is it found? I'm assuming the soldiers who won the Kearny did so for bravery so are these deeds recorded somewhere? I'm particularly interested in H.H. Shaw and Albion Kennerson - both of Company D of the 3rd Maine Infantry Regiment (along with Woodbury Hall - but I don't think he actually was awarded the Kearny). Any info you or anyone else can share would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Bob Velke

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Did you ever finish you book?
Finish? Ha.

"The hurrier I go, the behinder I get."
- Lewis Carroll

The criteria for the Kearny Medal (for officers) was very much different than for the Kearny Cross (for privates and non-comms). Every officer (in theory) who served under Kearny and whose record was "without stain" qualified for the Medal while common soldiers were awarded the Cross for gallantry or "meritorious and distinguished" service.

J. D. Bloodgood of the 141st PA said that the cross was awarded to "two or three of the survivors of each company, upon the recommendation of the company commander" and Charles Mattocks of the 17th Maine said that “Four men from each Co. of the Div. received one, upon the recommendation of the Captains.” There was some sour grapes among the non-recipients, claiming that some of the medals were awarded not because of bravery but merely because the recipients "happened to stand in the good graces of their company commanders."

But some regiments awarded the cross by vote. The only record of actual vote counts that I've found was by Pvt. John McAlees regarding the 1st Rhode Island Artillery: "Battery E selected William Torpy from the right section, John McAlees from the centre section, Albert N. Colwell from the left section. Martin Harvey was selected by a vote of the battery, the others by vote of the sections. The vote in the left section stood twenty for Colwell, ten for Harvey, four for Lewis, and one each for three others whose names are not recorded. The names of those not selected in the right and centre sections and the number of votes they received, are not on record."

I have been through many of the relevant regimental books at the National Archives. They contain the handwritten orders and records for each regiment, including General Order #48 which lists the first recipients, but I've not found any other records of the actual votes.

Nor is there usually a record of the actual deed - or even the specific battle - for which the soldier received the cross (including Henry Shaw and Albion Kennerson, I'm afraid). Most of the crosses were awarded immediately after Chancellorsville but, in doing so, G.O. #48 cited the gallantry of the men of the division (as a group) at the battles of Williamsburg, Fair Oaks, Glendale, Malvern, Manassas, Chantilly, Fredericksburg, The Cedars, and Chancellorsville.

Woodbury Hall is an interesting case study. I'll deal with him separately in the next message.
 
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Bob Velke

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Woodbury Hall - but I don't think he actually was awarded the Kearny
Starting with a side note, I will point out that I generally refrain from saying that any of the officers' medals was "awarded." A committee of fellow officers identified those who qualified, designed the medal, contracted with a company to manufacturer it "at $15 each," and resolved to order and distribute them - but there was no discussion of who would pay for them and no record that they were ever actually ordered or distributed as a group. (Gen. Birney and a citizen of Philadelphia purchased the soldiers' crosses several months later but there's no evidence that Birney had anything to do with the officer's medal - except that he received one.). In fact, there's some evidence that individual officers purchased their own medals, the officer's committee having made the point to "take bonds from the manufacturers of the medal, sufficient to prevent them from disposing of the same to persons not entitled to wear it."

Now, as to Woodbury Hall, he was promoted to 2nd Lt., Co. D, 3rd Maine Inf. in June of 1862 (and to 1st Lt. a year later) so he served under Kearny and would seem to qualify for the officer's Medal. But he is not listed by the officer's committee as having qualified for it. Some researchers point to the fact that Woodbury Hall was Court Martialed, this "stain" being the supposed reason for his being omitted from the official list of qualifying officers. But I pulled that Court Martial record and (1) it didn't happen until 1864 and (2) he was acquitted.

What's more, the US Army Heritage & Education Center in Carlisle, PA has this photo which it identifies as 1st Lt. Woodbury Hall and he is clearly wearing the medal:
hall_woodbury_@@$hec_#798_r154_small.jpg


The officer's committee did identify a "Lt. Wm. Hall" of the 3rd Maine (no company given) as qualifying for the medal. But I haven't found a service record of any kind for a Lt. William Hall.

Some researchers point to this pension index card as evidence that William Hall (aka Heald) of the 3rd Maine existed:

hale_william_h_$cwpi_#668_small.jpg


But I pulled that pension file and it is for William Hale (the handwriting is easily misread). What's more, Hale didn't enlist until 1864 and never rose above the rank of Private.

It is worth pointing out that in the nearly 100 pages of Lt. Woodbury Hall's pension file, he, his widow, examining doctors, and other witnesses only refer to him as Woodbury, never William. His extensive service record - not to mention his tombstone - also refers to him only as Woodbury.

From the weight of the evidence, one might easily conclude that the committee meant to say Woodbury, not "Wm." It would be far from the first time that the committee's report contained a misspelling. I hesitate only because one prominent and respected Kearny scholar claims that the photo above is, indeed, of William.

I haven't finished my research on him but if you have any information about Lt. William or Woodbury Hall, I would be happy to hear it.
 
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