Today's Medal of Honor Moment for 19 September

 
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CivilWarMedalsOfHonor1Civil War era Medals of Honor.  Army on the left, Navy on the right.

The 19th of September is a busy day in US military history, with 25 Medals awarded from the Civil War through Korea. 

It was a very busy day during the Civil War, with 21 Medals awarded for actions at Blackburn's Ford, Va, and Iuka, Ms, in 1862; Chickamauga, Ga. (where I had a relative fighting for the Orphan Brigade) in 1863, and Winchester, Va, in 1864.  There's a lot of iconic flag captures going on in this group!

 

PECK, CASSIUS

Rank and organization: Private, Company F, 1st U.S. Sharpshooters. Place and date: Near Blackburn's Ford, Va., 19 September 1862. Entered service at: ------. Birth: Brookfield, Vt. Date of issue: 12 October 1892. Citation: Took command of such soldiers as he could get and attacked and captured a Confederate battery of 4 guns. Also, while on a reconnaissance, overtook and captured a Confederate soldier.

Iuka:

SEARS, CYRUS

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, 11th Battery, Ohio Light Artillery. Place and date: At Iuka, Miss., 19 September 1862. Entered service at: Bucyrus, Ohio. Born: 10 March 1832, Delaware County, N.Y. Date of issue: 31 December 1892. Citation: Although severely wounded, fought his battery until the cannoneers and horses were nearly all killed or wounded.

Chickamauga:

CARSON, WILLIAM J.

Rank and organization: Musician, Company E, 1st Battalion, 15th U.S. Infantry. Place and date: At Chickamauga, Ga., 19 September 1863. Entered service at: North Greenfield, Ohio. Birth: Washington County, Pa. Date of issue: 27 January 1894. Citation: At a critical stage in the battle when the 14th Corps lines were wavering and in disorder he on his own initiative bugled "to the colors" amid the 18th U.S. Infantry who formed by him, and held the enemy. Within a few minutes he repeated his action amid the wavering 2d Ohio Infantry. This bugling deceived the enemy who believed reinforcements had arrived. Thus, they delayed their attack.

MYERS, GEORGE S.

Rank and organization: Private, Company F, 101st Ohio Infantry. Place and date: At Chickamauga, Ga., 19 September 1863. Entered service at: ------. Birth: Fairfield, Ohio. Date of issue: 9 April 1894. Citation: Saved the regimental colors by greatest personal devotion and bravery.

REED, AXEL H.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company K, 2d Minnesota Infantry. Place and date: At Chickamauga, Ga., 19 September 1863; At Missionary Ridge, Tenn., 25 November 1863. Entered service at: Glencoe, Minn. Birth: Maine. Date of issue: 2 April 1898. Citation: While in arrest at Chickamauga, Ga., left his place in the rear and voluntarily went to the line of battle, secured a rifle, and fought gallantly during the 2_day battle; was released from arrest in recognition of his bravery. At Missionary Ridge commanded his company and gallantly led it, being among the first to enter the enemy's works; was severely wounded, losing an arm, but declined a discharge and remained in active service to the end of the war.

RICHEY, WILLIAM E.

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company A, 15th Ohio Infantry. Place and date: At Chickamauga, Ga., 19 September 1863. Entered service at: ------. Birth: Athens County, Ohio. Date of issue: 9 November 1893. Citation: While on the extreme front, between the lines of the combatants single_handed he captured a Confederate major who was armed and mounted.

LUNT, ALPHONSO M.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company F, 38th Massachusetts Infantry. Place and date: At Opequan Creek, Va., 19 September 1864. Entered service at: Cambridge, Mass. Birth: Berwick, Maine. Date of issue: 10 May 1894. Citation: Carried his flag to the most advanced position where, left almost alone close to the enemy's lines he refused their demand to surrender, withdrew at great personal peril, and saved his flag.

And the Third Battle of Winchester.  As an incidental note - WWII General George Patton's grandfather was killed during this battle, fighting for the South.

BOWEN, CHESTER B.

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company I, 19th New York Cavalry (1st New York Dragoons). Place and date: At Winchester, Va., 19 September 1864. Entered service at:------. Birth: Nunda, N.Y. Date of issue: 27 September 1864. Citation: Capture of flag.

COLE, GABRIEL

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company I, 5th Michigan Cavalry. Place and date: At Winchester, Va., 19 September 1864. Entered service at: New Salem, Mich. Birth: Chenango County, N.Y. Date of issue: 27 September 1864. Citation: Capture of flag, during which he was wounded in the leg.

DOWNS, HENRY W.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company I, 8th Vermont Infantry. Place and date: At Winchester, Va., 19 September 1864. Entered service at: Newfane, Vt. Birth: Jamaica, Vt. Date of issue: 13 December 1893. Citation: With one comrade, voluntarily crossed an open field, exposed to a raking fire, and returned with a supply of ammunition, successfully repeating the attempt a short time thereafter.

FOX, HENRY M.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company M, 5th Michigan Cavalry. Place and date: At Winchester, Va., 19 September 1864. Entered service at: Coldwater, Mich. Born: 1844, Trumbull, Ohio. Date of issue: 27 September 1864. Citation: Capture of flag.

LORISH, ANDREW J.

Rank and organization: Commissary Sergeant, 19th New York Cavalry (1st New York Dragoons). Place and date: At Winchester, Va., 19 September 1864. Entered service at:------. Born: 8 November 1832, Dansville, Steuben County, N.Y. Date of issue: 27 September 1864 Citation: Amid the enemy he grabbed the flag from a color bearer who then called for help. When the bearer's comrades were readying their rifles he dashed directly at them securing their disarming. As he rode away, the Confederates picked up their guns firing at the captor of their flag.

LYMAN, JOEL H.

Rank and organization: Quartermaster Sergeant, Company B, 9th New York Cavalry. Place and date: At Winchester, Va., 19 September 1864. Entered service at: East Randolph, N.Y. Birth: Cattaraugus, N.Y. Date of issue: 20 August 1894. Citation: In an attempt to capture a Confederate flag he captured one of the enemy's officers and brought him within the lines.

McENROE, PATRICK H.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company D, 6th New York Cavalry. Place and date: At Winchester, Va., 19 September 1864. Entered service at: New York. Birth: Ireland. Date of issue: 27 September 1864. Citation: Capture of colors of 36th Virginia Infantry (C.S.A.).

MEACH, GEORGE E.

Rank and organization: Farrier, Company I, 6th New York Cavalry. Place and date: At Winchester, Va., 19 September 1864. Entered service at: ------. Birth: New York. Date of issue: 27 September 1864. Citation: Capture of flag.

REYNOLDS, GEORGE

Rank and organization: Private, Company M, 9th New York Cavalry. Place and date: At Winchester, Va., 19 September 1864. Entered service at: New York, N.Y. Birth: Ireland. Date of issue: 27 September 1864. Citation: Capture of Virginia State flag.

RYAN, PETER J.

Rank and organization: Private, Company D, 11th Indiana Infantry Place and date: At Winchester, Va., 19 September 1864. Entered service at: Vigo County, Ind. Birth: Ireland. Date of issue: 4 April 1865. Citation: With one companion, captured 14 Confederates in the severest part of the battle.

SCHMIDT, CONRAD

Rank and organization: First Sergeant, Company K, 2d U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Winchester, Va., 19 September 1864. Entered service at: ------. Birth: Germany. Date of issue. 16 March 1896. Citation: Went to the assistance of his regimental commander, whose horse had been killed under him in a charge, mounted the officer behind him, under a heavy fire from the enemy, and returned him to his command.

SCHOONMAKER, JAMES M.

Rank and organization: Colonel, 14th Pennsylvania Cavalry. Place and date: At Winchester, Va., 19 September 1864. Entered service at: Maryland. Born: 30 June 1842, Pittsburgh, Pa. Date of issue: 19 May 1899. Citation: At a critical period, gallantly led a cavalry charge against the left of the enemy's line of battle, drove the enemy out of his works, and captured many prisoners.

*SESTON, CHARLES H.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company I, 11th Indiana Infantry. Place and date: At Winchester, Va., 19 September 1864. Entered service at: New Albany, Ind. Birth: New Albany, Ind. Date of issue: 6 April 1865. Citation: Gallant and meritorious service in carrying the regimental colors.

STERLING, JOHN T.

Rank and organization: Private, Company D, 11th Indiana Infantry. Place and date: At Winchester, Va., 19 September 1864. Entered service at: Marion County, Ind. Birth. Edgar County, Ill. Date of issue: 4 April 1865. Citation: With one companion captured 14 of the enemy in the severest part of the battle.

The Medal takes a break until the "Interim Period, 1871-1898" when two Medals are awarded to sailors who rescued a drowning man.  Today these awards would be Navy and Marine Corps Medals, the highest award for peacetime valor, which wasn't an option back in the day.

 

MORSE, WILLIAM

Rank and organization: Seaman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1852, Germany. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 326, 18 October 1884. Citation. For jumping overboard from the U.S.S. Shenandoah at Rio de Janeiro Brazil, 19 September 1880, and rescuing from drowning James Grady, first class fireman.

SMITH, JOHN

Rank and organization: Seaman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1854, Bermuda. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 326, 18 October 1884. Citation: For jumping overboard from the U.S.S. Shenandoah, at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 19 September 1880, and rescuing from drowning James Grady, first class fireman.

 

The last two Medals are awarded for actions in Korea during the desperate fighting to stem and turn the communist tide in 1950.

*COLLIER, JOHN W.

Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Army, Company C, 27th Infantry Regiment. Place and date: Near Chindong-ni, Korea, 19 September 1950. Entered service at: Worthington, Ky. Born: 3 April 1929, Worthington, Ky. G.O. No.: 86, 2 August 1951. Citation: Cpl. Collier, Company C, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action. While engaged in an assault on a strategic ridge strongly defended by a fanatical enemy, the leading elements of his company encountered intense automatic weapons and grenade fire. Cpl. Collier and 3 comrades volunteered and moved forward to neutralize an enemy machine gun position which was hampering the company's advance, but they were twice repulsed. On the third attempt, Cpl. Collier, despite heavy enemy fire and grenade barrages, moved to an exposed position ahead of his comrades, assaulted and destroyed the machine gun nest, killing at least 4 enemy soldiers. As he returned down the rocky, fire-swept hill and joined his squad, an enemy grenade landed in their midst. Shouting a warning to his comrades, he, selflessly and unhesitatingly, threw himself upon the grenade and smothered its explosion with his body. This intrepid action saved his comrades from death or injury. Cpl. Collier's supreme, personal bravery, consummate gallantry, and noble self-sacrifice reflect untold glory upon himself and uphold the honored traditions of the military service.

*JECELIN, WILLIAM R.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company C, 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Saga, Korea, 19 September 1950. Entered service at: Baltimore, Md. Birth: Baltimore, Md. G.O. No.: 24, 25 April 1951. Citation: Sgt. Jecelin, Company C, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and Intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. His company was ordered to secure a prominent, sawtoothed ridge from a well-entrenched and heavily armed enemy. Unable to capture the objective in the first attempt, a frontal and flanking assault was launched. He led his platoon through heavy enemy fire and bursting shells, across ricefields and rocky terrain, in direct frontal attack on the ridge in order to draw fire away from the flanks. The unit advanced to the base of the cliff, where intense, accurate hostile fire stopped the attack. Realizing that an assault was the only solution, Sgt. Jecelin rose from his position firing his rifle and throwing grenades as he called on his men to follow him. Despite the intense enemy fire this attack carried to the crest of the ridge where the men were forced to take cover. Again he rallied his men and stormed the enemy strongpoint. With fixed bayonets they charged into the face of antitank fire and engaged the enemy in hand-to-hand combat. After clubbing and slashing this force into submission the platoon was forced to take cover from direct frontal fire of a self-propelled gun. Refusing to be stopped he leaped to his feet and through sheer personal courage and fierce determination led his men in a new attack. At this instant a well-camouflaged enemy soldier threw a grenade at the remaining members of the platoon. He immediately lunged and covered the grenade with his body, absorbing the full force of the explosion to save those around him. This incredible courage and willingness to sacrifice himself for his comrades so imbued them with fury that they completely eliminated the enemy force. Sgt. Jecelin's heroic leadership and outstanding gallantry reflect the highest credit upon himself and uphold the esteemed traditions of the military service

 

*Asterisks indicate a posthumous award.

(John Donovan is a Legionnaire with the Department of Kansas with service in the U.S. Army. He blogs at his own website The Castle Argghhh!)

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.