Today's Medal of Honor Moment for 19 October

 
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Henry_A_DupontCaptain (later Colonel and here Senator) Henry Du Pont, Medal of Honor recipient from the Civil War. After taking a week or so off from having large numbers of awards, the Medal steps out on this day in history, with 22 Medals awarded, most of them during one battle in the Civil War, along with two from the Philippine Insurrection.         Just to come along and kick me in the shins on my discussion of 19th Century warfare, where I observed that armies tended to go quiet as winter approached and opened it's own front, along comes today, and the Battle of Cedar Creek, which produced 20 Medals of Honor for one battle.  The criteria for award of the Medal has changed over time.  Something that does make this day unique, for a day with so many Medals awarded -  none of them posthumous. I note that given yesterday's discussion of the raising bar to earn the Medal if you manage to survive the act that draws the attention.  Civil War and the Battle of Cedar Creek.  This was a battle fought for control of the Shenandoah Valley - critical to the winter survival of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia.  The Union vicotry in this fight ended the threat to Washington and was another nail in the coffin of Lee's army.
BLUNT, JOHN W.
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, Company K, 6th New York Cavalry. Place and date: At Cedar Creek, Va., 19 October 1864. Entered service at. Chatham, Four Corners, N.Y. Birth: Columbia County, N.Y. Date of issue: Unknown. Citation: Voluntarily led a charge across a narrow bridge over the creek, against the lines of the enemy. CROCKER, HENRY H. Rank and organization: Captain, Company F, 2d Massachusetts Cavalry. Place and date: At Cedar Creek, Va., 19 October 1864. Entered service at: California. Born: 20 January 1840, Colchester, Conn. Date of issue: 10 January 1896. Citation: Voluntarily led a charge, which resulted in the capture of 14 prisoners and in which he himself was wounded. CROCKER, ULRIC L. Rank and organization: Private, Company M, 6th Michigan Cavalry. Place and date: At Cedar Creek, Va., 19 October 1864. Entered service at:------. Birth: Ohio. Date of issue: 26 October 1864. Citation: Capture of flag of 18th Georgia (C.S.A.). DU PONT, HENRY A. Rank and organization: Captain, 5th U.S. Artillery. Place and date: At Cedar Creek, Va., 19 October 1864. Entered service at: Wilmington, Del. Birth: Eleutherean Mills, Del. Date of issue: 2 April 1898. Citation: By his distinguished gallantry, and voluntary exposure to the enemy's fire at a critical moment, when the Union line had been broken, encouraged his men to stand to their guns, checked the advance of the enemy, and brought off most of his pieces. HENRY, WILLIAM W. Rank and organization: Colonel, 10th Vermont Infantry. Place and date: At Cedar Creek, Va., 19 October 1864. Entered service at: Waterbury, Vt. Born: 21 November 1831, Waterbury, Vt. Date of issue: 21 December 1892. Citation: Though suffering from severe wounds, rejoined his regiment and let it in a brilliant charge, recapturing the guns of an abandoned battery. HOUGH, IRA Rank and organization: Private, Company E, 8th Indiana Infantry. Place and date: At Cedar Creek, Va., 19 October 1864. Entered service at: Henry County, Ind. Birth: Henry County, Ind. Date of issue: 26 October 1864. Citation: Capture of flag. LOVE, GEORGE M. Rank and organization: Colonel, 116th New York Infantry. Place and date: At Cedar Creek, Va., 19 October 1864. Entered service at: New York. Birth: New York. Date of issue: 6 March 1865. Citation: Capture of battle flag of 2d South Carolina (C.S.A.). LYON, FREDERICK A. Rank and organization: Corporal, Company A, 1st Vermont Cavalry. Place and date: At Cedar Creek, Va., 19 October 1864. Entered service at: Burlington, Vt. Born: 25 June 1843, Williamsburg, Mass. Date of issue: 26 November 1864. Citation: With 1 companion, captured the flag of a Confederate regiment, 3 officers, and an ambulance with its mules and driver. McGONNlGLE, ANDREW J. Rank and organization: Captain and Assistant Quartermaster, U.S. Volunteers. Place and date: At Cedar Creek. Va., 19 October 1864 Entered service at: Cumberland, Md. Birth: New York, N.Y. Date of issue: 21 July 1897. Citation: While acting chief quartermaster of Gen. Sheridan's forces operating in the Shenandoah Valley was severely wounded while voluntarily leading a brigade of infantry and was commended for the greatest gallantry by Gen. Sheridan. PARKS, HENRY JEREMIAH Rank and organization: Private, Company A, 9th New York Cavalry. Place and date: At Cedar Creek, Va., 19 October 1864. Entered service at: Orangeville, N.Y. Born: 24 February 1848, Orangeville, N.Y. Date of issue: 26 October 1864. Citation: While alone and in advance of his unit and attempting to cut off the retreat of a supply wagon, he fought and sent to flight a Confederate color bearer. After capturing the color bearer and leaving him in the rear, he returned to the front and captured 3 more wagons and drivers. REIGLE, DANIEL P. Rank and organization: Corporal, Company F, 87th Pennsylvania Infantry. Place and date: At Cedar Creek, Va., 19 October 1864. Entered service at: Adams County, Pa. Birth: Adams County, Pa. Date of issue: 26 October 1864. Citation: For gallantry while rushing forward to capture a Confederate flag at the stone fence where the enemy's last stand was made. SCOFIELD, DAVID H. Rank and organization: Quartermaster Sergeant, Company K. 5th N.Y., U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Cedar Creek, Va., 19 October 1864. Entered service at: ------. Birth: Mamaroneck, N.Y. Date of issue: 26 October 1864. Citation: Capture of flag of 13th Virginia Infantry (C.S.A.). SWEENEY, JAMES Rank and organization: Private, Company A, 1st Vermont Cavalry. Place and date: At Cedar Creek, Va., 19 October 1864. Entered service at: Essex, Vt. Birth: England. Date of issue: 26 October 1864. Citation: With one companion captured the State flag of a North Carolina regiment, together with 3 officers and an ambulance with its mules and driver. TAYLOR, RICHARD Rank and organization: Private, Company E, 18th Indiana Infantry. Place and date: At Cedar Creek, Va., 19 October 1864. Entered service at: Martin County, Ind. Birth: Madison County. Ala. Date of issue: 21 November 1864. Citation: Capture of flag. THOMAS, STEPHEN Rank and organization: Colonel, 8th Vermont Infantry. Place and date: At Cedar Creek, Va., 19 October 1864. Entered service at: Montpelier, Vt. Birth: Vermont. Date of issue: 25 July 1892. Citation: Distinguished conduct in a desperate hand_to_hand encounter, in which the advance of the enemy was checked. TRACY, AMASA A. Rank and organization: Lieutenant Colonel, 2d Vermont Infantry. Place and date: At Cedar Creek, Va., 19 October 1864. Entered service at: Middlebury, Vt. Birth: Maine. Date of issue: 24 June 1892. Citation: Took command of and led the brigade in the assault on the enemy's works. WALSH, JOHN Rank and organization: Corporal, Company D, 5th New York Cavalry. Place and date: At Cedar Creek, Va., 19 October 1864. Entered service at: ------. Birth: Ireland. Date of issue: 26 October 1864. Citation: Recaptured the flag of the 15th New Jersey Infantry. WAMBSGAN, MARTIN Rank and organization: Private, Company D, 90th New York Infantry. Place and date: At Cedar Creek, Va., 19 October 1864. Entered service at: Cayuga County, N.Y. Birth: Germany. Date of issue: 3 November 1896. Citation: While the enemy were in close proximity, this soldier sprang forward and bore off in safety the regimental colors, the color bearer having fallen on the field of battle. WELLS, THOMAS M. Rank and organization: Chief Bugler, 6th New York Cavalry. Place and date: At Cedar Creek, Va., 19 October 1864. Entered service at: DeKalb, N.Y. Birth: Ireland. Date of issue: 26 October 1864. Citation: Capture of colors of 44th Georgia Infantry (C.S.A.). WOODBURY, ERI D. Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company E, 1st Vermont Cavalry. Place and date: At Cedar Creek, Va., 19 October 1864. Entered service at: St. Johnsbury, Vt. Birth: Francistown, N.H. Date of issue: 26 October 1864. Citation: During the regiment's charge when the enemy was in retreat Sgt. Woodbury encountered 4 Confederate infantrymen retreating. He drew his saber and ordered them to surrender, overcoming by his determined actions their willingness to further resist. They surrendered to him together with their rifles and 12th North Carolina (C.S.A.) regimental flag.  
Philippine Insurrection.  This fight near San Isidro also produced two Medals for the same battle - very common in the early years of the Medal, almost unheard of once we got into the War to End War and beyond.
PIERCE, CHARLES H.
Rank and organization: Private, Company 1, 22d U.S. Infantry. Place and date: Near San Isidro, Luzon, Philippine Islands, 19 October 1899. Entered service at: Delaware City, Del. Birth: Cecil County, Md. Date of issue: 10 March 1902. Citation: Held a bridge against a superior force of the enemy and fought, though severely wounded, until the main body came up to cross. RAY, CHARLES W. Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company 1, 22d U.S. Infantry. Place and date: Near San Isidro, Luzon, Philippine Islands, 19 October 1899. Entered service at: St. Louis, Mo. Birth: Pensacola Yancey County, N.C. Date of issue: 18 April 1902. Citation: Most distinguished gallantry in action. Captured a bridge with the detachment he commanded and held it against a superior force of the enemy, thereby enabling an army to come up and cross.
(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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