Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Conclusion: The Medal of Honor

This post marks the end of my multi-part series about the men who earned the Medal of Honor for bravery in trans-Mississippi actions. The two men who earned the Medal of Honor for actions in 1865 were:


Rank and organization: First Sergeant, Company K, 3d Wisconsin Cavalry. Place and date: At, Ark., 14 January 1865. Entered service at: Little Rock, Ark. Birth: England. Date of issue: 8 March 1865. Citation: Remained at his post after receiving three wounds, and only retired, by his commanding officer's orders, after being wounded the fourth time.


Rank and organization: Private, Company B, 3d Michigan Cavalry. Place and date: At Brownsville, Ark., 27 January 1865. Entered service at: Victor, Mich. Birth. Oakland County, Mich. Date of issue: 4 April 1865. Citation: Successfully defended himself, single-handed against 7 guerrillas, killing the leader (Capt. W. C. Stephenson) and driving off the remainder of the party.

Some of the information below was presented in an earlier posting, but I felt it made for a useful conclusion as well. As an aside, overall many Medals of Honor were presented for the capture of an enemy banner, but not a single trans-Mississippi citation specifically mentions the capture of an enemy flag. Admittedly, some of the citations are worded vaguely, but it is an interesting contrast to the citations for actions east of the Mississippi. Also, citations for acts of bravery in the Navy were generally more detailed than those for the Army--does anyone have documentation for why this was the case?

The total number of soldiers and sailors who received the Medal of Honor for actions in the trans-Mississippi totaled 68; that equals approximately 4.5% of all the Medals of Honor issued during the war. Not a very big percentage is it? By contrast, 59 Medals of Honor were awarded for acts of bravery at the battle of Gettysburg.

Of the 68 Medals awarded, 48.5% were given to those who served in the Army and 51.4% were given to members of the Navy.

The trans-Mississippi action that resulted in the most Medals of Honor awarded were the twenty issued to sailors for their actions at Fort Jackson and Fort St. Philip. Six sailors received the Medal of Honor for their actions aboard the U. S. S. Signal while fighting against a Confederate battery above Fort DeRussy on May 5, 1864. Five were issued for actions during the battle of Wilson’s Creek, and four were issued for acts of bravery during the battle of Pea Ridge.

The number of Medals of Honor awarded by year:


The number of Medals of Honor awarded for action in a specific state or territory (if a state or territory is not listed then no Medal of Honor was awarded for action in that place):

Arizona Territory=1

Three army units had three Medal of Honor recipients each. They were:

37th Illinois Infantry
3rd Iowa Cavalry
3rd Wisconsin Cavalry

Two sets of brothers received Medals of Honor in the trans-Mississippi. They were:

William C. Black and John C. Black of the 37th Illinois Infantry

James B. Pond and George F. Pond of the 3rd Wisconsin Cavalry

1 comment:

  1. Were any won by someone defending his home state?