Adjutant General's Corps Regimental Association

The American Revolution – The Army AG at Work

Researched by:  COL (Ret) Gary L. Gresh, Writer and Historian

Colonel Timothy Pickering, the sixth AG of the Army.

Colonel Timothy Pickering was the Adjutant General for General George Washington during much of the Revolutionary War.  He was a very special man educated at Harvard and eventually would also serve as both Secretary of War and as Secretary of State for President George Washington in his administration.  Colonel Pickering also was responsible for the commissioning and forging of the “Great Chain” at West Point which was used to prevent the British Navy from using the Hudson River to link up with British naval Forces in Canada during the War.  The successful deployment and use of the Great Chain across the Hudson prevented the British Navy from ever massing its naval Forces against the city of New York.

While it is unknown just how many aides or assistants each Adjutant General may have had during the Revolutionary War, it is rather well documented that each senior officer in Washington’s Colonial Army had at least two personal aides or servants because of the many duties that had to be accomplished each day by and for the senior officers.  Tents had to be erected, meals had to be cooked, and clothes needed to be washed, laid out, and horses needed to be cared for everyday.  Each senior officer had little time to accomplish such tasks while serving in their very demanding positions for General Washington.  Therefore, they were allowed to use aides and many actually employed their own staff from their own family funds.

Colonel Pickering was known to have had at least one junior officer that he used as an aide during the war.  The author begs indulgence to speculate that this aide would have been a family man and would have written home often as many of the officers did at the time.  In a special letter home from Lieutenant Reynolds, Aide to Colonel Timothy Pickering, The Adjutant General, U.S. Army, West Point, who wrote the following letter to his wife in November 1779.  Note – Historical indulgences from various archives and sources, U.S. Library of Congress, and the Library of West Point.

November 30, 1779:  My Dearest Rebecca: My Wife and My Love, I miss you and the children daily and hope I can visit home soon.  Please know that my services here are much needed and I am certain our future depends on the success of this valiant mission.  Our sons and daughters must be made to understand the great sacrifices that are being made daily for this precious freedom we all seek.  I feel that I am witnessing the greatest events of the century and that what we are doing may in fact become very historic indeed!

Yesterday, November 29, 1779 was a very special day here at our Fortress at West Point.  General Washington had his key leaders to a conference meeting.  I have heard these famous names many times but never had the chance to have met them face-to-face before.  So many famous people have come to West Point, literally putting their lives on the line for freedom and independence for our cause.  General Von Steuben from Prussia, The Marquis de Lafayette of France, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Hamilton, Aide-De-Camp, to General Washington, Engineers Colonel Kosciuszko and Captain Machin, and the Army’s current Adjutant Generals Colonel Pickering and Colonel Scammell were all in attendance with an even larger contingent of the Army and its leaders.

The day started with breakfast of dried beef and talk of the upcoming battles and the need to keep the British Forces split between New York and Canada.  As assistant to Colonel Pickering, I got to sit in on all meetings and see the leaders at work.  Colonel Pickering is so very calm, which I believe he has learned from General Washington.  As the present Adjutant General of the Army, Colonel Pickering is charged with all conscription of troops and spends most of his time talking with town leaders in an attempt to get more volunteers for the Army.  If I have learned anything from Colonel Pickering, it is the need for better troop accountability and reporting.  Many troops come and go at will, visiting home, and carrying letters back and forth.  It is difficult to know just how many troops we actually have, as there seems to be no formal reporting methods in place.  Most companies rely on their First Sergeants to know who is Enlisted and who is gone on leave or duty elsewhere.  But things become very complicated when we have battle losses and wounded taken to various field hospitals and clinics.  There is no system to account for such losses and Colonel Pickering is determined to establish a formal accountability system for the Army.  He has asked each Sergeant to submit a report each morning to his Commander so that we can account for all of the Soldiers.

General Washington has brought his staff here to oversee the specific timing and trials of bringing in the great chain across the Hudson, put in place by Colonel Pickering and his Soldiers over the past two years.  “Washington’s Watch Chain”, as the newspapers in New York, have dubbed it, is the great chain across the Hudson, which has now been in place almost two years and seems to be doing its intended purpose of keeping the British Navy in New York.  Our Gun Batteries overlook the chain and river and are ready to attack any British ship trying to navigate the Hudson north to Canada.  Colonel Pickering continues to maintain contact with the Sterling Foundry Works to replace weak links in the chain, or to provide extra links as needed.  The chain came out of the river yesterday and it was quite an operation to behold.  General Washington took his entire staff down to River Bank to the chain emplacement and oversaw the removal of the chain personally.

It was quite a spectacle to see as the entire staff, General Washington on his great horse, Nelson, overseeing all the Soldiers and officers conducting the boat operation to retrieve the chain before the river would freeze over.  Two men were badly hurt when a boat got caught between the oxen lines and pinched the men in between the lines.  I thought at first that they had legs amputated, but it turned out they just got severely cut and bruised badly.  Ice is the great enemy of the chain as the links will split and separate if the river freezes with the chain still in the water.  Boats were used to maneuver the barges and raffs toward shore where the oxen could pull the great chain up on the bank of the river.  It took the entire afternoon and evening by torchlight to get the chain onto the shore and it was none too soon as the river had ice floating in it as we finished up last night.

Colonel Alexander Scammel, the seventh AG of the Army.

I will never forget seeing General Washington riding back and forth on that great horse talking to every Soldier, talking with the head of his honor guard and with his guests.  General Washington is always at his best when riding.  He becomes more animated and actually talks to almost everyone.  His staff meetings are much different where he mostly listens to others.  General Von Steuben and The Marquis de Lafayette both commented to Colonel Pickering that General Washington is the right man at the right time for the American Army, as he is as noble as any aristocrat on horseback yet is truly an American Patriot in demeanor and leadership.  Colonel Scammell is to take over as the Adjutant General next week from Colonel Pickering.  I wanted to go with Colonel Pickering as he is to return to his regiment, but I have been told I will remain on here at West Point with Colonel Scammel to make his transition a bit easier.

I miss home and particularly the warmth of our bed at night.  It seems to be cold here all the time with nowhere to get warm.  I finally found a pair of gloves that have helped immensely.  My fingers get particularly cold since I must remove gloves to write and I write a lot every day transposing figures for Colonel Pickering.  If you can find a way to send me gloves or knit cap, I would be much thankful.

We have had several skirmishes on the north side of the encampment with British Soldiers who are evidently trying to determine the best avenues of approach to the West Point Fort.  It is rumored that the Army will move to New Jersey soon as the weather at West Point is getting too brutal and the Army must seek better winter quarters.  This will make Colonel Scammell’s job more difficult as he tries to maintain the Army’s strength, as many Soldiers will want to return home in December as many contracts are over at year’s end.  My job will be to try and convince Soldiers to stay on with the Army as we go to winter quarters.  It is a constant challenge for every Officer to maintain a good spirit and convince others to maintain their enlistments.

It is getting very late and my fingers are once again stiff and cold.  I will write again when it is possible; I remain your Loving and Humble Husband, Lieutenant JR Reynolds.

** The Tools of the trade have changed over the years, but the heart of the AG Soldier is little different today from that of Lieutenant Reynolds, Aide to Colonel Pickering, The AG of the Army, 1777-1779. **

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Army HR Innovations in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm (1990-1991)

The 18th Personnel Group deployed in support of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm under austere conditions, but with Soldier ingenuity, personnel operations consistently improved.

By COL (Ret) Gary L. Gresh, former Commander, 18th Personnel Group

Fate has a way of throwing you a curve ball when you least expect it and perhaps when you are the least able to react quickly enough.  So it was in August 1990 as I unpacked boxes in my newly assigned quarters on Pelham Road, Fort Bragg, NC, in preparation to become the next Adjutant General of the 18th Airborne Corps and the first Commander of the 18th Personnel Group, a new structure being fielded in 1990.  Little did I know that the next day, while continuing to unpack boxes, I would receive a telephone call from the Corps Operations Center asking me to report to the headquarters immediately to meet with the leadership team of the Corps.  I would not return to live in my quarters until May of the next year, as we were quarantined, briefed, and began immediate preparation for deployment to Saudi Arabia to begin Operation Desert Shield and subsequently Operation Desert Storm in January 1991.

Kuwait had been invaded by Iraq, and the 18th Airborne Corps was going to make the Iraqi army go back home.  Fate had struck again and this time I felt particularly unprepared.  I had not even been to my office, I knew only a few of the assigned Officers and NCOs of the AG office in the Corps, and I was completely unprepared for the firestorm of activity with which I was about to embark.  I was immediately plunged into the most stressful and action packed preparation I had ever witnessed and quite literally felt like a cork floating on a fast running river,  which I had absolutely no control over and knew nothing of where the river was taking me.

I had arrived at Fort Bragg ready to transition the Corps AG Office to the 18th Personnel Group for which I had been selected as the first Commander of that Group, which was to stand up sometime between October 1990 and January 1991.  I next remember sitting on a 747 jet headed for Saudi Arabia with the advanced party of the Corps, a group of superb Officers and NCOs who would together begin the next 6 months of round the clock preparation to plan, receive, and set up a deployed Airborne Corps on the sands of Saudi Arabia, an absolute Human Resources (HR) nightmare of planning, coordination, and execution.

Since 1776, the American Army ran on paperwork – forms starting with the unit morning report of who was present, to who was sick, and where all units were stationed.  Nothing really changed in the Army from 1776 to 1980 in regards to paperwork!  We still shuffled paper to accomplish most anything.  When the 18th Corps deployed in August 1991, we had no internet, no laptop computers, no i-Phones, no wi-fi, no Facebook, no Twitter, and perhaps biggest of all, NO E-MAIL!  We had CNN on TV if we were lucky and telephone lines.  The Army Personnel Community had been planning for automation for almost 20 years, but everything was bulky, cumbersome, and had to be tied together by phone lines.  The TACCS box alone, the Army’s basic automation device, was the size of two-foot lockers and took two Soldiers to load and unload from any vehicle.

When we began leaving Fort Bragg on 10 August 1991, we were unplugged from the Army personnel system, SIDPERS, and had only the database we had taken with us into Saudi Arabia.  We had about a dozen TACCS boxes, each supporting about 500 troops, and absolutely no electronic connection with the Department of the Army, except over long distance phone lines.  I was convinced that I was about to become the first Commander of the 18th Personnel Group, but also the first Commander to be relieved when I could not even tell the Corps Commander how many troops we had in country on any given day!

Lest I forget, it was not only those of us at Fort Bragg who were putting in 24 hour days, as all HR professionals in the Army were working overtime to help the effort.  The DCSPER mobilized every personnel asset he could to help support the coming battle.  Korea, Europe, and the Reserve components, and the Commandant of the AG School ramped up to support the effort with deployed units, deployed individual  fillers and replacements, and the DCSPER himself, called me several times to ask what I needed and how they could support.  It was a model of cooperation among personnel support agencies.

Pulling on the basics of Personnel Doctrine, we knew we had four core competencies and seven functions we had to be prepared to accomplish while protecting, sustaining, and taking care of the Soldiers assigned to us to do the personnel mission.  I soon learned that giving only mission-style orders, and allowing individual ingenuity and innovation to run wild among the Company Grade Officers and NCOs was the only way to succeed in this environment.  You just had to trust your subordinates until or unless they proved unworthy.

For this web article, I will concentrate on the four most demanding tasks we had to overcome while trying to support a deployed and growing Corps: OrganizationAutomation, Mail, and Logistics.

The 18th Personnel Group with personnel assets spread across the XVIII Airborne Corps Support Command in Saudi Arabia faced daunting challenges to construct a new Group structure in theater.

Organization – we had none.  We deployed as an AG section only to find all of our personnel assets spread across the Corps Support Command with little in the way of vehicles and life support to stand on their own as we transitioned to a Personnel Group Structure.  Innovative Company Grade Officers, NCOs, and Professional Civilians came together to advise, plan and support the construction of a Group structure while deployed in the challenging and taxing environment of Saudi Arabia.  The DCSPER and MILPERCEN provided individual fillers as needed to flush out a Group staff and the P&A Battalion Commanders and staffs came together to form an effective Group structure.  The Corps Commander decided to form the group early and to detach all units from the COSCOM so that the COSCOM could focus on its huge mission of bringing ammunition and supplies into the Corps.  This left the Personnel Group on its own to form, set up operations, and support itself as it almost doubled in size weekly.  The Officers and NCOs took on this challenge with absolute resolve and “got–it-done.”

Automation – we had some.  We had 12 TACCS boxes loaded with the basics of the Corps Headquarters.  But we needed a huge database, which we did not have, nor did we have the capability to store a huge database.  Once again the American Army NCO stood up to the challenge.  The head of my SIDPERS section politely asked me to go get some coffee while they pondered the situation and came up with a proposal to solve the problem.  Their solution was absolutely brilliant.  They coined the phrase “Five Digit Midget” or “FDM.”  The FDM was a way of changing the coding in the TACCS box to hold only five pieces of critical information on each Soldier in the Corps – Name, Rank, SSN, MOS and Unit of Assignment.   These were the basic elements needed to report strength accounting, location, casualty and units.  It also allowed the section to dump thousands of pieces of information currently stored in the TACCS boxes allowing much more room in the database.  By linking the TACCS boxes together in tandem much like a string of Christmas tree lights, they were able to use these same TACCS boxes to upload an entire Corps strength.  This required placing HR Soldiers at every incoming air and sea terminal to collect manifests as units landed and to deploy LNO teams to each hospital and aid station to collect casualty data.  All of this was made possible by the DCSPER and MILPERCEN who sent us NCO fillers from Korea.  Meanwhile, and largely unknown to us, the DCSPER was pulling out all the stops to buy and deploy laptop commuters to theater as quickly as possible to give us a database capability.  These laptops would eventually begin arriving to our area in December 1990 to January 1991.  But in the meantime, the brilliant database built by the NCOs of the 18th Personnel Group and the 18th P&A Battalion stood the tests of time.

Mail – yes, we had mail.  Perhaps our biggest challenge was the U.S. Mail!  Even in 1991, the Soldier still penned hand written letters and dropped them into the U.S. Mail to loved ones back in the states.  There was no e-mail, no text messages, no Facebook, no Twitter and lastly few phones to call home.  Perhaps even worse, stamps in 1991 were of the lick ’em, stick-em type which would quickly become a mass of glued paper in the Soldier’s sweaty pocket in Saudi Arabia.  The DCSPER helped us out with that by getting Congress to pass free mail.  The 18th Personnel Group did have one Postal Company, but just one Company, of 50 Soldiers, to support an entire deployed Corps!  It soon became apparent that this would become the monster under the bed!  It took action by all levels of leadership to mobilize people, equipment, and storage for the tons of mail that arrived everyday into the theater.

Postal personnel and unit assets alone would account for almost 35% of the Group by the time the deployment came to an end.  The 18th Personnel Group quickly became the largest deployed Personnel Brigade in history since WWII.  When over 1,700 replacements began filing into the Corps, through the Replacement Detachment, the 18th Personnel Group actually became the largest unit in the Corps rear detachment.  We fed, housed, and supplied newly arriving troops.  The Reserve component quickly became the savior to the Corps as it sent Postal Companies, fillers, Mess Teams, U.S. Postal employees and sorting equipment into the Group.

The 18th Personnel Group’s postal mission required many forklifts and huge storage areas just to place and sort the tons of mail received from the United States.

Then fate struck again.  A wonderful lady named Ms. Ann Landers decided to print a series of articles in every newspaper in the country telling Americans that Soldiers, particularly women Soldiers, needed personal sanitary toiletries and to send them addressed to Any Soldier, 18th Personnel Group, Saudi Arabia!  Tractor trailers began delivering TONS of boxes to be distributed to Soldiers requiring forklifts and huge storage areas just to place and sort.  Thank God, it does not rain often in Saudi Arabia, as all of these packages had to sit out in the weather until distributed.

Logistics – the Group had little in the way of logistics personnel, vehicles, tentage, mess facilities, or even office basics such as tables and chairs.  Thankfully, the DCSPER in conjunction with the DCSLOG and Fort Lee, started funneling supplies and logistics to the 18th Personnel Group as quickly as possible.  But this required Officers to construct hand written property books and ways of tracking supplies and equipment.  This challenge was with us every day until the end of the deployment and even had us setting up Arms Rooms and secure storage facilities for weapons that were funneled back to the 18th P&A Battalion Replacement Detachment from hospitals and aid stations that could not hold them while on the move.  Remarkably, there were only two reports of survey needed at the end of the deployment to account for the few lost items during the entire operation.

Desert Shield and Desert Storm was the first ever overseas deployment of an entire Army Corps in less than six months, many of the units taking their own equipment and many deploying without TOE equipment requiring Reserve component depot support from across the USA.  Everyday felt like you were inside a blender being spun in 100 different directions at once.  But incredibly, the Officers, NCOs, and Soldiers of America made it all happen.  It was an honor to serve with every one of them.  It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you unleash the potential and ingenuity of the American Soldier.

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AG Corps Soldiers Awarded the Medal of Honor

The History of the Medal of Honor

          The Medal of Honor is the nation’s highest medal for valor in combat that can be awarded to members of the Armed Forces. The medal was first authorized in 1861 for Sailors and Marines, and the following year for Soldiers as well.  Since then, more than 3,400 Medals of Honor have been awarded to members of all DoD services and the Coast Guard.  Early in the Civil War, a medal for individual valor was proposed to General-in-Chief of the Army Winfield Scott.  But General Scott felt medals smacked of European affectation and killed the idea.  The medal found support in the Navy, however, where it was felt recognition of courage in strife was needed. So on December 9, 1861 Iowa Senator James W. Grimes introduced Public Resolution 82 in the United States Senate, a bill designed to “promote the efficiency of the Navy” by authorizing the production and distribution of “medals of honor.”  On December 21st the bill was passed, authorizing 200 such medals be produced, “which shall be bestowed upon such Petty Officers, Seamen, Landsmen and Marines as shall distinguish themselves by their gallantry in action and other seamanlike qualities during the present war (Civil War).”  President Lincoln signed the bill and the (Navy) Medal of Honor was born.
          Shortly afterwards, a resolution similar in wording was introduced on behalf of the Army and signed into law on July 12, 1862.  The measure provided for awarding a medal of honor, “to such Noncommissioned Officers and Privates as shall most distinguish themselves by their gallantry in action, and other Soldier like qualities, during the present insurrection (Civil War).”  Although it was created for the Civil War, Congress made the Medal of Honor a permanent decoration in 1863.

AG Corps Soldiers Awarded the Medal of Honor

          58 AG Corps Soldiers have been awarded the Medal of Honor. This includes 18 Adjutants and 40 Musicians. The first AG Corps Medal of Honor awarded was to George H. Palmer on 20 September 1861. George Palmer volunteered to fight in the trenches at Lexington, MO during the Civil War and led a charge which resulted in the recapture of a Union hospital, together with Confederate sharpshooters then occupying the same. The most recent AG Corps Medal of Honor recipient was Calvin P. Titus for actions in Peking, China on 14 August 1900. Calvin Titus executed gallant and daring conduct in the presence of his Colonel, other Officers and Enlisted men of his regiment and was the first to scale the wall of the city in an assault. The youngest AG Corps Medal of Honor recipient was Willie Johnston, a drummer, 12 years old. Willie Johnston’s service during the Union’s Seven Days retreat in the Peninsula Campaign was exemplary. He was the only drummer in his division to come away with his instrument, during a general rout. His superiors considered this a meritorious feat, when fellow Soldiers had thrown away their guns.
          Although the Medal of Honor information collected from the Congressional Medal of Honor Society (website – http://www.cmohs.org/recipient-archive.php) for these AG Corps Soldiers varies from few details, to a full accounting of the Soldier’s bravery in combat, each Soldier earned the United States’ highest medal for valor in combat. They bring great credit and distinction to the AG Corps’ long and distinguished history since 1775.

ARCHER, JAMES W.
Rank:  First Lieutenant / Adjutant
Organization:  U.S. Army
Division:  59th Indiana Infantry
Birth:  Edgar, Illinois
Entered Service At:  Spencer, Indiana
Date of Issue:  08/02/1897
Place / Date:  At Corinth, Mississippi, 4 October 1862
Citation:  Voluntarily took command of another Regiment, with the consent of one or more of his seniors, who were present, rallied the command and led it in the assault.

 

 

 

BEAUMONT, EUGENE B.
Rank:  Major / Assistant Adjutant General
Organization:  U.S. Army
Division:  Cavalry Corps, Army of the Mississippi
Born:  Luzerne County, Pennsylvania
Entered Service At:  Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Date of Issue:  03/30/1898
Place / Date:  At Harpeth River, Tennessee, 17 December 1864; at Selma, Alabama, 2 April 1865
Citation:  Obtained permission from the Corps Commander to advance upon the enemy’s position with the 4th U.S. Cavalry, of which he was a Lieutenant; led an attack upon a battery, dispersed the enemy, and captured the guns.  At Selma, Alabama, charged at the head of his Regiment, into the second and last line of the enemy’s works.

ESTES, LEWELLYN G.
Rank:  Captain / Assistant Adjutant General
Organization:  U.S. Army
Division:  U.S. Volunteers
Born:  Oldtown, Maine
Entered Service At:  Penobscot, Maine
Place / Date:  At Flint River, Georgia, 30 August 1864
Citation:  Voluntarily led troops in a charge over a burning bridge.  Late in the afternoon of August 30, 1864, General Howard’s advancing Union Infantry camped about four miles from the Flint River in Georgia.  Without water for his exhausted troops, General Howard asked Captain Lewellyn Estes if he would take his Cavalry in an effort to get water from the river for the troops. Valiantly, at the head of his command, Captain Estes led the 96th Illinois Cavalry on a charge against the Confederate barricade at the river. Within an hour his fierce charge, which had caught the rebels entirely by surprise, scattered the enemy force and sent them across the river. Returning to his command, and upon being congratulated by General Howard, Captain Estes asked, “Do you want me to take the bridge.”  “Can you do it?” General Howard asked. Captain Estes replied that he could and, with the General’s permission, led two Regiments of dismounted cavalry back to the river. With two companies of the 10th Ohio, Captain Estes charged across the bridge to rout the enemy.  At the time of his charge the bridge was burning in several places, but armed only with a revolver, Captain Estes continued at the head of his men, crossing and driving the enemy back far enough for the rest of General Howard’s Army to also cross.  From The Papers of Andrew Johnson: April-August 1868: “Lewellyn G. Estes (1843-1905), a lumberman, earned the Medal of Honor while serving as a staff officer for General Judson Kilpatrick, and after the war was brevetted Brigadier General.  In April 1866 he became collector of internal revenue in the Second District of North Carolina, and many years later he occupied himself in Washington, D.C., primarily as a lawyer and druggist. 

MILLS, ALBERT L.
Rank:  Captain / Assistant Adjutant General
Organization:  U.S. Army
Division:  U.S. Volunteers
Born:  New York, NY
Entered Service At:  New York, NY
Date of Issue:  07/09/1902
Place / Date:  Near Santiago, Cuba, 1 July 1898
Citation:  Distinguished gallantry in encouraging those near him by his bravery and coolness after being shot through the head and entirely without sight.

STEVENS, HAZARD
Rank:  Captain / Assistant Adjutant General
Organization:  U.S. Army
Division:  U.S. Volunteers
Born:  9 June 1842, Newport, Rhode Island
Entered Service At:  Olympia, Washington Territory
Place / Date:  At Fort Huger, Virginia, 19 April 1863
Citation:  Gallantly led a party that assaulted and captured the fort.

 

 

WEIR, HENRY C.
Rank:  Captain / Assistant Adjutant General
Organization:  U.S. Army
Division:  U.S. Volunteers
Born:  West Point, N.Y.
Place / Date:  At St. Mary’s Church, Virginia, 24 June 1864
Citation:  The division being hard pressed and falling back, this officer dismounted, gave his horse to a wounded officer, and thus enabled him to escape.  Afterwards, on foot, Captain Weir rallied and took command of some stragglers and helped to repel the last charge of the enemy.

 

 

 

BAIRD, GEORGE W.
Rank:  First Lieutenant / Adjutant
Organization:  U.S. Army
Division:  5th U.S. Infantry
Born:  Connecticut
Entered Service At:  Milford, Connecticut
Place / Date:  At Bear Paw Mountain, Montana, 30 September 1877
Citation:  Most distinguished gallantry in action with the Nez Perce Indians.

 

 

 

 

DOUGALL, ALLAN H.
Rank:  First Lieutenant/Adjutant
Organization:  U.S. Army
Division:  88th Indiana Infantry
Born:  Scotland
Entered Service At:  New Haven, Allen County, Indiana
Date of Issue:  16 February 1897
Place / Date:  Battle of Bentonville, NC, 19 March 1865
Citation:  In the face of a galling fire from the enemy he voluntarily returned to where the color bearer had fallen wounded and saved the flag of his Regiment from capture.

 

 

 

FERRIS, EUGENE W.
Rank:  First Lieutenant / Adjutant
Organization:  U.S. Army
Division:  30th Massachusetts Infantry
Born:  Springfield, Vermont
Entered Service At:  Lowell, Massachusetts
Place / Date:  At Berryville, Virginia, 1 April 1865
Citation:  Accompanied only by an orderly, outside the lines of the Army, he gallantly resisted an attack of 5 of Mosby’s cavalry, mortally wounded the leader of the party, seized his horse and pistols, wounded 3 more, and, though wounded himself, escaped.

 

 

GERE, THOMAS P.
Rank:  First Lieutenant / Adjutant
Organization:  U.S. Army
Division:  5th Minnesota Infantry
Born:  Chemung County, NY
Place / Date:  At Nashville, Tennessee, 16 December 1864
Citation:  Capture of flag of 4th Mississippi (C.S.A.).

 

 

LIVINGSTON, JOSIAH O.
Rank:  First Lieutenant / Adjutant
Organization:  U.S. Army
Division:  9th Vermont Infantry
Born:  Walden, Vermont
Entered Service At:  Marshfield, Vermont
Place / Date:  At Newport Barracks, NC, 2 February 1864
Citation:  When, after desperate resistance, the small garrison had been driven back to the river by a vastly superior force, this officer, while a small force held back the enemy, personally fired the railroad bridge, and although wounded himself, assisted a wounded officer over the burning structure.

 

 

MACARTHUR, ARTHUR, JR.
Rank:  First Lieutenant / Adjutant
Organization:  U.S. Army
Division:  24th Wisconsin Infantry
Born:  Springfield, Massachusetts
Entered Service At:  Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Place / Date:  At Missionary Ridge, Tennessee, 25 November 1863
Citation:  Seized the colors of his Regiment at a critical moment and planted them on the captured works on the crest of Missionary Ridge.  (Note – His son, Douglas MacArthur, was one of only five men promoted to the five-star rank of General of the Army during World War II.  In addition to their both being promoted to the rank of general officer, Arthur MacArthur, Jr. and Douglas MacArthur also share the distinction of having been the first father and son to each be awarded a Medal of Honor.)

SMITH, FRANCIS M.
Rank:  First Lieutenant / Adjutant
Organization:  U.S. Army
Division:  1st Maryland Infantry
Born:  Frederick, Maryland
Entered Service At:  Frederick, Maryland
Place / Date:  At Dabney Mills, Virginia, 6 February 1865
Citation:  Voluntarily remained with the body of his Regimental Commander under a heavy fire after the Brigade had retired and brought the body off the field.

 

 

TOBIN, JOHN M.
Rank:  First Lieutenant / Adjutant
Organization:  U.S. Army
Division:  9th Massachusetts Infantry
Born:  Ireland
Entered Service At:  Boston, Massachusetts
Place / Date:  At Malvern Hill, Virginia, 1 July 1862
Citation:  Voluntarily took command of the 9th Massachusetts while Adjutant, bravely fighting from 3 PM until dusk, rallying and re-forming the Regiment under fire; twice picked up the Regimental Flag, the color bearer having been shot down, and placed it in worthy hands.

 

 

WOODWARD, EVAN M.
Rank:  First Lieutenant / Adjutant
Organization:  U.S. Army
Division:  2d Pennsylvania Reserve Infantry
Born:  11 March 1838, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Place / Date:  At Fredericksburg, Virginia, 13 December 1862
Citation:  Advanced between the lines, demanded and received the surrender of the 19th Georgia Infantry and captured their battle flag.

 

 

 

CLARK, CHARLES A.
Rank:  First Lieutenant / Adjutant
Organization:  U.S. Army
Division:  6th Maine Infantry
Born:  Sangerville, Maine
Place / Date:  At Brooks Ford, Virginia, 4 May 1863
Citation:  Having voluntarily taken command of his Regiment in the absence of its Commander, at great personal risk and with remarkable presence of mind and fertility of resource, led the command down an exceedingly precipitous embankment to the Rappahannock River and by his gallantry, coolness, and good judgment in the face of the enemy saved the command from capture or destruction.

 

 

EDGERTON, NATHAN H.
Rank:  First Lieutenant / Adjutant
Organization:  U.S. Army
Division:  6th U.S. Colored Troops
Entered Service At:  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Place / Date:  At Chapins Farm, Virginia, 29 September 1864
Citation:  Took up the flag after 3 color bearers had been shot down and bore it forward, though himself wounded.

 

 

GREENE, OLIVER D.
Rank:  Major / Assistant Adjutant General
Organization:  U.S. Army
Born:  25 January 1833, Scott, NY
Entered Service At:  Scott, NY
Place / Date:  At Antietam, Maryland, 17 September 1862
Citation:  Formed the columns under heavy fire and put them into position.

 

 

DAWSON, MICHAEL
Rank:  Trumpeter
Organization:  U.S. Army
Company:  Company H
Division:  6th U.S. Cavalry
Born:  Boston, Massachusetts
Place / Date:  At Sappa Creek, Kansas, 23 April 1875
Citation:  Gallantry in action.

 

 

 

 

KEENAN, BARTHOLOMEW T.
Rank:  Trumpeter
Organization:  U.S. Army
Company:  Company G
Division:  1st U.S. Cavalry
Born:  Brooklyn, NY
Place / Date:  At Chiricahua Mountains, Arizona, 20 October 1869
Citation:  Gallantry in action.

PAYNE, ISAAC
Rank:  Trumpeter
Organization:  U.S. Army
Division:  Indian Scouts
Born:  Mexico
Place / Date:  At Pecos River, Texas, 25 April 1875
Citation:  With 3 other men, he participated in a charge against 25 hostiles while on a scouting patrol.

SNOW, ELMER A.
Rank:  Trumpeter
Organization:  U.S. Army
Company:  Company M
Division:  3d U.S. Cavalry
Born:  Hardwick, Massachusetts
Place / Date:  At Rosebud Creek, Montana, 17 June 1876
Citation:  Bravery in action; was wounded in both arms.

 

 

 

FACTOR, POMPEY
Rank:  Principal Musician
Organization:  U.S. Army
Division:  Indian Scouts
Born:  Arkansas
Place / Date:  At Pecos River, Texas, 25 April 1875
Citation:  With 3 other men, he participated in a charge against 25 hostiles while on a scouting patrol.

 

 

 

 

GLYNN, MICHAEL
Rank:  Principal Musician
Organization:  U.S. Army
Company:  Company F
Division:  5th U.S. Cavalry
Born:  Ireland
Place / Date:  At Whetstone Mountains, Arizona, 13 July 1872
Citation:  Stove off, single-handed, 8 hostile Indians, killing and wounding 5.

HEARTERY, RICHARD
Rank:  Principal Musician
Organization:  U.S. Army
Company:  Company D
Division:  6th U.S. Cavalry
Born:  Ireland
Entered Service At:  San Francisco, California
Place / Date:  At Cibicu, Arizona, 30 August 1881
Citation:  Bravery in action.

PATTERSON, JOHN T.
Rank:  Principal Musician
Organization:  U.S. Army
Division:  122d Ohio Infantry
Born:  Morgan County, Ohio
Place / Date:  At Winchester, Virginia, 14 June 1863
Citation:  
Patterson joined the Union Army in McConnelsville on August 22, 1862.  He joined Company C of the 122nd Ohio Infantry, which mustered in on October 2, 1862.  He was promoted from Musician to Principal Musician on October 8 of that year.  On June 14, 1863, Patterson was wounded during the Second Battle of Winchester while he was rescuing a fellow soldier.  For his valor, he received the Medal of Honor.  After rescuing his fellow soldier, Patterson was taken prisoner and held for a time at Belle Isle and Libby Prison.  After being released he was present at the final Battle of Appomattox Court House, along with the rest of his regiment.  He was mustered out with his company on June 26, 1865.

SCHMIDT, WILLIAM
Rank:  Principal Musician
Organization:  U.S. Army
Company:  Company G
Division:  37th Ohio Infantry
Born:  Tiffin, Ohio
Entered Service At:  Maumee, Ohio
Place / Date:  At Missionary Ridge, Tennessee, 25 November 1863
Citation:  Rescued a wounded comrade under terrific fire.

SYPE, PETER
Rank:  Principal Musician
Organization:  U.S. Army
Company:  Company B
Division:  47th Ohio Infantry
Born:  11 October 1841, Monroe County, Michigan
Entered Service At:  Adrian, Michigan
Date of Issue:  09/12/1911
Place / Date:  At Vicksburg, Mississippi, 3 May 1863
Citation:  Was one of a party that volunteered and attempted to run the enemy’s batteries with a steam tug and 2 barges loaded with subsistence stores.
Coming to Monroe From Bavaria, Germany – By Gail Sype
http://www.monroenews.com/news/2014/feb/28/coming-monroe-bavaria-germany/
Christian Seip and his wife Maria Elisabeth, my great-great-grandparents, both from Bavaria, Germany, came to Monroe County, Michigan in the mid- to late-1830s.  They had a total of eight children during their marriage, but only three of these children survived into adulthood:  Johann Peter Sype (1841-1912), Maria Elisabeth Sype (1845-1914), and John Christoph Sype (1854-1912).  In 1860, Lincoln was elected president and around the time of his inauguration in 1861, several southern states seceded because they thought Lincoln’s election would force an end to slavery.  Thus the “War of the Rebellion” was launched.  Johann Peter (my great-grandfather), who went by the name Peter Sype through his lifetime, like many young men, wanted the excitement and adventure that he thought serving in the war would bring.  Family folklore indicates that he had originally enlisted in a Michigan unit and that his mother went to the Army leadership and took him out, since he was still officially a minor.  But Peter was not to be deterred from embarking on his military career and enlisted as a Private at Adrian on June 15, 1861.  By the time he enlisted, Michigan had met its quota of Soldiers for the war and so the Adrian unit became part of the 47th Ohio Volunteer Infantry and became part of Company B.  Company B saw service in Virginia and West Virginia before being sent to Mississippi to be a part of the attack on Vicksburg, Mississippi.  Vicksburg was a key target because it was essential to the success of both the Confederacy and the Union.  The union forces engaged in a long series of attacks with the goal of seizing control of the city from the rebels.  Peter Sype was part of a group of soldiers who volunteered to guard a shipment of goods that the Union attempted to run past the Confederate blockade at Vicksburg.  This attempt was made on the moonlit night of May 3, 1863, and the Union forces were both shot at and shelled by the rebel forces.  One of the shells made a direct hit on the steamship that was transporting the goods and the ship disappeared in a hail of steam and fire.  Peter Sype had an opportunity to make it back to the Louisiana side of the river but gave up his spot on a plank of wood (a remnant of the steamship) to other Soldiers.  Of the original group of 35 Soldiers guarding the ship, 16 were captured by the Confederates and held as prisoners of war, including Peter.  Another four men made it back to the Union forces on the western side of the river.  The rest perished in the fire and hail of bullets.  Peter and the other members of his unit who survived were nominated for the Medal of Honor for “gallantry in running the blockades at Vicksburg.”  Peter Sype continued to serve with the 47th Ohio Infantry until June, 1864, when he was wounded near Kennesaw Mountain, Georgia.  He was mustered out after he recovered from his wound.  The picture that is attached is of him when he returned from the war.  He married Marie Louise Doederlein in 1870 and they had 10 children, eight of whom survived to adulthood.  Peter Sype is buried in Trinity Lutheran cemetery and his grave marker indicates he was a Medal of Honor recipient.  He also is recognized on the new Civil War monument at Soldiers and Sailors Park on E. Front Street in Monroe.

BAKER, JOHN
Rank:  Musician
Organization:  U.S. Army
Company:  Company D
Division:  5th U.S. Infantry
Born:  Germany
Entered Service At:  Brooklyn, NY
Date of Issue:  05/01/1968
Accredited To:  Moline, Illinois
Place / Date:  At Cedar Creek, Montana, October 1876 to January 1877
Citation:  Gallantry in engagements.

CARSON, WILLIAM J.
Rank:  Musician
Organization:  U.S. Army
Company:  Company E, 1st Battalion
Division:  15th U.S. Infantry
Born:  Washington County, Pennsylvania
Entered Service At:  North Greenfield, Ohio
Place / Date:  At Chickamauga, Georgia, 19 September 1863
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.

 

CLANCY, JOHN E.
Rank:  Musician
Organization:  U.S. Army
Company:  Company E
Division:  1st U.S. Artillery
Born:  New York, NY
Place / Date:  At Wounded Knee Creek, South Dakota, 29 December 1890
Citation:  Twice voluntarily rescued wounded comrades under fire of the enemy.

 

ENDERLIN, RICHARD
Rank:  Musician
Organization:  U.S. Army
Company:  Company B
Division:  73d Ohio Infantry
Born:  Germany
Entered Service At:  Chillicothe, Ohio
Place / Date:  At Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, 1-3 July 1863
Citation:  Voluntarily took a rifle and served as a Soldier in the ranks during the first and second days of the battle.  Voluntarily and at his own imminent peril went into the enemy’s lines at night and, under a sharp fire, rescued a wounded comrade.

 

 

HILLIKER, BENJAMIN F.
Rank:  Musician
Organization:  U.S. Army
Company:  Company A
Division:  8th Wisconsin Infantry
Born:  23 May 1843, Golden, Erie County, NY
Entered Service At:  Waupaca Township, Wisconsin
Place / Date:  At Mechanicsburg, Mississippi, 4 June 1863
Citation:  When men were needed to oppose a superior Confederate force he laid down his drum for a rifle and proceeded to the front of the skirmish line which was about 120 feet from the enemy.  While on this volunteer mission and firing at the enemy he was hit in the head with a minie ball which passed through him.  An order was given to “lay him in the shade; he won’t last long.”  He recovered from this wound being left with an ugly scar.

HOWE, ORION P.
Rank:  Musician
Organization:  U.S. Army
Company:  Company C
Division:  55th Illinois Infantry
Born:  Portage County, Ohio
Entered Service At:  Waukegan, Illinois
Place / Date:  At Vicksburg, Mississippi, 19 May 1863
Citation:  A drummer boy, 14 years of age, and severely wounded and exposed to a heavy fire from the enemy, he persistently remained upon the field of battle until he had reported to General W. T. Sherman the necessity of supplying cartridges for the use of troops under command of Colonel Malmborg.

 

JOHNSTON, WILLIE
Rank:  Musician
Organization:  U.S. Army
Company:  Company D
Division:  3d Vermont Infantry
Born:  Morristown, NY
Entered Service At:  St. Johnsbury, Vermont
Citation:  Date and place of act not on record in War Department.  William “Willie” Johnston (born July 1850), from St. Johnsbury, Vermont, was a drummer boy in Company D of the 3rd Vermont Infantry.  His service during the Seven Days retreat in the Peninsula Campaign was exemplary.  He was the only drummer in his Division to come away with his instrument, during a general rout.  His superiors considered this a meritorious feat, when fellow Soldiers had thrown away their guns.  As a result, he received the Medal of Honor on the recommendation of his Division Commander, thereby becoming the youngest recipient of the military’s highest decoration at 13 years of age.

KOUNTZ, JOHN S.
Rank:  Musician
Organization:  U.S. Army
Company:  Company G
Division:  37th Ohio Infantry
Born:  Maumee, Ohio
Entered Service At:  Maumee, Ohio
Place / Date:  At Missionary Ridge, Tennessee, 25 November 1863
Citation:  Seized a musket and joined in the charge in which he was severely wounded.

 

LANGBEIN, J.C. JULIUS
Rank:  Musician
Organization:  U.S. Army
Company:  Company B
Division:  9th New York Infantry
Born:  29 September 1846, Germany
Entered Service At:  New York, NY
Place / Date:  At Camden, NC, 19 April 1862
Citation:  A drummer boy, 15 years of age, he voluntarily and under a heavy fire went to the aid of a wounded officer, procured medical assistance for him, and aided in carrying him to a place of safety.

 

 

LORD, WILLIAM
Rank:  Musician
Organization:  U.S. Army
Company:  Company C
Division:  40th Massachusetts Infantry
Born:  England
Entered Service At:  Lawrence, Massachusetts
Place / Date:  At Drurys Bluff, Virginia, 16 May 1864
Citation:  Went to the assistance of a wounded officer lying helpless between the lines, and under fire from both sides removed him to a place of safety.

McLENNON, JOHN
Rank:  Musician
Organization:  U.S. Army
Company:  Company A
Division:  7th U.S. Infantry
Born:  Fort Belknap, Texas
Place / Date:  At Big Hole, Montana, 9 August 1877
Citation:  Gallantry in action.

 

MURPHY, ROBINSON B.
Rank:  Musician
Organization:  U.S. Army
Company:  Company A
Division:  127th Illinois Infantry
Born:  Oswego, Kendall County, Illinois
Entered Service At:  Oswego, Kendall County, Illinois
Place / Date:  At Atlanta, Georgia, 28 July 1864
Citation:  Being Orderly Sergeant to the Brigade Commander, he voluntarily led two Regiments as reinforcements into line of battle, where he had his horse shot from underneath him.  Note – The First Sergeant was also known as the “Orderly Sergeant.”  As the senior NCO in the Company he was responsible for a lot of Company paperwork and he was in charge of all the other NCOs.  He would assign fatigue duty and punishments and was generally not very popular with the men.  He would form up the Company and take the roll call and get it all in ranks and organized before turning the company over to the officer in command.  During drill or in battle the First Sergeant was also the company’s Right Guide.  In line of battle his post was on the right of the Company, in the rear rank, immediately behind the Captain who was in the front rank.  If the Battalion went into a column however, the Captain would have to step out in front of the middle of the Company so the First Sergeant would step up into the front rank “covering” the Captain, so the First Sergeant was also referred to as the “Covering Sergeant.”  During certain maneuvers the First Sergeant would also have specific positions and responsibilities.

PALMER, GEORGE H.
Rank:  Musician
Organization:  U.S. Army
Division:  1st Illinois Cavalry
Born:  New York
Entered Service At:  Illinois
Place / Date:  At Lexington, Missouri, 20 September 1861
Citation:  Volunteered to fight in the trenches and also led a charge which resulted in the recapture of a Union hospital, together with Confederate sharpshooters then occupying the same.  The Journal of Major George H. Palmer can be found at:
http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~luff/PalmerGH_Journal.html#lexington

 

 

PFISTERER, HERMAN
Rank:  Musician
Organization:  U.S. Army
Company:  Company H
Division:  21st U.S. Infantry
Born:  Brooklyn, NY
Entered Service At:  New York, NY
Place / Date:  At Santiago, Cuba, 1 July 1898
Citation:  Gallantly assisted in the rescue of the wounded from in front of the lines and under heavy fire from the enemy.

SNEDDEN, JAMES
Rank:  Musician
Organization:  U.S. Army
Company:  Company E
Division:  54th Pennsylvania Infantry
Born:  Scotland
Entered Service At:  Johnstown, Pennsylvania
Place / Date:  At Piedmont, Virginia, 5 June 1864
Citation:  Left his place in the rear, took the rifle of a disabled soldier, and fought through the remainder of the action.

 

 

 

TITUS, CALVIN PEARL
Rank:  Musician
Organization:  U.S. Army
Company:  Company E
Division:  14th U.S. Infantry
Born:  Vinton, Iowa
Entered Service At:  Iowa
Date of Issue:  03/11/1902
Place / Date:  At Peking, China, 14 August 1900
Citation:  Gallant and daring conduct in the presence of his Colonel and other Officers and Enlisted men of his Regiment; was first to scale the wall of the city.

 

WEBBER, ALASON P.
Rank:  Musician
Organization:  U.S. Army
Division:  86th Illinois Infantry
Born:  Greene County, NY
Entered Service At:  Illinois
Place / Date:  At Kennesaw Mountain, Georgia, 27 June 1864
Citation:  Voluntarily joined in a charge against the enemy, which was repulsed, and by his rapid firing in the face of the enemy enabled many of the wounded to return to the Federal lines.  With others, held the advance of the enemy while temporary works were being constructed.

 

HORSFALL, WILLIAM H.
Rank:  Drummer
Organization:  U.S. Army
Company:  Company G
Division:  1st Kentucky Infantry
Born:  Campbell County, Kentucky
Place / Date: At Corinth, Mississippi, 21 May 1862
Citation:  Saved the life of a wounded officer lying between the lines.

 

 

MAGEE, WILLIAM
Rank:  Drummer
Organization:  U.S. Army
Company:  Company C
Division:  33d New Jersey Infantry
Born:  Newark, N.J.
Place / Date:  At Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 5 December 1864
Citation:  In a charge, was among the first to reach a battery of the enemy and with one or two others, mounted the artillery horses and
took two guns into the Union lines.

SCOTT, JULIAN A.
Rank:  Drummer
Organization:  U.S. Army
Company:  Company E
Division:  3d Vermont Infantry
Born:  Johnson, Vermont
Entered Service At:  Johnson, Vermont
Place / Date:  At Lees Mills, Virginia, 16 April 1862
Citation:  Crossed the creek under a terrific fire of musketry several times to assist in bringing off the wounded.

LANDIS, JAMES P.
Rank:  Chief Bugler
Organization:  U.S. Army
Division:  1st Pennsylvania Cavalry
Born:  Mifflin County, Pennsylvania
Place / Date:  At Paines Crossroads, Virginia, 5 April 1865
Citation:  Capture of flag.

 

ROHM, FERDINAND F.
Rank:  Chief Bugler
Organization:  U.S. Army
Division:  16th Pennsylvania Cavalry
Born:  Jumata County, Pennsylvania
Entered Service At:  Jumata County, Pennsylvania
Place / Date:  At Reams Station, Virginia, 25 August 1864
Citation:  While his regiment was retiring under fire, he voluntarily remained behind to secure a wounded officer who was in great danger, secured assistance, and removed the officer to a place of safety.

SCHORN, CHARLES
Rank:  Chief Bugler
Organization:  U.S. Army
Company:  Company M
Division:  1st West Virginia Cavalry
Born:  Germany
Entered Service At:  Mason City, West Virginia
Place / Date:  At Appomattox, Virginia, 8 April 1865
Citation:  Capture of flag of the Sumter Flying Artillery (C.S.A.).

 

 

WELLS, THOMAS M.
Rank:  Chief Bugler
Organization:  U.S. Army
Division:  6th New York Cavalry
Born:  Ireland
Entered Service At:  DeKalb, NY
Place / Date:  At Cedar Creek, Virginia, 19 October 1864
Citation:  Capture of colors of 44th Georgia Infantry (C.S.A.).

 

COOK, JOHN
Rank:  Bugler
Organization:  U.S. Army
Company:  Battery B
Division:  4th U.S. Artillery
Born:  Hamilton County, Ohio
Entered Service At:  Cincinnati, Ohio
Place / Date: At Antietam Maryland, 17 September 1862
Citation:  Volunteered at the age of 15 years to act as a cannoneer, and as such volunteer served a gun under a terrific fire of the enemy.

 

GATES, GEORGE
Rank:  Bugler
Organization:  U.S. Army
Company:  Company F
Division:  8th U.S. Cavalry
Born:  Delaware County, Ohio
Place / Date:  At Picacho Mountain, Arizona, 4 June 1869
Citation:  Killed an Indian warrior and captured his arms

 

HOOVER, SAMUEL
Rank:  Chief Bugler
Organization:  U.S. Army
Company:  Company A
Division:  1st U.S. Cavalry
Born:  Dauphin County, Pennsylvania
Place / Date:  At Santa Maria Mountains, Arizona, 6 May 1873
Citation:  Gallantry in action.

LITTLE, THOMAS
Rank:  Chief Bugler
Organization:  U.S. Army
Company:  Company B
Division:  8th U.S. Cavalry
Born:  West Indies
Place / Date:  Arizona, August to October 1868
Citation:  Bravery in scouts and actions against Indians.

 

REED, CHARLES W.
Rank:  Bugler
Organization:  U.S. Army
Company:  9th Independent Battery
Division:  Massachusetts Light Artillery
Born:  Charlestown, Massachusetts
Place / Date: At Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, 2 July 1863
Citation:  Rescued his wounded Captain from between the lines.

 

 

WINDUS, CLARON A.
Rank:  Bugler
Organization:  U.S. Army
Company:  Company L
Division:  6th U.S. Cavalry
Born:  Janesville, Wisconsin
Place / Date:  At Wichita River, Texas, 12 July 1870
Citation:  Gallantry in action.  Claron Windus is the only Medal of Honor winner who shot and killed another Medal of Honor winner.  Claron “Gus” Windus was born in Janesville, Wisconsin in 1849.  He was educated in the newly formed Janesville public schools.  In 1864, at age 15, he ran away from home.  He was desperate to join the state volunteers, so he lied about his age and got into the Fifth Wisconsin Infantry as a drummer.  He was itching for combat.  His wish came true during the siege of Petersburg, Virginia, and he found it to his liking.
After the war, he lied about his age again and joined the United States Army.  At the age of seventeen, Windus was sent to Texas as a bugler with Company L of the Sixth United States Cavalry.  The hard and often monotonous life of frontier duty didn’t sit well with the teenager.  He was court-martialed in 1868 for desertion and theft.  His punishment was twelve months hard labor.  It straightened him out.
Ready and willing to return to the Cavalry, by 1870, Windus was back in the saddle with Company L.  Here’s the official account of what happened next… Under the command of CPT Curwen B. McLellan, a mixed troop from Companies A, H, K, and L was dispatched to recover the mail from Indians who had attacked a mail coach near Fort Richardson on July 6, 1870.  The force of fifty-eight men followed the trail of a small group of Indians until July 11, when nightfall found them on the south bank of the North Fork of the Little Wichita River, some forty miles northwest of Fort Richardson.  On July 12, after they were unable to cross the river because of heavy rains on July 10 and 11, they were attacked by a band of Kiowa Indians.  The ensuing battle came to be known as the battle of the Little Wichita River.  Windus was both bugler and Orderly Sergeant and assisted a wounded Army surgeon, George W. Hatch, in caring for the Soldiers.  He also assisted in successfully clearing of enemy snipers from prominent elevations.  On the morning of July 13, Windus and SGT George Eldridge volunteered to go to Fort Richardson for help.  They eluded several Indian search parties and brought relief to the beleaguered command.  Windus and twelve others were recommended for the Medal of Honor by CPT McLellan for “conspicuous acts of bravery.”
Private Adam Paine of the United States Cavalry’s Indian Scouts was a Mascogo – a Black Seminole – descendants of slaves and free
Africans who joined the Seminole Indians in Florida in the 1700’s and 1800’s.  He was described by his commanding officer, Colonel Ranald S. Mackenzie, as having “more cool daring than any scout I have ever known.”  In 1877, Claron Windus was the Deputy Sheriff of Brackettville, Texas – a small town near the Mexican border – and Adam Paine was a fugitive from the law.  Paine was discharged from the Cavalry in 1875.  He had spent the past year drifting back and forth across the border with a known cattle thief named Frank Enoch.  Paine had reportedly stabbed and killed a white Soldier in Brownsville and now he had returned with Enoch and two other ex-scouts to celebrate New Year’s with their people, the Mascogo community of Brackettville.  Windus got wind of the fugitive’s arrival and made plans to arrest them.  Early on New Year’s morning, 1877, Windus and a small posse arrived at the Mascogo’s New Year’s celebration.  Windus saw Paine, walked up to him, stuck a two barrelled shotgun in his belly and pulled the trigger.  The ex-Buffalo Soldier was shot at such close range that his clothing caught fire.  Windus then turned, pulled out a six shooter and shot Enoch.  In the ensuing confusion, the other two men, Isaac Payne (another Medal of Honor winner) and Dallas Griner, leapt on nearby horses and fled to Mexico.  They were later cleared of charges of horse theft and re-enlisted as scouts.
Less than a month after Adam Paine’s death, Windus resigned as Deputy Sheriff in order to become Kinney County Assessor of Taxes.  The next month he married Agnes Ballantyne and within a few years had become one of the largest landowners in the country by purchasing land sold at delinquent tax sales.  By 1897 he was so wealthy that his house was the first in Brackettville to have indoor plumbing.  In 1898 he volunteered for the war in Cuba and spent a year there – his third, and final war.  Claron Windus was born and raised a Wisconsinite, but he died a Texan… in 1927 in Brackettville – a town that has the unusual distinction of having the gravestones of five Congressional Medal of Honor winners.  It is also the site of the only known killing of one Medal of Honor winner by another.  Four of the five Medal of Honor recipients buried in Brackettville were Seminole Mascogo Indian Scouts: Adam Paine, Isaac Payne, John Ward and Pompey Factor.  The fifth is Claron Windus.
http://wisconsinology.blogspot.com/2008/05/claron-windus-only-medal-of-honor.html

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