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James Snedden
File:James Snedden.jpg
Born (1849-09-19)September 19, 1849
Died June 14, 1919(1919-06-14) (aged 69) (?)
Place of birth Edinburgh, Scotland
Buried at Odd Fellows Cemetery, Lexington, MS (33°07′02″N 90°02′02″W / 33.1172°N 90.0340°W / 33.1172; -90.0340)
Allegiance USA
Service/branch Union Army
Years of service 1864-1865
Rank Principal Musician
Unit Company E, 54th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry
Battles/wars Battle of Piedmont
Awards Medal of Honor

James Snedden (September 19, 1849 – June 14, 1919 (?)) was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, and emigrated to the United States at an unknown date.

On February 23, 1864, during the Civil War, he was mustered in the Union Army at Johnstown, Pennsylvania with the rank of Private, in Company E, 54th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. He became a Musician, a non-combatant role, in that unit, rising to the rank of Principal Musician.[lower-alpha 1] On June 5, 1864, the Union and Confederate armies met at Piedmont, Virginia. Colonel Jacob M. Campbell, commander of the 54th, ordered Snedden to take his musicians to the rear. Having done so, he took a rifle from a wounded comrade, went to the front, joined in the fighting, and captured Colonel Beuhring Jones, commander of the Confederate 1st Infantry Brigade. On May 31, 1865, after the end of the War, he was honorably mustered out of the Army.

He subsequently worked for the Union Pacific Railroad and the Fort Scott and Gulf Railroad, and later became a mine owner and operator.

On September 11, 1897, thirty-three years after Piedmont, he was presented with the Medal of Honor. His citation reads:[1][lower-alpha 2][2][3]

Left his place in the rear, took the rifle of a disabled soldier, and fought through the remainder of the action.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. No record seems to have survived of what instrument or instruments he played.
  2. Note that the vconline.org.uk citation uses the British DMY convention for dates, not the American MDY one.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "James Snedden". http://vconline.org.uk/james-snedden/4594301643. Retrieved June 5, 2020. 
  2. Galluzzo, James (December 15, 2018). "AG Corps Musicians (Adjutants & Musicians) Awarded the Medal of Honor". https://www.agcra.com/tag/james-snedden/. Retrieved June 5, 2020. 
  3. Davis, James A. (2014). "Union Musicians and the Medal of Honor During the American Civil War". JSTOR 26574367. 

External links[edit | edit source]

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