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John Francis O'Sullivan
Born 1850
Died May 19, 1907(1907-05-19) (aged 57)
Place of birth County Kerry, Ireland
Place of death Queens, New York, United States
Place of burial Calvary Cemetery
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1870–c. 1875
Rank Private
Unit 4th U.S. Cavalry
Battles/wars Indian Wars
Texas–Indian Wars
Awards Medal of Honor

John Francis O'Sullivan (1850 – May 19, 1907) was an Irish-born soldier who emigrated to New York City, where he joined the United States Army who served with the 4th U.S. Cavalry during the Texas–Indian Wars. He received the Medal of Honor for gallantry against a hostile band of Indians at the Staked Plains in Texas on December 8, 1874.

Biography[edit | edit source]

John Francis O'Sullivan was born in County Kerry, southern Ireland in 1850. He eventually emigrated to the United States where he enlisted in the U.S. Army in New York City, New York on March 22, 1870.[1] O'Sullivan became a member of the 4th U.S. Cavalry and saw action during the Texas-Indian Wars of the 1870s. On December 8, 1874, he was part of a cavalry detachment that was pursuing 10 Indians through the Muchague Valley. In the course of the chase the Indians suddenly dismounted and took up positions to fire upon the soldiers. He and fellow Private Frederick Bergendahl distinguished themselves in this battle, and after nearly all the renegades had been killed, O'Sullivan pursued the last surviving Indian but was unable to catch him. Both Bergendahl and O'Sullivan were received the Medal of Honor, as well as Lieutenant Lewis Warrington, for gallantry at the Staked Plains on October 13, 1875.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8] After leaving the military, O'Sullivan returned to New York where he died on May 19, 1907, at the age of 57.[1] He was buried at Calvary Cemetery in Queens, New York. A memorial marker was erected in his memory at Fort Concho National Historic Landmark in San Angelo, Texas.

Medal of Honor citation[edit | edit source]

Rank and organization: Private, Company I, 4th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Staked Plains, Tex., 8 December 1874. Entered service at New York, N.Y. Birth: Ireland. Date of issue: 13 October 1875.


Gallantry in a long chase after Indians.[9]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Cruse, J. Brett. Battles of the Red River War: Archeological Perspectives on the Indian campaign of 1874. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2008. (pg. 161) ISBN 1-60344-027-5
  2. Beyer, Walter F. and Oscar Frederick Keydel, ed. Deeds of Valor: From Records in the Archives of the United States Government; how American Heroes Won the Medal of Honor; History of Our Recent Wars and Explorations, from Personal Reminiscences and Records of Officers and Enlisted Men who Were Rewarded by Congress for Most Conspicuous Acts of Bravery on the Battle-field, on the High Seas and in Arctic Explorations. Vol. 2. Detroit: Perrien-Keydel Company, 1906. (pg. 193)
  3. Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs. Medal of Honor recipients, 1863-1978, 96th Cong., 1st sess. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1979. (pg. 1019)
  4. Manning, Robert, ed. Above and Beyond: A History of the Medal of Honor from the Civil War to Vietnam. Boston: Boston Publishing Company, 1985. ISBN 0-939526-19-0
  5. O'Neal, Bill. Fighting Men of the Indian Wars: A Biographical Encyclopedia of the Mountain Men, Soldiers, Cowboys, and Pioneers Who Took Up Arms During America's Westward Expansion. Stillwater, Oklahoma: Barbed Wire Press, 1991. (pg. 29) ISBN 0-935269-07-X
  6. Yenne, Bill. Indian Wars: The Campaign for the American West. Yardley, Pennsylvania: Westholme Publishing, 2006. (pg. 168) ISBN 1-59416-016-3
  7. Sterner, C. Douglas (1999). "MOH Citation for John O'Sullivan". MOH Recipients: Indian Campaigns. HomeofHeroes.com. http://www.homeofheroes.com/moh/citations_1865_ind/osullivan.html. Retrieved June 25, 2010. 
  8. Army Times Publishing Company. "Military Times Hall of Valor: John Francis O'Sullivan". Awards and Citations: Medal of Honor. MilitaryTimes.com. http://militarytimes.com/citations-medals-awards/recipient.php?recipientid=1891. Retrieved June 25, 2010. 
  9. "Medal of Honor recipients". Indian War Campaigns. United States Army Center of Military History. June 8, 2009. https://history.army.mil/html/moh/indianwars.html. Retrieved June 29, 2009. 

Further reading[edit | edit source]

  • Konstantin, Phil. This Day in North American Indian History: Important Dates in the History of North America's Native Peoples for Every Calendar Day. New York: Da Capo Press, 2002. ISBN 0-306-81170-7
  • Neal, Charles M. Valor Across the Lone Star: The Congressional Medal of Honor in Frontier Texas. Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 2003. ISBN 0-87611-184-3

External links[edit | edit source]

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