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This is a complete list of Medal of Honor recipients for the Battle of Chancellorsville. Many of the awards during the Civil War were for capturing or saving regimental flags. During the Civil War, regimental flags served as the rallying point for the unit, and guided the unit's movements. Loss of the flag could greatly disrupt a unit, and could have a greater effect than the death of the commanding officer.

Summary of the battle[edit | edit source]

The Battle of Chancellorsville was a major battle of the American Civil War, and the principal engagement of the Chancellorsville Campaign. The Chancellorsville Campaign began with the crossing of the Rappahannock River by the Union army on the morning of April 27, 1863. Union cavalry under Maj. Gen. George Stoneman began a long distance raid against Lee's supply lines at about the same time. This operation was completely ineffectual. Crossing the Rapidan River via Germanna and Ely's Fords, the Federal infantry concentrated near Chancellorsville on April 30. Combined with the Union force facing Fredericksburg, Hooker planned a double envelopment, attacking Lee from both his front and rear. During the battle, Lt. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson was mortally wounded by friendly fire.

The fiercest fighting of the battle—and the second bloodiest day of the Civil War—occurred on May 3 as Lee launched multiple attacks against the Union position at Chancellorsville, resulting in heavy losses on both sides. That same day, Sedgwick advanced across the Rappahannock River, defeated the small Confederate force at Marye's Heights in the Second Battle of Fredericksburg, and then moved to the west. The Confederates fought a successful delaying action at the Battle of Salem Church and by May 4 had driven back Sedgwick's men to Banks' Ford, surrounding them on three sides. Sedgwick withdrew across the ford early on May 5, and Hooker withdrew the remainder of his army across U.S. Ford the night of May 5–6. The campaign ended on May 7 when Stoneman's cavalry reached Union lines east of Richmond.

During the battle Confederate forces engaged with 60,000 men of which 13,303 became casualties (1,665 killed, 9,081 wounded, 2,018 missing),.[1] This amounted to a loss of some 22% of the confederate forces their most aggressive field commander, Stonewall Jackson.[2][3]

Of the 133,000 Union men engaged in the battle, 17,197 were casualties (1,606 killed, 9,672 wounded and 5,919 missing).[1][3][4]

Medal of Honor[edit | edit source]

The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government and is bestowed on a member of the United States armed forces who distinguishes himself "…conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States…" Due to the nature of this medal, it is commonly presented posthumously.[5]

Twenty six men would receive the Medal of Honor for their actions in this battle.

Image Name Service Rank Date of action Notes
Boody, RobertRobert Boody Army E-05Sergeant May 5, 1862 and May 2, 1863 Received the medal for actions at Chancellorsville as well as the Battle of Williamsburg a year earlier.
Thomas W. Bradley.jpg Bradley, Thomas W.Thomas W. Bradley Army E-05Sergeant May 3, 1863 Volunteered in response to a call and alone, in the face of a heavy fire of musketry and canister, went and procured ammunition for the use of his comrades.
Brannigan, FelixFelix Brannigan Army E-01Private May 2, 1863 Volunteered on a dangerous service and brought in valuable information.
Bucklyn, John K.John K. Bucklyn Army O-02First Lieutenant May 3, 1863 Though himself wounded, gallantly fought his section of the battery under a fierce fire from the enemy until his ammunition was all expended, many of the cannoneers and most of the horses killed or wounded, and the enemy within 25 yards of the guns, when, disabling one piece, he brought off the other in safety.
Head and torso of a white man with bushy beard wearing a wide-brimmed hat and a dark jacket. The right sleeve of the jacket is hanging empty. Chase, John F.John F. Chase Army E-01Private May 3, 1863 Nearly all the officers and men of the battery having been killed or wounded, this soldier with a comrade continued to fire his gun after the guns had ceased. The piece was then dragged off by the two, the horses having been shot, and its capture by the enemy was prevented.
Cranston, William W.William W. Cranston Army E-01Private May 2, 1863 One of a party of 4 who voluntarily brought in a wounded Confederate officer from within the enemy's line in the face of a constant fire.
Hubert Dilger CDV by Frederics c1860s.JPG Dilger, HubertHubert Dilger Army O-03Captain May 2, 1863 Fought his guns until the enemy were upon him, then with one gun hauled in the road by hand he formed the rear guard and kept the enemy at bay by the rapidity of his fire and was the last man in the retreat.
Frick, Jacob G.Jacob G. Frick Army O-06Colonel December 13, 1862 and May 3, 1863 At Fredericksburg seized the colors and led the command through a terrible fire of cannon and musketry. In a hand-to-hand fight at Chancellorsville, recaptured the colors of his regiment. Also received a part of the Battle of Fredericksburg several months earlier.
Gion, JosephJoseph Gion Army E-01Private May 2, 1863 Voluntarily and under heavy fire advanced toward the enemy's lines and secured valuable information.
Goodman, William E.William E. Goodman Army O-02First Lieutenant May 3, 1863 Rescued the colors of the 107th Ohio Volunteers from the enemy.
Heermance, William L.William L. Heermance Army O-03Captain Apr 30, 1863 Took command of the regiment as its senior officer when surrounded by Stuart's Cavalry. The regiment cut its way through the enemy's line and escaped but Capt. Heermance was desperately wounded, left for dead on the field and was taken prisoner.
Heller, HenryHenry Heller Army E-05Sergeant May 2, 1863 One of a party of 4 who, under heavy fire, voluntarily brought into the Union lines a wounded Confederate officer from whom was obtained valuable information concerning the position of the enemy.
Jacobson, Eugene P.Eugene P. Jacobson Army E-09Sergeant Major May 2, 1863 Bravery in conducting a scouting party in front of the enemy.
Luty, GotliebGotlieb Luty Army E-04Corporal May 3, 1863 Bravely advanced to the enemy's line under heavy fire and brought back valuable information.
Head and shoulders of a young white man with wavy hair and a mustache, wearing a double-breasted military jacket with a rectangular patch over each shoulder. Miles, Nelson A.Nelson A. Miles Army O-06Colonel May 2, 1863 – May 3, 1863 Holding with his command an advanced position against repeated assaults by the enemy.
Portrait of a white man with wavy hair and a long, forked beard, wearing a suit. Mulholland, St. Clair A.St. Clair A. Mulholland Army O-04Major May 4, 1863 – May 5, 1863 In command of the picket line held the enemy in check all night to cover the retreat of the Army.
ONeill, StephenStephen O'Neill Army E-04Corporal May 1, 1863 Took up the colors from the hands of the color bearer who had been shot down and bore them through the remainder of the battle.
Oss, AlbertAlbert Oss Army E-01Private May 3, 1863 Remained in the rifle pits after the others had retreated, firing constantly, and contesting the ground step by step.
Sacriste, Louis J.Louis J. Sacriste Army O-02First Lieutenant May 3, 1863 and Oct 14, 1863 Saved from capture a gun of the 5th Maine Battery. Voluntarily carried orders which resulted in saving from destruction or capture the picket line of the 1st Division, 2d Army Corps. Also received as part of actions from the Second Battle of Auburn later in 1863.
Sartwell, HenryHenry Sartwell Army E-05Sergeant May 3, 1863 Was severely wounded by a gunshot in his left arm, went half a mile to the rear but insisted on returning to his company and continue to fight bravely until he became exhausted from the loss of blood and was compelled to retire from the field.
Seaman, Elisha B.Elisha B. Seaman Army E-01Private May 2, 1863 Was 1 of party of 4 who voluntarily brought into the Union lines, under fire, a wounded Confederate officer from whom was obtained valuable information concerning the enemy.
SEWELL, William J (BEP engraved portrait).jpg Sewell, William J.William J. Sewell Army O-06Colonel May 3, 1863 For assuming command of the brigade, rallying the troops, and remaining in command though wounded.
75px Taylor, Forrester L.Forrester L. Taylor Army O-03Captain May 3, 1863
Thompson, Thomas W.Thomas W. Thompson Army E-05Sergeant May 2, 1863 One of a party of 4 who voluntarily brought into the Union lines, under fire, a wounded Confederate officer from whom was obtained valuable information concerning the enemy.
Thomson, CliffordClifford Thomson Army O-02First Lieutenant May 2, 1863 Volunteered to ascertain the character of approaching troops; rode up so closely as to distinguish the features of the enemy, and as he wheeled to return they opened fire with musketry, the Union troops returning same. Under a terrific fire from both sides Lieutenant Thomson rode back unhurt to the Federal lines, averting a disaster to the Army by his heroic act.
Tracy, William G.William G. Tracy Army O-01Second Lieutenant May 2, 1863 Having been sent outside the lines to obtain certain information of great importance and having succeeded in his mission, was surprised upon his return by a large force of the enemy, regaining the Union lines only after greatly imperiling his life.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Eicher, p. 488. Casualties cited are for the full campaign. Sears, pp. 492, 501, cites 17,304 Union (1,694 killed, 9,672 wounded, and 5,938 missing) and 13,460 Confederate (1,724 killed, 9,233 wounded, and 2,503 missing).
  2. Smith, p. 127.
  3. 3.0 3.1 The dates for the battle vary by historian. The National Park Service cites the period from the Union army's establishing a presence on the battlefield (April 30) until its retreat (May 6). McPherson, p. 643, cites May 2 to 6. Livermore, p. 98, May 1 to 4. McGowen, p. 392, May 2 to 3. The full Chancellorsville Campaign lasted from April 27 to May 7.
  4. 133,868 Union troops and 60,892 Confederate troops according to Bigelow, pp. 132-136 and Eicher, p. 475; Furgurson, p. 88, Kennedy, p. 197: "about 130,000 to 60,000."; Salmon, p. 173: "more than 133,000 ... about 60,000." The NPS states Union 97,382, Confederate 57,352.
  5. Defense link Medal of Honor history

Further reading[edit | edit source]

  • Porter, David D. The Naval History of the Civil War Castle, Secaucus, NJ, 1984, ISBN 0-89009-575-2.

External links[edit | edit source]

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