This is a complete list of Medal of Honor recipients for the Third battle of Petersburg.
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.
Sixty men would receive the Medal of Honor for their actions in this battle. More than 15 medals were presented to soldiers who risked their lives to capture the Confederate unit flags including Lieutenant William Brant who captured the battle flag of 46th North Carolina (C.S.A.).[n 1]
Third battle of Petersburg[edit | edit source]
The Third Battle of Petersburg, also known as the Breakthrough at Petersburg or the Fall of Petersburg, was fought on April 2, 1865, south and southwest of Petersburg, Virginia. The battle came at the end of the 292-day Richmond–Petersburg Campaign and in the beginning stage of the Appomattox Campaign near the conclusion of the American Civil War. The Union Army (Army of the Potomac, Army of the Shenandoah and Army of the James) under the overall command of General-in-chief, Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant, launched an assault on General Robert E. Lee's Confederate Army of Northern Virginia's Petersburg, Virginia trenches and fortifications after the Union victory at the Battle of Five Forks on April 1, 1865. As a result of that battle the Confederate right flank and rear were exposed, and the remaining supply lines cut, and the Confederate defenders were reduced by over 10,000 men killed, wounded, taken prisoner or in flight.
The thinly held Confederate lines at Petersburg had been stretched to the breaking point by earlier Union movements that extended those lines beyond the ability of the Confederates to man them adequately and by desertions and casualties from recent battles. As the much larger Union forces assaulted the lines, desperate Confederate defenders held off the Union breakthrough long enough for Confederate government officials and most of the remaining Confederate army, including local defense forces and some Confederate Navy personnel, to flee Petersburg and the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia during the night of April 2–3. Confederate corps commander Lieutenant General A.P. Hill was killed during the fighting.
Union soldiers occupied Richmond and Petersburg on April 3, 1865, but most of the Union Army pursued the Army of Northern Virginia until they surrounded it, forcing Robert E. Lee to surrender that army on April 9, 1865 after the Battle of Appomattox Court House, Virginia.
|Name||Service||Rank||Date of action||Notes|
|Abner P. Allen||Army||Corporal||Apr 2, 1865||Gallantry as color bearer in the assault on Fort Gregg.|
|Andrew O. Apple||Army||Corporal||Apr 2, 1865||Conspicuous gallantry as color bearer in the assault on Fort Gregg.|
|William J. Babcock||Army||Sergeant||Apr 2, 1865||Planted the flag upon the parapet while the enemy still occupied the line; was the first of his regiment to enter the works.|
|James A. Barber||Army||Corporal||Apr 2, 1865||Was one of a detachment of 20 picked artillerymen who voluntarily accompanied an infantry assaulting party, and who turned upon the enemy the guns captured in the assault.|
|William R. D. Blackwood||Army||Surgeon||Apr 2, 1865||Removed severely wounded officers and soldiers from the field while under a heavy fire from the enemy, exposing himself beyond the call of duty, thus furnishing an example of most distinguished gallantry.|
|Milton Blickensderfer||Army||Corporal||Apr 3, 1865||Capture of flag|
|John W. Boutwell||Army||Private||Apr 2, 1865||Brought off from the picket line, under heavy fire, a comrade who had been shot through both legs.|
|William Brant||Army||Lieutenant||Apr 3, 1865||Capture of battle flag of 46th North Carolina (C.S.A.).|
|Elijah A. Briggs||Army||Corporal||Apr 3, 1865||Capture of battle flag.|
|John E. Buffington||Army||Sergeant||Apr 2, 1865||Was the first enlisted man of the 3d Division to mount the parapet of the enemy's line.|
|Carlton N. Camp||Army||Private||Apr 2, 1865||Brought off from the picket line, under heavy fire, a comrade who had been shot through both legs.|
|John Corcoran||Army||Private||Apr 2, 1865||Was one of a detachment of 20 picked artillerymen who voluntarily accompanied an infantry assaulting party, and who turned upon the enemy the guns captured in the assault.|
|Josiah M. Curtis||Army||Second Lieutenant||Apr 2, 1865||Seized the colors of his regiment after 2 color bearers had fallen, bore them gallantly, and was among the first to gain a foothold, with his flag, inside the enemy's works.|
|Charles W. Dolloff||Army||Corporal||Apr 2, 1865||Capture of flag.|
|Charles D. Ennis||Army||Private||Apr 2, 1865||Was one of a detachment of 20 picked artillerymen who voluntarily accompanied an infantry assaulting party and who turned upon the enemy the guns captured in the assault.|
|John C. Ewing||Army||Private||Apr 2, 1865||Captured the enemy flag.|
|Frank E. Fesq||Army||Private||Apr 2, 1865||Capture of flag of 18th North Carolina (C.S.A.) within the enemy's works.|
|Joseph Fisher||Army||Corporal||Apr 2, 1865||Carried the colors 50 yards in advance of his regiment, and after being painfully wounded attempted to crawl into the enemy's works in an endeavor to plant his flag thereon.|
|William R. Fox||Army||Private||Apr 2, 1865||Bravely assisted in the capture of one of the enemy's guns; with the first troops to enter the city, captured the flag of the Confederate customhouse.|
|Robert J. Gardner||Army||Sergeant||Apr 2, 1865||Was among the first to enter Fort Gregg, clearing his way by using his musket on the heads of the enemy.|
|Wesley Gibbs||Army||Sergeant||Apr 2, 1865||Capture of flag.|
|Charles G. Gould||Army||Captain||Apr 2, 1865||Among the first to mount the enemy's works in the assault, he received a serious bayonet wound in the face, was struck several times with clubbed muskets, but bravely stood his ground, and with his sword killed the man who bayoneted him.|
|Lester G. Hack||Army||Sergeant||Apr 2, 1865||Capture of flag of 23d Tennessee Infantry (C.S.A.) with several of the enemy.|
|Amzi D. Harmon||Army||Corporal||Apr 2, 1865||Capture of flag.|
|John H. Havron||Army||Sergeant||Apr 2, 1865||Was one of a detachment of 20 picket artillerymen who voluntarily accompanied an infantry assaulting party and who turned upon the enemy the guns captured in the assault.|
|Patrick Highland||Army||Corporal||Apr 2, 1865||Conspicuous gallantry as color bearer in the assault on Fort Gregg.|
|Thomas W. Hoffman||Army||Captain||Apr 2, 1865||Prevented a retreat of his regiment during the battle.|
|James Howard||Army||Sergeant||Apr 2, 1865||Carried the colors in advance of the line of battle, the flagstaff being shot off while he was planting it on the parapet of the fort.|
|Charles A. Hunter||Army||Sergeant||Apr 2, 1865||In the assault on Fort Gregg, bore the regimental flag bravely and was among the foremost to enter the work.|
|Isaac James||Army||Private||Apr 2, 1865||Capture of flag.|
|John Kane||Army||Corporal||Apr 2, 1865||Gallantry as color bearer in the assault on Fort Gregg.|
|Samuel E. Lewis||Army||Corporal||Apr 2, 1865||Was one of a detachment of 20 picked artillerymen who voluntarily accompanied an infantry assaulting party and who turned upon the enemy the guns captured in the assault.|
|John Lilley||Army||Private||Apr 2, 1865||After his regiment began to waiver he rushed on alone to capture the enemy flag. He reached the works and the Confederate color bearer who, at bayonet point, he caused to surrender with several enemy soldiers. He kept his prisoners in tow when they realized he was alone as his regiment in the meantime withdrew further to the rear.|
|George Loyd||Army||Private||April 2, 1865||Capture of division flag of General Heth|
|Richard C. Mangam||Army||Private||Apr 2, 1865||Capture of flag of 8th Mississippi Infantry (C.S.A.)|
|Charles Marquette||Army||Sergeant||Apr 2, 1865||Sergeant Marquette, although wounded, was one of the first to plant colors on the enemy's breastworks.|
|John C. Matthews||Army||Corporal||Apr 2, 1865||Voluntarily took the colors, whose bearer had been disabled, and, although himself severely wounded, carried the same until the enemy's works were taken.|
|Joseph McCauslln||Army||Private||Apr 2, 1865||Conspicuous gallantry as color bearer in the assault on Fort Gregg.|
|Thomas McGraw||Army||Sergeant||Apr 2, 1865||One of the three soldiers most conspicuous for gallantry in the final assault.|
|George McKee||Army||Color Sergeant||Apr 2, 1865||Gallantry as color bearer in the assault on Fort Gregg|
|Francis M. McMillen||Army||Sergeant||Apr 2, 1865||Capture of flag.|
|Augustus Merrill||Army||Captain||Apr 2, 1865||With 6 men, captured 69 Confederate prisoners and recaptured several soldiers who had fallen into the enemy's hands.|
|Theodore Mitchell||Army||Private||Apr 2, 1865||Capture of the flag of the Tennessee Brigade (C.S.A.).|
|Archibald Molbone||Army||Sergeant||Apr 2, 1865||Was one of a detachment of 20 picked artillerymen who voluntarily accompanied an infantry assaulting party and who turned upon the enemy the guns captured in the assault.|
|Robert L. Orr||Army||Major||Apr 2, 1865||Carried the colors at the head of the column in the assault after two color bearers had been shot down.|
|Thomas Parker||Army||Corporal||Apr 2, 1865||Planted the first color on the enemy's works. Carried the regimental colors over the creek after the regiment had broken and been repulsed. Also received for actions in the Battle of Sayler's Creek, Virginia Apr 6, 1865|
|William Plimley||Army||First Lieutenant||Apr 2, 1865||While acting as aide to a general officer, voluntarily accompanied a regiment in an assault on the enemy's works and acted as leader of the movement which resulted in the rout of the enemy and the capture of a large number of prisoners.|
|George W. Potter||Army||Private||Apr 2, 1865||Was one of a detachment of 20 picked artillerymen who voluntarily accompanied an infantry assaulting party, and who turned upon the enemy the guns captured in the assault.|
|Charles A. Reeder||Army||Private||Apr 2, 1865||Capture of flag|
|Jackson Sargent||Army||Sergeant||Apr 2, 1865||First to scale the enemy's works and plant the colors thereon.|
|Frank Shubert||Army||Sergeant||Apr 2, 1865||Capture of two markers.|
|William J. Sperry||Army||Major||Apr 2, 1865||With the assistance of a few men, captured 2 pieces of artillery and turned them upon the enemy.|
|Freeman C. Thompson||Army||Corporal||Apr 2, 1865||Was twice knocked from the parapet of Fort Gregg by blows from the enemy muskets but at the third attempt fought his way into the works.|
|Charles H. Tracy||Army||Sergeant||Apr 2, 1865||At the risk of his own life, at Spotsylvania, 12 May 1864, assisted in carrying to a place of safety a wounded and helpless officer. Also received for actions in Petersburg, Virginia.|
|Allen Tucker||Army||Sergeant||Apr 2, 1865||Was 1 of the 3 soldiers most conspicuous in the final assault.|
|Jacob. R. Tucker||Army||Corporal||Apr 1, 1865||Gallantry in action.|
|Joseph Van Matre||Army||Private||Apr 2, 1865||In the assault on Fort Gregg, this soldier climbed upon the parapet and fired down into the fort as fast as the loaded guns could be passed up to him by comrades.|
|Richard Welch||Army||Corporal||Apr 2, 1865||Capture of flag.|
|Adam White||Army||Corporal||Apr 2, 1865||Capture of flag.|
|Francis A. Wilson||Army||Corporal||Apr 2, 1865||Was among the first to penetrate the enemy's lines and himself captured a gun of the 2 batteries captured.|
Notes[edit | edit source]
- 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.
References[edit | edit source]
- "A Brief History — The Medal of Honor". United States Department of Defense. http://archive.defense.gov/faq/pis/med_of_honor.aspx.
- "Medal of Honor recipients". Civil War (A-L) Medal of Honor Recipients. United States Army Center of Military History. July 29, 2013. http://www.history.army.mil/html/moh/civwaral.html. Retrieved April 22, 2017.
- "Medal of Honor recipients". Civil War (M-Z) Medal of Honor Recipients. United States Army Center of Military History. June 27, 2011. http://www.history.army.mil/html/moh/civwarmz.html. Retrieved April 22, 2017.
Bibliography[edit | edit source]
- Bonekemper, Edward H., III. A Victor, Not a Butcher: Ulysses S. Grant's Overlooked Military Genius. Washington, DC: Regnery, 2004. ISBN 0-89526-062-X.
- Kennedy, Frances H., ed. The Civil War Battlefield Guide. 2nd ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1998. ISBN 0-395-74012-6.
- Salmon, John S. The Official Virginia Civil War Battlefield Guide. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 2001. ISBN 0-8117-2868-4.
- Trudeau, Noah Andre. The Last Citadel: Petersburg, Virginia, June 1864 – April 1865. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1991. ISBN 0-8071-1861-3.
[edit | edit source]
- "Medal of Honor recipients". Listing of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen who received the Medal of Honor during World War II. United States Army Center of Military History. March 21, 2016. http://www.history.army.mil/moh/index.html. Retrieved April 22, 2017.