Battle of Antietam Medals of Honor

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Battle of Antietam and the Medal of Honor

Battle of Antietam Medals of Honor

A total of 1,520 Medals of Honor were awarded during the American Civil War. Twenty men received Medals for their gallantry on the Battle of Antietam. Eight of the twenty men were awarded the Medal for either capturing or saving flags.

The Medal of Honor Today
A total of 3,459 Medals of Honor
have been awarded. Only three Medals of Honor have been awarded since the Vietnam War. These three were bestowed posthumously to Army Master Sgt. Gary I. Gordon and Army Sgt. 1st Class Randall D. Shughart for valor in Somalia in 1993, and posthumously to the most recent recipient, Army Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith for valor in Iraq.

To be awarded a Medal today the individual must be in combat as a member of the Armed Forces of the United States. The act of bravery must be: 1) proved by incontestable evidence of at least two eyewitnesses; 2) clearly distinguishes gallantry beyond the call of duty; 3) involve the risk of life. Today the Medal of Honor stands at the top of a pyramid of awards, reserved for the bravest of the brave.

Morning Phase


Approximate Area of the Battlefield Action
1 Beyer, Hillary
2nd Lieutenant
90th PA
East Woods Cared for wounded comrades
2 Cleveland, Charles F. Private 26th NY
East Woods Carried colors into action after color bearer had been shot
3 Cook, John
Bat B, 4th U.S.
Just west of the Cornfield 15 year old, acted as cannoneer under severe fire
4 Gresser, Ignatz
128th PA
Cornfield Carried wounded comrade from the field
5 Hogarty, William P.
23rd NY
Just west of the Cornfield Assisted Battery B, 4th US Artillery
6 Johnson, Samuel
9th PA
North Woods/
Wounded while capturing two colors
7 Murphy, John P.
5th OH
Dunker Church
Captured flag of 13th AL
8 Orth, Jacob G.
28th PA

Dunker Church

Captured flag supposedly of the 7th SC
9 Paul, William
90th PA
East Woods Carried colors into action after color bearer had been shot
Midday Phase
10 Child, Benjamin H.
Bat A, 1st RI
Just behind todays Visitor Center Wounded, but returned to command his cannon
11 Greig, Theodore W.
2nd Lieutenant
61st NY
Bloody Lane Captured flag although wounded
in the neck
12 Tanner, Charles B.
2nd Lieutenant
1st DE
Bloody Lane Wounded 3 times while recovering his regiment's colors
13 Wright, Samuel C.
29th MA
Just north of
Bloody Lane
Removed fence blocking advance while under fire
Afternoon Phase
14 Haskell, Marcus M.
35th MA
Burnside Bridge Carried wounded comrade from field even though he was wounded
15 Libaire, Adolphe
9th NY
High ground west
of Burnside Bridge
Carried colors after entire color guard was shot down
16 Whitman, Frank M.
35th MA
Burnside Bridge Instrumental in saving lives of several comrades
Other Events
17 Carter, John
2nd Lieutenant
33rd NY
Irwin, VI
Just east of Dunker
Led counter-charge
18 Curran, Richard
Asst. Surgeon
33rd NY
Irwin, VI
Just east of Dunker
Voluntarily carried wounded comrades from the battle line
19 Greene, Oliver D.
Lt. Colonel
Asst. Adj. Gen.
to Franklin/VI
East Woods Formed lines under heavy fire
20 Hyde, Thomas
7th ME
Irwin, VI
Piper Farm south
of Bloody Lane
Led assault on a strong body of the enemy's infantry

Sources: Antietam Battlefield Board; Antietam National Battlefield Park; National Park Service; United States Department of Veterans Affairs; Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies.

Recommended Reading: Heroes: U.S. Army Medal of Honor Recipients (Hardcover). Description: The honored few...From the bloody fields of the Civil War to the global conflicts of the modern age, here are the stories of 100 Army Medal of Honor winners. Since its Revolution-era formation as the Continental Army, the United States Army has earned a hard-won reputation for duty, courage, and brotherhood. But there are those whose exploits in combat have set them apart, earning them the most sacred and honored citation there is-the Medal of Honor. Continued below... 

From the killing fields of the Civil War, through World Wars I and II, to the jungles of Vietnam and America's fight against terrorism around the world, this comprehensive book features detailed information on 100 Army Corps Medal of Honor recipients-including many lesser-known recipients-whose courage and sacrifice in the service of their country remain the foundations of the United States Army. Their achievements are chronicled in this complete and compelling memorial of those who have earned the right to be called "The Bravest of the Brave."

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Recommended Reading: Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam (Pivotal Moments in American History) (Hardcover). Description: The bloodiest day in United States history was September 17, 1862, when, during the Civil War battle at Antietam, approximately 6,500 soldiers were killed or mortally wounded, while more than 15,000 were seriously wounded. James M. McPherson states in Crossroads of Freedom the concise chronicle of America’s bloodiest day and that it may well have been the pivotal moment of the war, as well as the young republic itself. Continued below...

The South, after a series of setbacks in the spring of 1862, had reversed the war's momentum during the summer, and was on the "brink of military victory" and about to achieve diplomatic recognition by European nations, most notably England and France. Though the bulk of his book concerns itself with the details--and incredible carnage--of the battle, McPherson raises it above typical military histories by placing it in its socio-political context: The victory prodded Abraham Lincoln to announce his "preliminary" Emancipation Proclamation, freeing slaves. England and France deferred their economic alliance with the battered secessionists. Most importantly, it kept Lincoln's party, the Republicans, in control of Congress. McPherson's account is accessible, elegant, and economical. Also available in paperback: Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam (Pivotal Moments in American History)


Recommended Reading: The Antietam Campaign (Military Campaigns of the Civil War). Description: The Maryland campaign of September 1862 ranks among the most important military operations of the American Civil War. Crucial political, diplomatic, and military issues were at stake as Robert E. Lee and George B. McClellan maneuvered and fought in the western part of the state. The climactic clash came on September 17 at the battle of Antietam, where more than 23,000 men fell in the single bloodiest day of the war. Continued below...

Approaching topics related to Lee's and McClellan's operations from a variety of perspectives, numerous contributors to this volume explore questions regarding military leadership, strategy, and tactics, the impact of the fighting on officers and soldiers in both armies, and the ways in which participants and people behind the lines interpreted and remembered the campaign. They also discuss the performance of untried military units and offer a look at how the United States Army used the Antietam battlefield as an outdoor classroom for its officers in the early twentieth century. Also available in paperback: The Antietam Campaign (Military Campaigns of the Civil War)


Recommended Reading: Fields of Honor: Pivotal Battles of the Civil War, by Edwin C. Bearss (Author), James McPherson (Introduction). Description: Bearss, a former chief historian of the National Parks Service and internationally recognized American Civil War historian, chronicles 14 crucial battles, including Fort Sumter, Shiloh, Antietam, Gettysburg, Vicksburg, Chattanooga, Sherman's march through the Carolinas, and Appomattox--the battles ranging between 1861 and 1865; included is an introductory chapter describing John Brown's raid in October 1859. Bearss describes the terrain, tactics, strategies, personalities, the soldiers and the commanders. (He personalizes the generals and politicians, sergeants and privates.) Continued below...

The text is augmented by 80 black-and-white photographs and 19 maps. It is like touring the battlefields without leaving home. A must for every one of America's countless Civil War buffs, this major work will stand as an important reference and enduring legacy of a great historian for generations to come. Also available in hardcover: Fields of Honor: Pivotal Battles of the Civil War .


Recommended Reading: The Civil War Battlefield Guide: The Definitive Guide, Completely Revised, with New Maps and More Than 300 Additional Battles (Second Edition) (Hardcover). Description: This new edition of the definitive guide to Civil War battlefields is really a completely new book. While the first edition covered 60 major battlefields, from Fort Sumter to Appomattox, the second covers all of the 384 designated as the "principal battlefields" in the American Civil War Sites Advisory Commission Report.

As in the first edition, the essays are authoritative and concise, written by such leading Civil War historians as James M. McPherson, Stephen W. Sears, Edwin C. Bearss, James I. Robinson, Jr., and Gary W. Gallager. The second edition also features 83 new four-color maps covering the most important battles. The Civil War Battlefield Guide is an essential reference for anyone interested in the Civil War.




Try the Search Engine for Related Studies: Battle of Antietam Medal of Honor Winners, Recipients List of Civil War Soldiers Medals for Capturing Saving Flags Names, Congressional Medal of Honor Military Winner Details, History Results, Facts

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