b. 13/07/1839 Syracuse, New York. d. 15/08/1915 Wilmington, Delaware.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 15/01/1865 Fort Fisher, North Carolina.
Wainwright volunteered for service in the Union Army in April 1861 as a private in Company G, 2nd Pennsylvania Infantry. After completing his 90-day enlistment, Wainwright joined the 97th Pennsylvania Infantry as a private. He rose rapidly in the ranks becoming First Sergeant and then being commissioned as Second Lieutenant and promoted to First Lieutenant.
On January 15, 1865, the North Carolina Confederate stronghold of Fort Fisher was taken by a combined Union storming party of sailors, marines, and soldiers under the command of Admiral David Dixon Porter and General Alfred Terry. Wainwright was a brevet lieutenant colonel and was in command of the 97th Pennsylvania Infantry because the 97th's colonel, Galusha Pennypacker, was leading a brigade. Both Wainwright and Pennypacker were wounded in the assault on Fort Fisher.
In addition to the Medal of Honor, Wainwright was cited for gallantry at the Battle of Chaffin's Farm on October 7, 1864. He was wounded at James Island on June 12, 1862. Wainwright was promoted to colonel of the 97th Pennsylvania on June 1, 1865. He mustered out of the army at Weldon, North Carolina on August 28, 1865.
After the war, he became a companion of the District of Columbia Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States.
For The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to First Lieutenant John Wainwright, United States Army, for gallant and meritorious conduct on 15 January 1865, while serving with Company F, 97th Pennsylvania Infantry, in action at Fort Fisher, North Carolina, where, as first lieutenant, he commanded the regiment.
BURIAL LOCATION: ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY, ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA.
Section 2, Grave 1061
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