Victoria_Cross_of_canada

THE

 

TO THE VICTORIA & GEORGE CROSS

COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE

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b. 16/12/1830 New Hanover, Pennsylvania.  d. 17/10/1889 Norristown, Pennsylvania.

 

DATE OF MOH ACTION: 21/07/1861 Bull Run, Virginia.

 

Civil War Union Brigadier General, Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient, 17th Pennsylvania Governor. Born at New Hanover Township, Pennsylvania, he spent his youth in the suburbs of Philadelphia. He attended Marshall College in Virginia, and in 1853 was graduated from Union College in New York. Trained as a civil engineer, he switched to politics and law; becoming a deputy sheriff of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, in 1854, and in 1860 he was called to the bar. Shortly before the outbreak of Civil War he was named Colonel of the 1st Regiment, Montgomery County Militia. In spring 1861 his outfit became a 90-day volunteer regiment. Sent to Washington D.C., it accompanied Brigadier General Irvin McDowell's advance to Manassas Junction, Virginia, in mid-July. On the eve of First Bull Run, however, the regiment turned its back on the enemy and marched home, its enlistment period over, despite McDowell's plea that it remain for the battle. Humiliated by his men's decision, he stayed with the army, an act that won him the Medal of Honor. After Bull Run, he raised the 51st Pennsylvania Infantry, of which he became Colonel in November 1861. The 51st served for a time in North Carolina, mainly on occupation duty. At Antietam, on September 17, 1862, it braved a storm of rifle and cannon fire to cross Burnside Bridge and threaten the Confederate right flank. By February 1863 he was commanding a brigade in the IX Corps, Army of the Potomacp; later he led a comparable unit in the Army of the Ohio. After exercising divisional command several times temporarily, he took permanent charge of the 3rd Division, IX Corps, leading it competently during many of the Army of the Potomac's final battles. He was particularly conspicuous at Spotsylvania while still in brigade command, winning the star of a Brigadier General, and as a division leader at Fort Stedman, where his role in helping repulse General Robert E. Lee's last offensive made him a brevet Major General of Volunteers. After the war he was appointed a special Provost Marshal during the trial of those accused in President Abraham Lincoln's assassination. Returning to civilian life, he was Auditor General, then served two terms as Governor of Pennsylvania, from 1873 to 1879. In 1879 he became Postmaster of Philadelphia and from 1881 to 1885 he was collector of the city port. He was awarded his Medal of Honor on August 26, 1886.

 

MOH CITATION:

 

Voluntarily served as an aide and participated in the battle after expiration of his term of service, distinguishing himself in rallying several regiments which had been thrown into confusion.

 

BURIAL LOCATION: MONTGOMERY CEMETERY, MONTGOMERY, PENNSYLVANIA.

Section S

John Frederick Hartranft

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