b. 14/11/1844 Boston, Massachusetts. d. 08/05/1892 New York.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 03/07/1863 Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
De Castro was born in Boston, Massachusetts. Upon the outbreak of the Civil War, he was among the men who joined the all-volunteer 19th Massachusetts Infantry.
De Castro bore the Flag of Massachusetts for Company I, 19th Massachusetts Infantry. The unit participated in the Battle of Gettysburg at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania as part of the III Corps, 3rd Brigade, U.S. Army under the command of Colonel Norman J. Hall. On July 3, 1863, the third and last day of the battle, his unit participated in what became known as Pickett's Charge. The charge was a disastrous infantry assault ordered by Confederate General Robert E. Lee against Major General George G. Meade's Union positions on Cemetery Ridge.
During the battle, De Castro attacked a Confederate flag bearer from the 19th Virginia Infantry regiment, with the staff of his own colors and seized the opposing regiment's flag, handing the prize over to General Alexander S. Webb. General Webb is quoted as saying, "At the instant a man broke through my lines and thrust a rebel battle flag into my hands. He never said a word and darted back. It was Corporal Joseph H. De Castro, one of my color bearers. He had knocked down a color bearer in the enemy's line with the staff of the Massachusetts State colors, seized the falling flag and dashed it to me". On December 1, 1864, De Castro was one of seven men from the 19th Massachusetts Infantry to be awarded the Medal of Honor.
Capture of flag of 19th Virginia regiment (C.S).
BURIAL LOCATION: FAIRMOUNT CEMETERY, NEWARK, NEW JERSEY.
Section 2, Lot 300, Grave 2
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