Early Medal of Honor

The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States​. It is generally presented by the president of the United States in the name of Congress and thus is often called the Congressional Medal of Honor. There are twenty-seven known SAR members who have received the nation’s highest military award.

Medal of Honor Recipients

1862
1968
  • Rufus Saxton, US Civil War

    May-June 1862

    Rufus Saxton was born October 19, 1824, in Greenfield, Massachusetts. He attended Deerfield Academy and worked on the family farm until he received an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point at the age of twenty. He graduated with the Class of 1849 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Artillery Branch.

    Before the Civil War, Saxton served in the 3rd Artillery in Florida against the Seminole Indians, and then on General George B. McClellan’s staff surveying the uncharted Rocky Mountains ahead of the Northern Pacific Railroad. From 1855 to 1859, he served at several posts with the Coastal Survey in the East. It was during this period of time he made improvement in the instruments for deep-sea soundings. He patented a self-registering thermostat which bears his name. In 1859, Saxton became an instructor of artillery tactics at West Point.

    When the Civil War began in 1861, Saxton was in command of an artillery detachment at the St. Louis Arsenal. After supporting General Nathaniel Lyon in dispersing the Confederate sympathizing Missouri State Guard at Camp Jackson, Saxton became General Lyon’s Chief Quartermaster. Later, he joined General George B. McClellan’s staff in West Virginia and later accompanied the Port Royal Expedition as Quartermaster. He was appointed brigadier general of U.S. volunteers as of April 15, 1862, and commanded the defenses of Harpers Ferry in May and June, where he earned the Medal of Honor for “Distinguished gallantry and good conduct in the defense.” General Saxton was awarded the Medal of Honor on April 25, 1893.

    For the remainder of the Civil War, Saxton commanded at various locations in the South with numerous titles. His principal occupation was the enlistment and organization of Negroes, principally ex-slaves, into the Federal Army. At the end of the war, he became acting assistant commissioner for the states of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida in the newly created Freedman’s Bureau. In January 1866, Major General Rufus Saxton was mustered out of the volunteer service. He lived in Washington, D.C., until his death on February 23, 1908. He was eighty-three years old. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery and is honored with a private memorial.

    He signed his SAR application as “Rufus Saxton, Brevet Major General, U.S. Volunteers,” in January 1893. His SAR National number is 6917 and his District of Columbia Society number is 417. His application lists two SAR patriot ancestors: his great-grandfather David Saxton (Sexton) of Deerfield, Massachusetts, a private in Massachusetts Militia, Magistrate, and Member of the Massachusetts Legislature; and his great-grandfather Salmon White of Whately, Massachusetts, a sergeant in the 6th Massachusetts, later an ensign and lieutenant in the Massachusetts Regiment.

  • Orlando Bolivar Willcox, US Civil War

    19 August 1862

    Orlando Bolivar Willcox was born on April 26, 1823, in Detroit, Michigan. He graduated eighth in his class from West Point in 1847. Following graduation, he served in garrisons in Mexico City and Cuernavaca at the close of Mexican War and then served in garrisons in the New Mexico Territory, Massachusetts, and Florida. Willcox resigned his commission in 1857 and returned to Detroit to practice law. At the start of the Civil War, Willcox returned to the Army in 1861 as colonel of the 1st Michigan Volunteer Infantry.

    At the First Battle of Bull Run or First Manassas, Willcox was wounded and captured while in command of a brigade and remained a prisoner for more than a year. On the day of his release, August 19, 1862, he was commissioned a brigadier general of volunteers to rank from the date of the battle in which he had been captured the previous year and was given command of the 1st Division of Ambrose Burnside’s IX Corps. He led the Division, and sometimes the Corps itself, at Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, Knoxville, and during Grant’s Overland Campaign against Richmond in the summer of 1864.

    Willcox was brevetted major general in both the Regulars and the Volunteers. In 1895, after thirty-four years, he was awarded the Medal of Honor for his “most distinguished gallantry” at the battle of Manassas. His citation states that he “led repeated charges until wounded and taken prisoner.” He was mustered out of service in January 1866 and returned to Detroit to resume his law practice.

    With the enlargement of the Regular Army in July 1866, Willcox was reappointed as a colonel of the 29th US Infantry. He was transferred to the 12th U.S. Infantry in 1869 and served in San Francisco almost continuously until 1878, when he assumed command of the Department of Arizona during a period when Apache warfare was at its zenith. Willcox remained in this post until 1882. The town of Willcox, Arizona, was later named for him.

    He retired from the Army in 1887. Two years later, Willcox served as the governor of the U.S. Soldiers’ Home in Washington, D.C. General Willcox joined the District of Columbia SAR and served as its fifth president from 1896 to 1897. His SAR National number is 1981 and his D.C. Society number is 181. He died at the age of eighty-four on May 10, 1907, in Coburg, Ontario, Canada, of acute bronchitis. Brigadier General Willcox is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

  • Byron Mac Cutcheon, US Civil War

    10 May 1863

    Byron Mac Cutcheon was born on May 11, 1836, in Pembroke, Merrimack County, New Hampshire. He was orphaned at an early age, attended local schools, worked in the cotton mill to earn money, entered Pembroke Academy, taught school for several years, and then moved to Ypsilanti, Michigan. In 1855, he was principal of the Birmingham Academy in Oakland County and then graduated from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1861. Before graduating, Cutcheon had become the principal and was a professor of ancient languages, higher mathematics, and mental and moral philosophy in the Ypsilanti High School in 1861 and 1862.

    He was principal of the Ypsilanti High School when he answered President Lincoln’s call and enlisted in the Union Army and help raise a company for the Twentieth Regiment, Michigan Infantry who mustered him into service as a second lieutenant. He quickly rose in rank.

    During his service, Cutcheon fought in twenty-five major battles and engagements. He was wounded at the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House while leading a charge and was hospitalized for about two months. For his gallant conduct on this occasion, he received a commission as brevet colonel. For his conspicuous gallantry at the battle of the Wilderness at Horseshoe Bend, Kentucky, on March 13, 1865, Cutcheon received a commission as a brevet brigadier general. Byron Cutcheon commanded the Second Brigade, Second Division, Ninth Army Corps, from October 16, 1864, until his resignation on March 6, 1865. He returned to Michigan to study law and graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 1866.

    In 1882, Cutcheon was elected as a Republican from Michigan’s 9th Congressional district to the Forty-eighth Congress and served for three succeeding Congresses from March 4, 1883, to March 3, 1891. In the Fifty-second Congress, Byron Cutcheon served as chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs. He was defeated in reelection in 1890 to the Fifty-second Congress.

    Major Byron M. Cutcheon was awarded a Medal of Honor by Congress on June 29, 1891, “for distinguished gallantry at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, Ky., May 10, 1863.” His citation reads, “Distinguished gallantry in leading his regiment in a charge on a house occupied by the enemy.”

    While he was a member of Congress, Cutcheon became a member of the District of Columbia SAR. His National number is 2123 and his D.C. Society number is 323.

    President Harrison appointed Byron Cutcheon as a civilian member of the Board of Ordnance and Fortifications in July 1891 and Cutcheon served until March 25, 1895. He returned to Michigan and resumed his law practice in Grand Rapids. He also served as an editorial writer for the and from 1895 until 1897. He died on April 12, 1908, in Ypsilanti at the age of seventy-one and is buried in Highland Cemetery.

  • George Greenville Benedict, US Civil War

    03 July 1863

    George Greenville Benedict was born on December 10, 1826, in Burlington, Vermont. He was the son of Professor George W. Benedict. He writes on his SAR application that his father was a soldier in the War of 1812. Not much is known about his personal life. He graduated from the University of Vermont in 1847. At the age of thirty-five, Benedict enlisted for the Union army as a private in the late summer of 1862. His unit was mustered out 1865 and George G. Benedict left the service as a lieutenant colonel.

    As a member of Company C, 12th Vermont Infantry 2Lt. George Benedict was present the battle at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. On the last day of the battle during Pickett’s Charge, the 13th and 16th Vermont Infantry advanced to the front in a flanking movement on General Pickett’s forces. While this was happening, Lt. Benedict braved a murderous fire of grape and canister to deliver orders on the field. It is said that he walked calmly along the line with his back to the enemy until he had straightened out the Union line and reformed them properly for combat. It was for this action that he was awarded the Medal of Honor, one of sixty-three men to be so honored during the period from July 1 to July 3, 1863.

    Benedict wrote letters back home that gave the folks a firsthand account of a soldier’s life in the Civil War. His letters describe military life, including picket duty, food, pay, and health, as well as news of fighting and news about friends. The book, , is a collection of his thirty-one letters written between 1863 and 1864 to his wife, Sarah Benedict, at Belvidere, Allegany County, New York, and one letter from James Hall to Sarah Benedict telling her that her husband had been severely wounded. The book is edited by Eric Ward.

    On the family tombstone, there is a plaque that reads “George Greenville Benedict, 54 years Editor of the Burlington Free Press, 41 years as Clerk of the College Street Church, A Volunteer in the War for the Union, 42 years as a Trustee of the University of Vermont.”

    He signed his SAR application with his full name on April 1, 1889, and does not indicate an occupation. His National number is 2703 and his Vermont Society number is 3. His application lists his SAR patriot ancestor as the Rev. Abner Benedict who “was a Chaplain in the Revolutionary Army serving in the battles of White Plains and Harlem, NY.” In February 1898, at the age of seventy years old, George Benedict submitted a supplemental application listing two patriots: Captain Stephen Dewey and his son, Private Stephen Dewey, Jr. Both men served in the Massachusetts Infantry. On his supplemental application, he writes his occupation as “Journalist.”

    Lieutenant Colonel George Benedict died on April 8, 1907, in Camden, North Carolina, at the age of eighty, and is buried in Greenmount Cemetery in Burlington, Vermont, only a short distance from the grave of Ethan Allen.

  • Clinton Albert Cilley, US Civil War

    20 September 1863

    Clinton Albert Cilley was born on February 16, 1837, in Rockingham County, New Hampshire. Carol Cepregi, Deputy Director of Operations for the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, responded to a request of information on Clinton A. Cilley with the following: “I found a newspaper article from the St. Paul Sunday Pioneer Press dated May 28, 1972. In it, it describes Professor Cilley, as president of the new Free Will Baptist Seminary, in Wasioja, Minnesota the day after the firing on of Ft. Sumter, as he spoke to the students, and, according to the article, said, “Would it were God’s will that peace prevailed, but now we can do no other than serve our Union cause. Are you with me?” This began one of the first student marches in America, not in protest, but to enlist in the Union Army at a tiny building which is now a museum in the town. The seminary burned down in 1905.”

    Clinton A. Cilley was serving as a captain in Company C, 2nd Minnesota Infantry in the Union Army at the Battle of Chickamauga, Georgia, September 19 through 20, 1863, when he earned the Medal of Honor. The citation reads “Seized the colors of a retreating regiment and led it into the thick of the attack.” He was subsequently promoted to brevet colonel in the Union Army. He is the second SAR compatriot Medal of Honor from that campaign; the other is Horace Porter. Colonel Cilley was awarded the Medal of Honor on June 12, 1895.”

    Clinton A. Cilley moved to Lenoir and Hickory in western North Carolina at the end of the Civil War and became regional administrator for the Freedmen’s Bureau. Cilley became very popular as a lawyer in Lenoir, North Carolina, where he was elected one of the town’s first mayors. He later became a judge and a politician. Cilley married Emma Harper, daughter of James C. Harper, former member of the North Carolina House of Representatives, and then was later elected himself to the House of Representatives of the 42nd U.S. Congress.

    Clinton A. Cilley became a member of the New Hampshire SAR in 1894. His National number is 7521 and his Society number is 21. His SAR patriot ancestor was Joseph Cilley who was “appoint Major in Enoch Poor’s Regiment on May 24, 1775 under recommendation of the Committee on Safety.” Later, Colonel Joseph Cilley was appointed to the command of the 1st Massachuesetts Continental Regiment. Joseph Cilley survived both the battles of the American campaign in Canada and the smallpox epidemic, fought and escaped with his regiment in the Battle of Long Island; tasted victory at the Battles of Trenton and Princeton, was assigned to General Sullivan’s Brigade and participated in the Battles of Saratoga.

    Personal papers of Clinton and his wife may be found in the library of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The Catawba County Museum of History contains the Clinton Cilley Collection of Civil War artifacts. He died on May 9, 1900, at the age of sixty-three in North Carolina and is buried in Oakwood Cemetery Hickory, Catawba County, North Carolina.

  • Horace Porter, US Civil War

    20 September 1863

    Horace Porter was born in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, on April 15, 1837. He was the son of David R. Porter, a wealthy ironmaster who later served as the governor of Pennsylvania, and grandson of Andrew Porter (1743-1813), an officer in the Continental Army during the War of Independence. In 1854, Horace Porter studied for a year at the Lawrence Scientific School of Harvard University and then entered the United States Military Academy at West Point. He graduated in 1860, third in his class.

    Porter served in the Union army in the Civil War, reaching the rank of brigadier general. He received the Medal of Honor at the Battle of Chickamauga, which occurred on September 19 and 20, 1863. The battle took place approximately three to four miles downstream on the Tennessee River from Chattanooga. On September 20, 1863, Porter was serving as a captain in the Ordnance Department. His citation that accompanies the award reads, “While acting as a volunteer aide, at a critical moment when the lines were broken, rallied enough fugitives to hold the ground under heavy fire long enough to effect the escape of wagon trains and batteries.” In the last year of the war, he served as a personal aide to the General-in-Chief Ulysses S. Grant.

    From 1869 to 1873, Porter served as Grant’s personal secretary in the White House. Porter resigned from the army in December 1873 and became vice president of the Pullman Palace Car Company. He also served in other business enterprises.

    In 1892 at the third SAR Congress in New York, Porter was elected as President General. He was reelected four times and is the only man to serve in this position for five years.

    From March 1897 to May 1905, he was the U.S. Ambassador to France. At his personal expense from 1899 to 1905, he conducted a successful search for the body of John Paul Jones, who had died in Paris in 1792. He received the Grand Cross Legion of Honor from the French government in 1904. For this, Porter also received a unanimous vote of thanks of both Houses of Congress on May 9, 1906, and the privileges of the floor for life. In 1907, he was a member of the American delegation to the Hague Peace Conference.

    From 1893 to 1897, Porter was president of the Union League Club of New York, during which period he was also a major force in the construction of Grant’s Tomb. General Porter became well known as a public speaker and delivered orations at the dedication of General Grant’s tomb in New York, the centennial celebration of the founding of West Point, and the re-interment of the body of John Paul Jones at Annapolis. John Paul Jones was later re-interred in the crypt under the chapel of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

    Horace Porter’s SAR National number is 4069 and his Empire State Society number is 69. His SAR patriot ancestor was Andrew Porter who first served as captain of the Marines onboard the frigate and later as colonel of the Fourth Pennsylvania Artillery. He signed his application in April 1891. There are two notes on Porter’s SAR application: one handwritten note says that he was a “dual with the France Society #7,” while the second note is typewritten and reads “(Past President Gen’l) (Founder of French SAR).”

    General Horace Porter died on May 25, 1921. He is buried in the Old First Methodist Churchyard, West Long Branch, New Jersey. Porter authored three books: (1866), (1897), and (1905). Compatriot Porter is the only known Medal of Honor recipient to serve as an SAR President General.

  • Lewis Addison Grant, US Civil War

    03 May 1864

    Lewis Addison Grant was born on January 17, 1828, in Winhall, Vermont. He attended the district school in Townshend, Vermont, and the academy at Chester, Vermont. He became a teacher and taught in schools in Chester, Vermont; New Jersey; and near Boston, where he read the law. In 1855, Grant was admitted to the bar and established his law practice in Bellows Falls, Vermont.

    Grant entered the U.S. Army on September 16, 1861, at St. Albans, Vermont, as major of the 5th Vermont Infantry. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel later that month and to colonel one year later. During the Civil War, he held many command positions and participated in many of the battles. On May 3, 1864, during the Battle of Fredericksburg, Grant earned the Medal of Honor for “personal gallantry and intrepidity displayed in the management of his brigade and in leading it in the assault in which he was wounded,” at Salem Church, Virginia. He received the Medal on May 11, 1893. At the Battle of Gettysburg, he commanded the famed Vermont Brigade.

    Lewis Grant was appointed brigadier general of volunteers in the spring of 1864. In the fall of that same year, he was commissioned brevet major general of volunteers “for gallant and meritorious services in the campaign before Richmond, Virginia, and in the Shenandoah Valley” and was honorably discharged from the service August 24, 1865.

    After the war, Grant lived in Illinois, Iowa, and Minnesota. During a three year period from 1890 to 1893, he served as the assistant secretary of war (the second ranking position in the Department of War, now known as the Department of Defense).

    Lewis Grant became a member of the SAR while serving as assistant secretary of war. His National number is 6939. He became a member of the District of Columbia SAR, D.C. Society number 439, and later transferred to the Minnesota SAR. His SAR patriot ancestor was David Wyman of Lunenburg, Massachusetts, a private in “Colonel John Brook’s Regiment, Massachusetts, January, 1778; Private in Worchester County, Massachusetts Regiment, 1780.”

    At the age of ninety, on March 20, 1918, Lewis Addison Grant died in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is buried in Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis.

  • Edward Washburn Whitaker, US Civil War

    29 June 1864

    Edward Washburn Whitaker was born on June 15, 1841, in Killingly, Connecticut. He was one of sixteen children, with eight brothers and seven sisters. Whitaker attended the public schools in Ashford, Connecticut, and the Academy in Olneyville, in what is now Providence, Rhode Island.

    Whitaker was one of four brothers who enlisted in Union regiments in the Civil War. He fought in eighty-two engagements during the course of the war. He was slightly wounded by shrapnel at Falling Waters, Maryland. While running at a gallop at Five Forks, Virginia, his horse fell on him, and caused Whitaker to have a lifelong groin and back injury.

    As a captain in Company E, 1st Connecticut Volunteer Cavalry, he earned the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions at Reams Station, Virginia, on June 29, 1864. His citation reads, “While acting as an aide voluntarily carried dispatches from the commanding general to Gen. Meade, forcing his way with a single troop of Cavalry, through an Infantry division of the enemy in the most distinguished manner, though he lost half his escort.” The Medal was presented on April 2, 1898.

    At the age of twenty-three, Whitaker was brevetted brigadier general of volunteers for war service and was the youngest general in the Civil War. Shortly after the Battle of Gettysburg, he was stricken with malaria and was disabled most of his life by a heart condition brought on by the disease. After the war, Edward Whitaker was appointed Superintendent of the U.S. Capitol Building and in 1869, President Grant appointed him the Postmaster of Hartford, Connecticut. In the years following these appointments, he was also an insurance agent and a patent attorney while living in Washington, D.C.

    Edward W. Whitaker’s SAR National number is 13552. He was a member of the District of Columbia SAR and his D.C. Society number is 702. His SAR patriot ancestor is Lieutenant Richard Whitaker of Rehoboth, Massachusetts.

    At the age of eighty-one, Edward W. Whitaker died on July 30, 1922, and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

  • Philip Sidney Post, US Civil War

    16 November 1864

    Philip Sidney Post was born on March 19, 1833, in Florida, Orange County, New York. He pursued classical studies and graduated in 1855 from Union College in Schenectady, New York. He continued his education at the Poughkeepsie Law School and was admitted to the Illinois bar in 1856. Post then traveled through the northwest and settled in Kansas, where he practiced law and also established and edited a local newspaper.

    At the beginning of the Civil War, Post entered the Union Army as a second lieutenant and served with the 59th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment. He was promoted through the ranks to colonel in 1862. He was severely wounded at the Battle of Pea Ridge in northwest Arkansas. After recovering in St. Louis, Missouri, he joined his regiment in front of Corinth, Mississippi, and was assigned to the command of a brigade.

    From May 1862 until the close of the war, Post was constantly at the front. He distinguished himself as a brigade command in the Army of the Cumberland, at the Battle of Stones River during the Battle of Murfreesboro, and in the Atlanta Campaign, where he commanded a division in the 4th Army Corps. On November 16, 1864, in a charge on Overton Hill during the Battle of Nashville, a grapeshot crushed through his hip. For some days it was thought this was a mortal wound. On December 16, 1864, Post was made a brevet brigadier general of volunteers.

    After the Civil War, Post was appointed to the command of the western district of Texas, where there was then a concentration of troops on the Mexican border. He remained there until 1866, when the withdrawal of the French from Mexico removed all danger of military complications. He was recommended for the appointment of colonel in the regular army but instead, he resigned and returned to Illinois.

    In 1866, Post was appointed consul to Vienna and promoted as consul general to Austria-Hungary in 1874. He resigned in 1879. He was the commander of the Grand Army of the Republic’s Department of Illinois in 1886.

    Post was awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery at the Battle of Nashville. The citation reads, that he “led his brigade in an attack upon a strong position under a terrific fire of grape, canister, and musketry; was struck down by a grapeshot after he had reached the enemy’s works.” Twenty-nine years later, Post received the Medal of Honor on March 8, 1893.

    Philip Sidney Post joined the District of Columbia SAR. His National number is 2033 and his D.C. Society number is 233.

    Post was elected as a Republican to the Fiftieth Congress and to the four succeeding Congresses. He served from March 4, 1887, until his death before the close of the Fifty-third Congress. Congressman Phillip Sidney Post died January 6, 1895, in Washington, D.C., and is buried in Hope Cemetery in Galesburg, Illinois.

  • David Sloane Stanley, US Civil War

    30 November 1864

    David Sloane Stanley was born on June 1, 1828, in Cedar Valley, Wayne County, Ohio. He grew up on a farm and was apprenticed to a physician when he was fourteen years old. Stanley was interested in a military career, however, and was excited to receive an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

    David S. Stanley graduated from West Point in 1852 (the class known for having produced fifteen future generals), and became an officer in the 2nd U.S. Dragoons. He went to the Western frontier to survey railroad routes in Arkansas, California, Texas, and Kansas. He refused a commission in the Confederate army in 1861, and fought for the Union instead.

    Stanley was stationed at Fort Washita in Indian Territory at the beginning of the Civil War. He led his men to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. In doing so, he fought at several battles in Missouri, including the Battle of Wilson’s Creek, where he guarded the supply trains. In 1862, he assumed command of an infantry division in the Army of the Mississippi. He became chief of cavalry in the Army of the Cumberland later that same year. In 1864, Stanley participated in General William T. Sherman’s march on Atlanta, winning brevet appointments to colonel and brigadier general in the Regular Army. He assumed command of IV Corps and was wounded in the neck at the Battle of Franklin during the Franklin-Nashville Campaign in Tennessee. At the same time, he also had his horse shot out from under him. For leading one of his brigades in a successful counterattack during a critical moment in the fighting at the Battle of Franklin on November 30, 1864, Stanley was presented the Medal of Honor on March 29, 1893.

    After the war, David Stanley returned to the American West where he first served as the commander of the occupying force at San Antonio in 1866. He later commanded the 22nd U.S. Infantry, primarily serving in the Dakota Territory until 1874. During this time, while skirmishing against the Sioux, Stanley encountered another Civil War officer, Lieutenant Colonel George Custer. General Stanley had to officially reprimand Custer while under his command for a series of offences.

    In 1873, General Stanley commanded the Yellowstone Expedition through several uncharted areas. His favorable reports on the country led to the subsequent settlement of the region.

    In 1870, Stanley and his regiment were reassigned to Texas to suppress Indian raids in the western portion of the state. He was ordered to Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1882, and placed in command of the District of New Mexico. In March 1884, he was appointed a brigadier general in the Regular Army and assigned command of the Department of Texas.

    Stanley retired from the Army in June 1892 and later became the governor of the Soldiers’ Home in Washington, D.C. The home was founded in 1851, following the Mexican-American War, for the retirement of homeless and disabled war veterans. In 2001, Congress renamed the U.S. Naval Home and the U.S. Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home the Armed Forces Retirement Home – Gulfport and the Armed Forces Retirement Home – Washington, respectively.

    David S. Stanley joined the District of Columbia SAR in 1894. His SAR National number is 6979 and his D.C. Society number is 479. He has two SAR patriot ancestors: one is Nathaniel Stanley who served as a soldier in the Third Company of the Connecticut Line, while the other patriot ancestor is Conrad Peterson, who served as a private in the Virginia Continental Line. Stanley signed his SAR application on March 12, 1894.

    David Sloane Stanley died on March 13, 1902, in Washington, D.C., and was interred at the United States Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery with three other Medal of Honor recipients.

  • Ira Hobart Evans, US Civil War

    06 April 1865

    Ira Hobart Evans was born in Piermont, New Hampshire, on April 11, 1844. Following the death of his father in 1852, his mother moved the family to her hometown of Berlin, Vermont, where the young Evans attended school and later graduated from the Barre Academy. With the Civil War and a call to arms sounding across the country, Evans enlisted as a private in Company B, 10th Vermont Volunteer Infantry on July 1862. He would later be promoted to captain and eventually brevet major.

    Major Evans received the Congressional Medal of Honor for heroism while serving with Company B, 116th U.S. Colored Troops, at the Battle of Hatcher’s Run, Virginia. According to the citation, on April 6, 1865, “Evans voluntarily passed between the lines under heavy fire from the enemy and obtained important information.” Following the assassination of President Lincoln, Evans was selected to march in the Honor Guard for the fallen Commander-in-Chief.

    At the conclusion of the Civil War, Evans was transferred to Texas as part of the federal forces to help oversee Reconstruction and served as the provost marshal of Brownsville. In 1867, he was discharged from active duty in New Orleans. Liking Texas, he returned to the area and soon entered politics. He was elected to the Texas House of Representatives and became the Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives at the age of twenty-five. In addition to being a legislator, Evans was a businessman, religious leader, and a philanthropist.

    Evans was an early member of the Vermont Society, Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) with a National Number of 2751. His Vermont Society number is 51. His SAR patriot ancestor is James Hobart, who served as a private in the New Hampshire Troops in 1777. Evans signed his application on November 5, 1890, while living in Austin, Texas. On December 8, 1896, he founded the Texas Society of the Sons of the American Revolution and transferred his membership to that new state-level society. He held Texas Society membership number 1, and served as the group’s first president.

    Ira Hobart Evans died in San Diego, California, on April 19, 1922, of a heart ailment. His body was returned to Berlin, Vermont, to be buried with members of his family in the Berlin Corner Cemetery.

  • John Breckinridge Babcock, Western US Indian Wars

    16 May 1869

    John Breckinridge Babcock was born on February 7, 1847, in New Orleans, Louisiana. At the age of fifteen, he joined the Thirty-seventh New York Militia as a sergeant. “For his remarkable courage and daring he received four brevets, those to first lieutenant, captain, major, and lieutenant colonel.”

    In 1865, he reached the rank of major. He took part in seven battles in Louisiana. He then took part in the siege of Petersburg, Virginia, and then with General Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley.

    After the Civil War, Babcock participated in many battles with the Indians. He was awarded the Medal of Honor as a first lieutenant in the 5th U.S. Cavalry for action on May 16, 1869, at Spring Creek, Nebraska. His citation reads “While serving with a scouting column this officer’s troop was attacked by a vastly superior force of Indians. Advancing to high ground, he dismounted his men, remaining mounted himself to encourage them, and there fought the Indians until relieved, his horse being wounded.”

    Babcock served as a brigadier general in the U.S. Volunteers. His obituary reports that “Several times his horse was shot from under him, and once he was shot in the breast with an arrow.”

    John B. Babcock signed his SAR application on October 16, 1893. His SAR National number is 6955. He was a member of the District of Columbia SAR with a D.C. Society number of 455. He lists two SAR patriot ancestors on his application: one is Henry Babcock of Westerly, Rhode Island, who served as the “Colonel Commandant of Rhode Island Colony’s Brigade, March 1776” and the other patriot ancestor is Joshua Babcock who served in the Rhode Island General Assembly, 1740-1778; Major General of the “Colony’s Brigade” for defence [sic] of Rhode Island, May, 1776; Member of State Council of War.” It is noted on Babcock’s application “Transferred to California, Feb. 22, 1899.”

    The New York Times published April 28, 1909 (Friday), reported “Brig. Gen. John Breckinridge Babcock, famous as an old Indian fighter, and a veteran of the civil war, died Monday (April 26, 1909) on the steamship Prinz Friederich Wilhelm, which arrived here from Bremen yesterday.” He was accompanied by his wife and son. The general had been in Europe “hoping that the trip might improve his health. He had long suffered from Bright’s disease.” He is buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Stonington, New London County, Connecticut.

  • Charles Heath Heyl, Western US Indian Wars

    28 April 1876

    Charles Heath Heyl was born on July 22, 1850, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He entered the U.S. Army at Camden, New Jersey, and on October 1, 1873, was appointed as a second lieutenant in the 23rd Infantry.

    On April 28, 1876, while serving near Fort Hartsuff, Nebraska, Second Lieutenant Heyl, while in command of a small scouting party, earned the Medal of Honor. His citation reads “Voluntarily, and with most conspicuous gallantry, charged with three men upon six Indians who were entrenched upon a hillside.” The Medal was awarded October 26, 1897.

    He continued his career serving as regimental adjutant, assistant adjutant general, and inspector general as a colonel in July 1902.

    Charles Heath Heyl signed his SAR application in January 12, 1892. He was living in Camden, New Jersey at the time and lists his occupation as “Captain, 23rd Infantry, U.S. Army.” His National number is 2138. He was a member of the District of Columbia SAR and his D.C. Society number is 338. His SAR patriot ancestor is David Heath, who served as a “private soldier in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, Militia.” Charles Heyl also notes in his application of another patriot ancestor: great-grandfather John Heyl “serving in the Continental Army and was with General Washington at Valley Forge.” There is a handwritten note at the bottom of his application, “Transferred July 3, ‘93 to New Jersey SAR.” His brother, Colonel Edward Miles Heyl, was a member of the New Jersey SAR. Colonel Charles Heath Heyl died on October 12, 1926, and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

  • Oscar Fitzalan Long, Western US Indian Wars

    30 September 1877

    Oscar Fitzalan Long was born on June 16, 1852, in Utica, New York. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in the class of 1876 and was assigned to the 5th U.S. Infantry. Long served in the Army until 1904, mostly in the American West.

    During the campaign against Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce on September 30, 1877, Second Lieutenant Oscar Long was one of nine men who received the Medal of Honor for valor at the Battle of Bear Paw Mountain. His citation reads, “Having been directed to order a troop of cavalry to advance, and finding both its officers killed, he voluntarily assumed command, and under a heavy fire from the Indians advanced the troop to its proper position.” The medal was awarded on March 22, 1895.

    After retiring as a brigadier general in 1904, Long moved to Oakland, California, and became a businessman.

    Oscar F. Long signed his SAR application on August 1, 1895. His SAR National number is 7033. He was a member of the District of Columbia SAR. His D.C. Society number is 533. His SAR patriot ancestor is Cornelius Mabrie of Rotterdam, New York, First Lieutenant, Captain John Van Patten’s Company, Colonel Abraham Wemple’s New York Regiment.

    A collection of Long’s papers are on file with the University of California at Berkley. These include correspondence, Army orders, maps, and manuscripts of military pamphlets that relate to Long’s army career, especially to battles with the Montana Indians of the Yellowstone District from 1877 to 1878, and to his work in the Quartermaster Department. Brigadier General Oscar F. Long died on December 23, 1928, at age seventy-six and is buried at Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland, California.

  • Powhatan Henry Clarke, Western US Indian Wars

    03 May 1886

    Powhatan Henry Clarke was born on October 9, 1862, in Alexandria, Louisiana. He studied briefly in France before attending the United States Military Academy at West Point. He graduated last in his class in 1884. He joined the 10th Cavalry Regiment of the Buffalo Soldiers at Fort Davis, Texas. “On May 3, 1886, while under heavy fire from Apaches at Pinito Mountains, Sonora, Mexico; Second Lieutenant Clark rushed forward to rescue one of his wounded soldiers, Corporal Edward Scott, who laid disabled and exposed to the Indian fire, and carried him to a place of safety.” For his bravery, Powhatan H. Clarke earned the Medal of Honor. The Medal was awarded on March 12, 1891. He was the commander of Apache scouts until 1891.

    In 1891, Clarke was promoted to first lieutenant and transferred to the 9th Cavalry Regiment. Within a year, 1st Lt. Clarke was back with the 10th Cavalry.

    From 1892 until his death, he lived in Fort Custer, Montana. In 1892, he married Elizabeth Clemens of St. Louis, Missouri, and they had one son. On July 21, 1893, Clarke, at the age of thirty, drowned in the “Little Big Horn River, Montana, not many miles below the spot where the Sioux killed Custer 17 years ago”, while attempting to rescue a soldier. He is buried at Fort Custer, Montana. Fort Custer was abandoned in 1898. In the Fort’s interment records there is an entry for the interment of 1st Lt Powhatan Clarke. The Fort Custer internment records show that in October 9, 1934, he was “disinterred and sent to St. Louis, MO.” He is buried in Calvary Cemetery, St. Louis, Missouri. His wife and son are buried with him.

    Powhatan H. Clark signed his SAR application and became a member in January 1891. His National number is 1976. He was a member of the District of Columbia SAR. His D.C. Society number is 176. Powhatan Clark lists three SAR patriot ancestors on his application: “James Clarke, of “Keswick,” Powhatan County, Virginia, commanded a regiment at the Battle of Craney Island (War of 1812), and, as a youth, served in the Revolution; Robert Goode (1743-1809), of Whitby, Chesterfield County, Virginia, “Captain, Chesterfield Militia, 1775-1776, and later Major and Colonel of Militia, Acting Governor of Virginia, 1792; and Richard Bland (1710-1760, of “Jordans,” Virginia, “the Cato of the Revolution,” Member of all the early Virginia Conventions; Delegate to Continental Congress, 1774.”

  • Adolphus Washington Greely, Non-Combat Gallantry

    March 1887

    Adolphus Washington Greely was born on March 27, 1844, in Newburyport, Massachusetts. After twice being rejected for military service, Greely enlisted in the U.S. Army at the age of seventeen as a private in the 19th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. He served throughout the Civil War, seeing action in several major battles. He sustained serious wounds on three occasions, and achieved the rank of brevet major of volunteers by the end of the Civil War. In 1886, he joined the regular Army as a second lieutenant in the 36th Infantry. In March 1873, Greely was promoted to first lieutenant in the Cavalry and served mainly in the West and in Washington, D.C.

    Greely volunteered and was named head of the Lady Franklin Bay Expedition in 1881. The purpose of the expedition was to establish one of a chain of meteorological observation stations as part of the First International Polar Year. In crossing Ellesmere Island, two members of the expedition managed to get farther north, at 83 degrees, 24 minutes north latitude, than any previous attempts.

    The expedition established itself for two years of weather observations, at the end of which it made its way on small boats through two-hundred miles of treacherous Arctic waters to its assigned rendezvous with a relief ship, the . Weeks and then months passed, with the party unaware that had been crushed by icebergs. By the time another relief expedition arrived to rescue them, only Greeley and six of the original team had survived: nineteen men had perished from drowning, hypothermia, or starvation. At first Greely was criticized, but he was absolved after an investigation found that he had acted properly. The most definitive story of this remarkable journey can be found in Alden Todd’s book, . Adolphus Greely was promoted to captain in 1886.

    In March 1887, President Grover Cleveland appointed Captain Greely as the Chief Signal Officer of the U.S. Army with the rank of brigadier general. During his tenure, nearly twenty-thousand miles of telegraph lines consisting of land cables, submarine cables, and wireless telegraphy were constructed, operated, and maintained by the Army in the U.S., Cuba, Puerto Rico, Alaska, the Philippines, and other locations. General Greely was a delegate to the International Telegraph Conference in London and the International Wireless Telegraph Congress in Berlin in 1903. In 1906, he was promoted to the rank of major general and oversaw the relief operation after the San Francisco earthquake and resultant fire. He retired from the Army two years later.

    In January 1888, he joined with thirty-two other explorers and scientists in the founding of the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C. General Greely was a frequent contributor to the National Geographic Magazine from the earliest days and lectured on many occasions before SAR members in Washington.

    In 1905, Adolphus Greely accepted the honor of serving as the first president of the Explorers Club. In 1922, he was awarded an honorary fellowship and the Daly Medal by the American Geographical Society.

    The award of the Medal of Honor presented to Greely, on his ninety-first birthday in 1935, would have been in clear violation of the revised 1916 Army warrant requiring combat action and risk of life “above and beyond the call of duty,” except that it was specifically authorized by a special Act of Congress. His award was the second Army presentation contrary to the combat requirement, as eight years earlier in 1927, the Medal had been presented to Charles Lindbergh, an Army reservist but not on active duty, for his solo transatlantic flight.

    General Greely’s SAR National number is 1914 and his District of Columbia Society number is 114. His SAR patriot ancestor, Sergeant Joseph Greely, was a Minuteman who marched to Lexington on the alarm on April 19, 1775, and later contributed supplies to the Continental Troops. Greely’s SAR application shows that he resigned on March 14, 1914. He was “Reinstated April 3, 1935 and made a Member Emeritus by the District of Columbia SAR Board of Management.”

    Major General Adolphus W. Greely died on October 20, 1935, at the age of ninety-one, less than a year after being awarded the Medal of Honor. He is buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery.

  • John Chowning Gresham, Western US Indian Wars

    December 1890

    John Chowning Gresham was born on September 25, 1851, in Lancaster County, Virginia. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in the class of 1876. He was originally assigned to the 3rd U.S. Cavalry at Fort Lincoln, in Washington, D.C., but was soon transferred to the 7th Cavalry as a replacement following the Battle of Little Big Horn in 1876. He served in the Nez Perce War and was at the Battle of Canyon Creek.

    John Gresham was promoted to first lieutenant in June 1878 and continued in various assignments within the Department of Dakota for six more years. In September 1884, he became a professor of military science and tactics at Virginia Agricultural College (now known as Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia). In February 1884, Gresham returned to the 7th Cavalry. In late December 1890, he took part in the Battle of Wounded Knee and led a party into a ravine to attack Native Americans hidden there. For his gallant action, he was awarded the Medal of Honor in March 1899. The citation reads “Voluntarily led a party into a ravine to dislodge Sioux Indians concealed therein. He was wounded during this action.”

    John Gresham was promoted to captain in April 1892 and moved with the regiment to Arizona. In December 1896, he served as a professor of military science and tactics at the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts (now known as North Carolina State University) at Raleigh, until rejoining the regiment in Havana, Cuba, in March 1899.

    Between 1901 and 1911, Gresham was promoted to major and lieutenant colonel and served three tours in the Philippines during the Philippine-American War. In August 1911, he was promoted to colonel and soon took command of the 10th Cavalry at Fort Ethan Allen, Vermont. In December 1913, he took command of Fort Huachuca, Arizona. From August 1914 until he retired in September 1915, Gresham was in charge of militia affairs for the Western Department.

    John C. Gresham signed his SAR application on February 8, 1894. His National number is 6972 and his District of Columbia Society number is 472. His SAR patriot ancestor was William Chowning of Lancaster, Virginia, who served as a surgeon’s mate on the “Tartar,” 1779-1780. There is a note on Gresham’s application that tells of William Chowning “while on leave of absence in his native country was captured by the British, but escaped from the man-of-war by jumping overboard and swimming ashore.”

    Colonel John C. Gresham died on September 2, 1926, in San Diego, California, at the age of seventy-four. He is buried in the San Francisco National Cemetery, a U.S. National Cemetery, located in the Presidio of San Francisco, California.

  • Theodore Roosevelt, Spanish American War

    01 July 1898

    Theodore Roosevelt was born at 28 East 20th Street in the city of New York on October 27, 1858. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa and from Harvard in 1880, and entered Columbia Law School. Finding the law boring, Roosevelt researched and wrote his first major book, The Naval War of 1812 (1882), which is still considered the only comprehensive history on the subject. In 1881, Roosevelt was elected as a New York Assemblyman, left law school, and began a new career in public life.

    In 1884, Roosevelt’s first wife and his mother both died on the same day. Roosevelt spent much of the next two years on his ranch in the Badlands of Dakota Territory. There, he mastered his sorrow as he lived in the saddle, driving cattle, and hunting big game. On a visit to London in December 1886, he married Edith Carow. One of their children was Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.

    During the Spanish-American War, Roosevelt was a lieutenant colonel of the Rough Rider Regiment, in which he led a charge at the battle of San Juan on July 1, 1898. He was one of the most conspicuous heroes of the war. For his bravery, he was recommended for the Medal of Honor but was not awarded the Medal for another one hundred and three years. President William Clinton presented the Medal posthumously at the White House on January 16, 2001.

    After the war, Roosevelt was elected as the governor of the state of New York in 1898 and served with distinction. He was the twenty-fifth Vice President before becoming the twenty-sixth President of the United States of America in 1901, upon the assassination of President William McKinley. Inaugurated at the age of forty-two, Roosevelt became the youngest president and served two terms. He was also the first American to win a Nobel Prize in any category, having been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1906 for his mediation of the Russo-Japanese War.

    The National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution was chartered by an Act of the United States Congress on June 6, l906. The charter was signed by President Theodore Roosevelt, who was also a member of the Empire State Society, SAR. President Roosevelt’s SAR National number is 12000 from the state of New York. His SAR patriot ancestor is Jacobus I. Roosevelt, who served as commissary in the New York Troops during the Revolutionary War. Theodore Roosevelt signed his SAR application on April 10, 1899, in the City and County of Albany, New York.

    Theodore Roosevelt died on January 6, 1919, at Sagamore Hill, Oyster Bay, New York, and is buried in a nearby cemetery.

  • Bernard Albert Byrne, Philippine Insurrection

    19 July 1899

    Bernard A. Byrne was born on October 19, 1852, in Newport Barracks, Kentucky. He was the son of Major Bernard Myles and Louisa (Abert) Byrne. He was educated at Columbian College (now George Washington University) in Washington, D.C.

    After graduation, he was appointed on October 15, 1875, as a second lieutenant, 6th U.S. Infantry. He was promoted to first lieutenant on December 31, 1882. He served as the regimental adjutant from November 1, 1886, to March 31, 1890, and was promoted to captain on November 9, 1894.

    Captain Byrne was serving with the 6th U.S. Regular Infantry during the Insurrection in the Philippines. This was a time when the U.S. Army sought to root out the rebel forces of Emilio Aguinaldo. On July 19, 1899, Captain Byrne’s soldiers were in defense of a key bridge in Bobong, Negros, Philippine Islands, when the line was broken by a fierce rebel attack and were pushed back. Captain Byrne was awarded the Medal of Honor for his courageous leadership to rally his men to re-form and resist the enemy assault. His Medal was awarded to him on July 15, 1902.

    He received a brevet promotion to lieutenant colonel, 28th United States Infantry on June 15, 1906. At his own request, he retired with over thirty years of service, on July 13, 1906.

    Bernard A. Byrne was a member of the District of Columbia SAR. His National number is 2084 and his D.C. Society number is 285. His SAR patriot ancestor was Timothy Matlack (1736 – 1829), of Pennsylvania, “the fighting Quaker,” member of the Committee of Safety; colonel of militia; deputy in the State Conference of 1776; delegate of the Continental Congress, 1780-1787; secretary of the Council of State; and master of rolls, 1781.” He signed his SAR application in April 1891, as B. A. Byrne, U.S. Army, 1st Lieutenant – 6th Regiment of Infantry.

    Please note that there is a discrepancy in the spelling of Byrne’s middle name between open literature and his SAR application and tombstone. His SAR application, in his handwriting, shows his name to be Bernard Abert Byrne. He writes that he was “born in the Town of Newport, County of Campbell, State of Kentucky.” Open literature says his middle name to be Albert and that he was “born in Newport Barracks, VA.” There was a Newport Barracks at this time, but it was located in Kentucky across the river from Cincinnati. His SAR application lists his parents as Bernard M. Byrne and Louisa Abert and his grandparents as Col. John James Abert and Ellen Matlack Stretch. Further, U.S. Pensioners, 1818-1872, records for Bernard M. Byrne, MD, show his widow to be Louisa Abert Byrne.

    Byrne died on February 28, 1910, at the age of fifty-six, in California and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. His tombstone reads: “MEDAL OF HONOR; BERNARD ABERT BYRNE; LIEUT. COLONEL, U.S. ARMY; OCT. 19, 1853, FEB. 28, 1910; ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.’”

  • Frank Friday Fletcher, Occupation of Vera Cruz

    22 April 1914

    Frank Friday Fletcher was born on November 23, 1855, in Oskaloosa, Iowa, and graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1875. After his first cruise on the USS, he was commissioned an ensign in 1876. In 1878, he participated in a world cruise aboard the USS Ticonderoga​ under Commodore Robert Wilson Shufeldt. Fletcher was later assigned to the Bureau of Ordnance where he developed the Fletcher breech mechanism that increased the speed of rapid-fire guns.

    He developed the first doctrines for torpedo warfare while commanding the torpedo boat in 1893. In 1896, Fletcher was assigned to the battleship USS, but was absent when the ship was blown up in Havana Harbor in February 1898, triggering the Spanish-American War.

    In 1910, he was appointed an aide to the secretary of the Navy. In October 1911, he was promoted to rear admiral and until 1913, commanded divisions of the Atlantic Fleet. In September 1914, Admiral Fletcher was named commander of the Atlantic Fleet and served as an admiral until the completion of that assignment.

    As commander of U.S. Naval Forces on the east coast of Mexico in 1914, he occupied the city of Vera Cruz, and was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic leadership. His citation reads “For distinguished conduct in battle, engagements of Vera Cruz, 21 and 22 April 1914. Under fire, Rear Adm. Fletcher was eminent and conspicuous in the performance of his duties; was senior officer present at Vera Cruz, and the landing and the operations of the landing force were carried out under his orders and directions. In connection with these operations, he was at times on shore and under fire.” Admiral Fletcher was awarded the Medal of Honor on December 4, 1915.

    After returning to shore duty in June 1916 and returned to the rank of rear admiral, Fletcher served on the Navy General Board and on the War Industries Board during World War I until his retirement in 1919, earning Distinguished Service Medals from the Navy and the Army for his meritorious service during the First World War.

    Admiral Fletcher was twice recalled for temporary active duty, and in 1925 sat on a board that explored how aircraft could be most effective in national defense.

    Frank Friday Fletcher joined the District of Columbia SAR in 1909. His National number is 19721 and his D.C. Society number is 1096. He listed his residence as U.S. Navy and occupation as Naval Officer. His SAR patriot ancestor is Ensign Archibald Fletcher who served in the 3rd Company of the 2nd Battalion of the Bedford County Pennsylvania Militia. One of his supplemental SAR ancestors was Captain Samuel Miller who served with the 8th Pennsylvania Regiment in the Continental Line. While at Valley Forge, he was ordered on February 10, 1778, to Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, on recruiting duty. While returning, he was killed in a fight with the Indians on July 9, 1778. A second supplemental SAR ancestor was John Jack, a militiaman in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, in Captain Joseph Eager’s Company in Colonel Archibald Lackey’s Pennsylvania Regiment. Jack was wounded in the engagement at Ash Swamp during the Battle of the Short Hills in June 1777 near Woodbridge, New Jersey. In 1781, Jack served in Captain Andrew Searingen’s Company of Rangers on the frontier of Washington County, Pennsylvania.

    The USS (DD-445), named for Admiral Frank F. Fletcher, was the lead Fletcher-class destroyer. The ship served in the Pacific during World War II. She received fifteen battle stars in World War II and five for Korean War service.

    Admiral Fletcher’s nephew, Frank Jack Fletcher, was also awarded the Medal of Honor for distinguished conduct during the Vera Cruz operation, was the senior officer present during the battles of Coral Sea and Midway in World War II, and retired with the rank of admiral, passing away in 1973. The second USS (DD-992) was named in his honor.

  • Douglas MacArthur, WWII

    01 April 1942

    Douglas MacArthur was born on January 26, 1880, in the Little Rock Arsenal, Little Rock, Arkansas. He was the son of Lieutenant General Arthur MacArthur, Jr., who was also a recipient of the Medal of Honor during the Civil War in the Battle of Missionary Ridge in November 1863.

    MacArthur graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1903 as valedictorian of his ninety-three-man class. During his life, General MacArthur took part in three major wars (World War I, World War II, and the Korean War) and rose to the rank of General of the Army, one of only five people to hold that rank in U.S. history. He served his country for over sixty years.

    General MacArthur was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions early in World War II in the Philippines and on the Bataan Peninsula. The citation dated 01 April 1942 accompanying the award reads, “For conspicuous leadership in preparing the Philippine Islands to resist conquest, for gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action against invading Japanese forces, and for the heroic conduct of defensive and offensive operations on the Bataan Peninsula. He mobilized, trained, and led an army which has received world acclaim for its gallant defense against a tremendous superiority of enemy forces in men and arms. His utter disregard of personal danger under heavy fire and aerial bombardment, his calm judgment in each crisis, inspired his troops, galvanized the spirit of resistance of the Filipino people, and confirmed the faith of the American people in their Armed Forces.”

    Douglas MacArthur’s SAR National number is 65843 and his Empire State Society number is 7723. His SAR patriot ancestor is John Barney, of Taunton, Massachusetts, who served as a private in the Massachusetts Militia. MacArthur’s application notes that his military service was in World War I, World War II, and the Korean War. The general did not sign his SAR application, but it was attested to by Murray Hulbert, U.S. District Judge, from a letter from MacArthur “from his military headquarters in the Pacific theatre of war” received on July 16, 1945. General Douglas MacArthur died on April 6, 1964; he and his wife are buried in Norfolk, Virginia.

  • Joseph Jacob Foss, WWII

    19 November 1942

    Joseph Jacob “Joe” Foss was born in a farm house on April 17, 1915, outside Sioux Falls, South Dakota. At the age of twelve, he visited a local airfield to see Charles Lindbergh on tour with the Spirit of St. Louis. Four years later, he and his father paid to take their first airplane ride. Two years later, in 1933, his father died and young Joe took over running the family farm. Within another two years, dust storms of the Depression had destroyed the crops and the stock.

    By 1940, Foss had earned a degree from the University of South Dakota and a pilot’s certificate. He enlisted in the Marine Reserves to join the Naval Aviation Cadet program. Upon completion, Foss was designated a naval aviator and commission as a second lieutenant.

    By October 1942, he was executive officer of VMF-121 on Guadalcanal. In a short period of time, “engaging in almost daily combat with the enemy from 9 October to 19 November 1942, Capt. Foss personally shot down twenty-three Japanese planes and damaged others.” He would become the first Marine to become an “Ace in a Day.” A few days later, he would have twenty-six aerial victories equaling Eddie Rickenbacker’s World War I record. In May 1943, President Roosevelt personally presented Foss with the Congressional Medal of Honor for his outstanding heroism, courage, and leadership. The next month, Captain Foss’ image graced the cover of magazine, where he was identified as “America’s No. 1 Ace.”

    After the war, Foss capitalized on his name recognition by starting a charter flying service and flight instruction school. He helped organize the South Dakota Air National Guard, commanded the Guard’s 175th Fighter Interceptor Squadron as a lieutenant colonel, and rose to the rank of brigadier general.

    In 1948, he was elected to the South Dakota Legislature as a Republican. During the Korean War, Colonel Foss was called to active duty with the U.S. Air Force and served as a Director of Operations and Training for the Central Air Defense Command. In 1954, he was elected as the governor of South Dakota, the youngest governor in the history of the state, and two years later was elected to a second term. After serving two two-year terms, he ran for Congress against George McGovern, the future Democratic presidential nominee, and was defeated.

    Foss followed his political career by becoming the first commissioner of the American Football League in 1960, a position he held for six years. During that time, he signed a multi-year, multi-million dollar television contract with ABC and advocated an association with the National Football League under a single commissioner while hoping to keep the leagues’ identities separate. He resigned as AFL commissioner on his fifty-first birthday. Less than two months later, the League announced plans to merge with the NFL in 1970.

    Joseph Foss became the first host of “The American Sportsman” from 1964 to 1967, and his own syndicated television show, “Joe Foss: Outdoorsman,” from 1967 to 1974.

    In the early 1980s, Foss retired to Arizona and soon accepted the position of president of the National Rifle Association (NRA) in 1988, which he held until 1990.

    Today, his legacy lives on through the Joe Foss Institute founded by him and his wife, Didi Foss. The Joe Foss Institute is dedicated to promoting patriotism, public service, integrity, and an appreciation for America’s freedoms. Its goal is to instill these values by making presentations to one-million young people each year. Veteran volunteers present to K-12 schools and a variety of youth groups a no-cost, thirty- to fifty-minute presentation. In 2008, the “Veteran’s Inspiring Patriotism” program was presented in thirty-eight states. In addition, three students were awarded $5,000 scholarships for submitting winning essays describing what patriotism means to them.

    Joseph Jacob Foss’ SAR National number is 51396. He was a member of the South Dakota Society, number 172. His SAR patriot ancestor is Rufus Cady, Sergeant, Massachusetts Troops. Foss signed his SAR application on April 19, 1943. Brigadier General Foss died on New Year’s Day, 2003, at the age of eighty-seven in Scottsdale, Arizona, and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery on January 21, 2003.

  • Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., WWII

    06 June 1944

    Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. was the son of President Theodore Roosevelt. He was born on September 13, 1887, at the family estate in Oyster Bay, New York. Roosevelt graduated from Harvard University in 1908 and entered the business world in the steel and carpet industries before becoming a branch manager of an investment bank.

    After service as an officer and rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel during World War I, Roosevelt began his political career in the New York State Assembly. He later was to serve as assistant secretary of the Navy, the governor of Puerto Rico from 1929 to 1932, and the governor General of the Philippines from 1932 until 1933. He resigned and returned to the U.S. shortly after his cousin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, was elected President of the United States. He served as Vice President at Doubleday Publishing Company, later serving as chairman of the board of the American Express Company, as vice president for Boy Scouts of America, and as president of the National Health Council.

    Roosevelt returned to active duty in April 1941 and was placed in command of the 26th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division: the same group in which he fought during the First World War. Late in 1941, he was promoted to the rank of brigadier general. Throughout World War II, Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. suffered from heart trouble and arthritis problems which caused him to walk with a cane. He saw action in northern Africa, Sicily, and the mainland of Italy.

    In 1944, General Eisenhower assigned Roosevelt to England to help lead the Normandy invasion on June 6, 1944. On D-Day, Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. led the first wave of the U.S. 4th Infantry Division’s landing at Utah Beach and earned the Medal of Honor. His Medal of Honor citation reads in part that “he repeatedly led groups from the beach, over the seawall and established them inland. His valor, courage, and presence in the very front of the attack and his complete unconcern at being under heavy fire inspired the troops to heights of enthusiasm and self-sacrifice. Although the enemy had the beach under constant direct fire, Brig. Gen. Roosevelt moved from one locality to another, rallying men around him, directed and personally led them against the enemy. Under his seasoned, precise, calm, and unfaltering leadership, assault troops reduced beach strong points and rapidly moved inland with minimum casualties. He thus contributed substantially to the successful establishment of the beachhead in France.”

    One month after the landing at Utah Beach, Roosevelt died of a heart attack in France. He is buried at the American cemetery in Normandy, next to his brother, Quentin, a World Was I Air Corps pilot who was shot down and killed behind enemy lines on July 14, 1918.

    Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.’s SAR National number is 32876 and his Empire State Society number is 3526. His SAR patriot ancestor is Jacobus I. Roosevelt, who served as commissary in the New York Troops during the Revolutionary War. He signed his SAR application on June 10, 1919. Attached to the last page of Roosevelt’s SAR application is a newspaper clipping of unknown origin with a handwritten date of “9/20/44” entitled “Gen. Roosevelt’s Widow Presented Medal of Honor.” Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson presented the award to Roosevelt’s widow. Also attending the presentation were “Gen. George C. Marshall, chief of staff, and Gen. H. H. Arnold, commander of the Army Air Forces. The War Department said that the award had been recommended prior to Roosevelt’s death in Normandy on July 12.”

  • Robert Hugo Dunlap, WWII

    20 February 1945

    Robert Hugo Dunlap was born on October 19, 1920, in Abingdon, Illinois. He graduated from Abingdon High School in 1938. In May 1942, he graduated with a degree of Bachelor of Arts degree from Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois, where he majored in Economics and Business Administration and minored in Mathematics. While at Monmouth College, Dunlap played on the football team and ran track. He also served as treasurer of the student body in his senior year.

    While attending Monmouth College, he enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve. Upon graduation, he was called to active duty and assigned to the Officers Candidates Class at Quantico, Virginia. On July 18, 1942, Robert H. Dunlap was commissioned a second lieutenant. On November 23, 1942, he graduated from Parachute Training School. As a first lieutenant, he took part in the invasions of Vella Lavella and Bougainville in the Solomon Islands during the latter part of 1943.

    First Lieutenant Dunlap returned to the United States in the spring of 1944 to join the 5th Marine Division then being formed. As a combat-experienced officer he became a machine gun platoon leader in Company G, 3rd Battalion, 26th Marines. A few months later, he departed for combat duty for the second time. He was promoted to captain in October 1944.

    As Commanding Officer, Company C, 1st Battalion, 26th Marines, 5th Marine Division, during the Iwo Jima campaign, on the day following the original landing of February 19, 1945, Captain Dunlap led his company through heavy artillery, mortar, rifle, and machine gun fire in a determined advance off the low ground uphill toward the protection of the steep cliffs. When the enemy fire finally became too intense to advance any farther toward the caves located high to the front, Captain Dunlap held up his company and crawled alone approximately two-hundred yards forward of his front lines.

    From this position at the base of the cliff, about fifty yards from the Japanese lines, the captain spotted the enemy gun positions. He returned to his own lines and relayed vital targeting information to the supporting artillery and naval gunfire units. Persistently disregarding his own safety, he then placed himself in an exposed vantage point to direct a more accurate supporting fire. Captain Dunlap worked without respite for two days and two nights under constant enemy fire, skillfully directing a smashing bombardment against the almost impregnable enemy positions. During this battle, his company suffered heavy casualties, but by his inspiring leadership and indomitable fight spirit, Captain Dunlap spurred his men on to heroic effort which resulted in the final decisive defeat of Japanese in that area.

    One week later, Captain Dunlap was wounded by a bullet in the left hip. He was evacuated from Iwo Jima and spent nearly fourteen months recuperating. President Harry S. Truman awarded the Medal of Honor to Captain Dunlap in ceremonies at the White House on December 18, 1945. Captain Dunlap was discharged from the Great Lakes Naval Hospital on April 20, 1946. He went on inactive duty in September 1946 and was retired with the rank of major on December 1, 1946.

    Robert H. Dunlap’s National number is 105475 and his Illinois Society number is 5507. His SAR patriot ancestor was Colonel Johnathan Latimer of New London, Connecticut, who served as an officer in the Continental Army. Dunlap signed his application on January 13, 1973. His occupation is listed as “School Teacher.” Interestingly, he is a cousin of another SAR Compatriot Medal of Honor recipient, James Bond Stockdale. Major Robert H. Dunlap died on March 24, 2000, at the age of seventy-nine. He is buried in Warren Country Memorial Park in Monmouth, Illinois.

  • Hershel Woodrow Williams, WWII

    23 February 1945

    Hershel Woodrow Williams was born on October 2, 1923, in Quiet Dell, West Virginia. He joined the U.S. Marine Corps in West Virginia and served in the Pacific theater during the Second World War. Williams was awarded the Medal of Honor on October 5, 1945 for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as a demolition sergeant serving with the 21st Marines, Third Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, on the February 23, 1945.

    Quick to volunteer his services when American tanks were maneuvering vainly to open a lane for the infantry through the network of reinforced concrete pillboxes, buried mines, and black volcanic sands, Williams daringly went forward alone to attempt the reduction of devastating machine gun fire from the unyielding positions. Covered only by four riflemen, he fought desperately for four hours under terrific enemy small-arms fire. Williams repeatedly returned to his own lines to prepare demolition charges and obtain serviced flamethrowers, struggling back, frequently to the rear of hostile emplacements, to wipe out one Japanese position after another. On one occasion, he daringly mounted a pillbox to insert the nozzle of his flamethrower through the air vent, killing the occupants and silencing the gun; on another, he grimly charged enemy riflemen who attempted to stop him with bayonets and destroyed them with a burst of flame from his weapon. His unyielding determination and extraordinary heroism in the face of ruthless enemy resistance were directly instrumental in neutralizing one of the most fanatically defended Japanese strong points encountered by his regiment and aided vitally in enabling his company to reach its objective. Williams’ aggressive fighting spirit and valiant devotion to duty throughout this fiercely contested action sustain and enhance the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

    Today, Hershel Williams spends his time very actively promoting the Hershel Woody Williams Medal of Honor Foundation that seeks to erect memorials honoring Gold Star families and recognizing the sacrifice of not only the heroes but also of their families. SAR President General Lawrence presented Williams’ foundation the SAR’s Distinguished Patriotism Award in December 2015 along with Williams’ West Virginia SAR membership certificate and a War Service Medal.

  • James Bond Stockdale, Vietnam

    09 September 1965

    James Bond Stockdale was born on December 23, 1923, in Abingdon, Illinois, the son of Vernon B. Stockdale and Mabel E. Bond. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1946. Upon graduation, he earned his pilot’s wings at Pensacola, Florida. In 1954, he reported to the Test Pilot School at Patuxent River, Maryland.

    In August 1964, while serving as squadron commander, Stockdale was one of the U.S. pilots flying overhead during the Gulf of Tonkin Incident. On a mission over North Vietnam on September 9, 1965, Stockdale’s A-4E Skyhawk was disabled by anti-aircraft fire and he was forced to eject. Stockdale parachuted into a small village, where he was severely beaten and taken into custody. He was held as a prisoner of war in the Hoa Lo prison for the next seven years where he was tortured many times but refused to capitulate. Stockdale was released as a prisoner of war on February 12, 1973. His citation reads, in part, for “his valiant leadership and extraordinary courage in a hostile environment,” James Bond Stockdale received the Medal of Honor in 1976 from President Gerald Ford.

    After his retirement, Stockdale became the president of the Citadel in South Carolina in 1979. He left the Citadel to become a fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University in 1981. During the following two decades, Stockdale wrote a number of books both on his experiences during the Vietnam War and afterwards and also on philosophy. His best known work is In Love and War, co-written with his wife Sybil and published in 1984. It was later made into an NBC television movie of the same name.

    Stockdale came to know H. Ross Perot through his wife’s work in establishing an organization to represent the families of Vietnam prisoners of war. Perot asked Stockdale to accept the nomination as the vice president on the ticket for the Reform Party in March 1992. Admiral Stockdale accepted. The independent ticket of Ross Perot and James Stockdale received nineteen percent of the vote in the 1992 presidential election. Although they did not carry any states, it was one of the best showings by an independent ticket in U.S. electoral history.

    Vice Admiral Stockdale retired to California as he slowly succumbed to Alzheimer’s disease. He died on July 5, 2005. Stockdale’s funeral service was held at the Naval Academy Chapel and he is buried at the United States Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis, Maryland.

    Compatriot Stockdale was a life member of the Illinois SAR. His SAR National number is 110583 and his Illinois Society number is 5765. His SAR patriot ancestor was Captain James Elliot, who served as a soldier and officer of the Rockbridge County Militia in Virginia. There is a note on the back of his applications which reads, “Admiral Stockdale was a member of the “Winifred Miller” chapter of C.A.R., which has disbanded.” Interestingly, he is a cousin of another SAR Compatriot Medal of Honor recipient, Major Robert H. Dunlap. In September 2008, the Navy accepted delivery of the, (DDG-106), a guided missile destroyer ship.

  • Patrick Henry Brady , Vietnam

    06 January 1968

    Patrick Henry Brady was born on October 1, 1936, in Phillip, North Dakota. His family soon moved to Seattle, Washington, where Brady attended O’Dea High School, an all-boys school run by the congregation of Christian Brothers. He was active in sports. He graduated from Seattle University and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Army Medical Service Corps in 1959 through the university’s ROTC program. He served in Berlin, Germany, with the 279th Station Hospital. In 1963, he graduated from the U.S. Army Aviation School at Fort Rucker, Alabama.

    Brady’s next assignment was with the 57th Medical Detachment in Vietnam. After the death of his commanding officer, Brady assumed command of the unit’s Detachment A. On his second tour, now a major, Brady was second in command of the 54th Medical Detachment. It was during this tour of duty that Major Brady was awarded the Medal of Honor.

    On January 6, 1968, while flying near Chu Lai, Vietnam, Major Brady earned the Medal of Honor. His citation reads, in part: Major “Brady distinguished himself while serving in the Republic of Vietnam commanding a UH-1H ambulance helicopter, volunteered to rescue wounded men from a site in enemy-held territory which was reported to be heavily defended and to be blanketed by fog. To reach the site he descended through heavy fog and smoke and hovered slowly along a valley trail, turning his ship sideward to blow away the fog with the backwash from his rotor blades. Despite the unchallenged, close-range enemy fire, he found the dangerously small site, where he successfully landed and evacuated two badly wounded South Vietnamese soldiers. He was then called to another area completely covered by dense fog where American casualties lay only fifty meters from the enemy. Two aircraft had previously been shot down and others had made unsuccessful attempts to reach this site earlier in the day. With unmatched skill and extraordinary courage, Maj. Brady made four flights to this embattled landing zone and successfully rescued all the wounded. On his third mission of the day, Maj. Brady once again landed at a site surrounded by the enemy. The friendly ground force, pinned down by enemy fire, had been unable to reach and secure the landing zone. Although his aircraft had been badly damaged and his controls partially shot away during his initial entry into this area, he returned minutes later and rescued the remaining injured. Shortly thereafter, obtaining a replacement aircraft, Maj. Brady was requested to land in an enemy minefield where a platoon of American soldiers was trapped. A mine detonated near his helicopter, wounding two crewmembers and damaging his ship. In spite of this, he managed to fly six severely injured patients to medical aid. Throughout that day Maj. Brady utilized three helicopters to evacuate a total of fifty-one seriously wounded men, many of whom would have perished without prompt medical treatment.”

    His record shows that during his two tours of duty in Vietnam, Brady flew over two thousand combat missions and evacuated more than five thousand wounded.

    Returning to the U.S., Brady continued serving in the U.S. Army. He retired in 1993 as a major general with thirty-four years of service.

    Patrick Henry Brady became a member of the Texas SAR in September 2011. His National number is 180845 and his Texas Society number is 11114. His SAR patriot ancestor was John Lammon who was born on September 12, 1761, in Palmer, Hampshire County, Massachusetts. Lammon served as a private in the 8th Regiment, Albany County Militia from Albany County, New York. Lammon died on April 16, 1847, in Orangeville, Wyoming County, New York.

    General Brady served for a number of years as the chairman of the Citizens Flag Alliance, an organization, founded in 1989 by the American Legion. It was formally called the Citizen’s Flag Honor Guard. The Alliance is dedicated to protecting the American flag from desecration.