Medal of Honor

The Medal of Honor was instituted on December 21, 1861, to recognise gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life and above and beyond the call of duty.  It started its history as a Naval award, and was initially restricted to enlisted personnel in the United States Navy and Marines. An Army Medal of Honor followed on July 12, 1862, and was likewise restricted to enlisted personnel. The latter award was expanded to include army officers on March 3, 1863, although naval officers would remain ineligible until 1915. (1)

The first physical medals were issued to six survivors of ‘Andrew’s Raid’, an all volunteer mission which was targeted at disrupting rail communications in Confederate held Georgia. These were presented in Washington on March 25, 1863, with the first naval presentations taking place a few days later on April 3, 1863. A total number of 1,200 medals were awarded to army personnel for actions in the American Civil War, with a further 327 going to the navy and marines.(2) Many recipients did not receive recognition until decades after the conclusion of the conflict; the final recipients were two members of the 47th Ohio Infantry who received their awards in 1917.(3)

At least 146 Irish-born men received the Medal of Honor for services during the American Civil War, almost ten percent of the total number awarded. Of these, a number have only recently come to light as Irish-born, having initially been erroneously categorised as of unknown or American nativity. It is probable that this figure will increase as further research is conducted into the backgrounds of Medal of Honor recipients. Of the Irish awards, no fewer than fifty were awarded to Irishmen in the naval and marine service, just over fifteen percent of the total number for that category.

Studies of Irish participation in the American Civil War often focus on well-known ‘green flag’ units such as the Irish Brigade and Corcoran’s Irish Legion. However, the vast majority of Irish-born men served in non-Irish regiments or in the naval arm of the service. Perhaps understandably, their stories are often much harder to discover and explore. Analysis of the Irish-born Medal of Honor recipients brings some of these men to the fore. Indeed of the total number, fewer than twenty were members of ethnic Irish regiments.

Three of the Irishmen would eventually receive the award twice; Coxswain John Cooper of the U.S.S. Brooklyn for two separate actions in Mobile Bay, Alabama; Boatswain’s Mate Patrick Mullen for gallantry in action and lifesaving, both in 1865; Fireman John Laverty (Lafferty) for actions on the Roanoke River during the war with the second for bravery in peacetime, aboard the U.S.S. Alaska in 1881. Although instituted during the American Civil War, the earliest chronological award was to Irishman Assistant Surgeon Bernard J.D. Irwin for service at Apache Pass, Arizona in February 1861.(4) The chronologically earliest Irish award of the conflict was to Corporal Owen McGough for actions at the First Battle of Bull Run. The first Irish-born men to physically receive the Medal of Honor were all sailors, who were presented with the award on 3 April 1863.

A list of these 146 Irishmen appears below, together with their unit and the engagement at which they performed their act of heroism. This listing forms part of the Irish-born Medal of Honor Project. If you are aware of any potential additions or corrections to the list below, or have information that you feel will further the project please contact me at irishamericancivilwar@gmail.com.

Ahern, Michael.Paymaster’s Steward, USS Kearsarge. (5)

Co. Cork.

Action off Cherbourg, France, 19 June 1864. Medal issued 31 December 1864.

Allen, James. Private, Company F, 16th New York Infantry.

Action at South Mountain, Maryland, 14 September 1862. Medal issued 11 September 1890.

Anderson, Robert. Quartermaster, USS Crusader, USS Keokuk.

Action at Charleston, South Carolina, 7 April 1863. Medal issued 10 July 1863.

Barry, Augustus. Sergeant-Major, Company C, 16th U.S. Infantry.

Various actions. Medal issued 28 February 1870.

Bass, David L. Seaman, U.S.S. Minnesota.

Action at Fort Fisher, North Carolina, 15 January 1865. Medal issued 22 June 1865.

Begley, Terrence. Sergeant, Company D, 7th New York Heavy Artillery.

Action at Cold Harbor, Virginia, 3 June 1864. Medal issued 1 December 1864.

Blackwood, William R.D. Surgeon, 48th Pennsylvania Infantry.

Co. Wicklow.

Action at Petersburg, Virginia, 2 April 1865. Medal issued 21 July 1897.

Bradley, Charles. Boatswain’s Mate, U.S.S. Louisville. (6)

Various actions. Medal issued 3 April 1863.

Brannigan, Felix. Private, Company A, 74th New York Infantry.

Action at Chancellorsville, Virginia, 2 May 1863. Medal issued 29 June 1866.

Brennan, Christopher. Seaman, U.S.S. Mississippi.

Action at Forts Jackson and St. Philip, Louisiana, 24-25 April 1862. Medal issued 10 July 1863.

Brosnan, John. Sergeant, Company E, 164th New York Infantry.

Co. Kerry.

Action at Petersburg, Virginia, 17 June 1864. Medal issued 18 January 1894.

Brown Jr., Edward. Corporal, Company G, 62nd New York Infantry.

Action at Fredericksburg and Salem Heights, Virginia, 3-4 May 1863. Medal issued 24 November 1880.

Burk, Michael E. Private, Company D, 125th New York Infantry.

Action at Spotsylvania, Virginia, 12 May 1864. Medal issued 1 December 1864.

Burke, Thomas. Private, Company A, 5th New York Cavalry.

Action at Hanover Courthouse, Virginia, 30 June 1863. Medal issued 11 February 1878.

Byrnes, James. Boatswain’s Mate, U.S.S. Louisville. (7)

Various actions. Medal issued 3 April 1863.

Campbell, William. Private, Company I, 30th Ohio Infantry.

Action at Vicksburg, Mississippi, 22 May 1863. Medal issued 14 August 1894.

Carey, Hugh. Sergeant, Company E, 82nd New York Infantry.

Action at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, 2 July 1863. Medal issued 6 February 1888.

Casey, David. Private, Company C, 25th Massachusetts Infantry.

Action at Cold Harbor, Virginia, 3 June 1864. Medal issued 14 September 1888.

Cassidy, Michael. Landsman, U.S.S. Lackawanna.

Action Mobile Bay, Alabama, 5 August 1864. Medal issued 31 December 1864.

Colbert, Patrick. Coxswain, U.S.S. Commodore Hull.

Action at Plymouth, North Carolina, 31 October 1864. Medal issued 31 December 1864.

Collis, Charles H.T. Colonel, 115th Pennsylvania Infantry.

Co. Cork.

Action at Fredericksburg, Virginia, 13 December 1862. Medal issued 10 March 1893.

Conboy, Martin. Sergeant, Company B, 37th New York Infantry.

Action at Williamsburg, Virginia, 5 May 1862. Medal issued 11 October 1892.

Connor, Thomas. Seaman, U.S.S. Minnesota.

Action at Fort Fisher, North Carolina, 15 January 1865. Medal issued 22 June 1865.

Connors, James. Private, Company E, 43rd New York Infantry.

Action at Fishers Hill, Virginia, 22 September 1864. Medal issued 6 October 1864.

Cooper, John. Coxswain, U.S.S. Brooklyn.

Co. Dublin.

Action at Mobile Bay, Alabama, 5 August 1864. Medal issued 31 December 1864.

Cooper, John. Coxswain, U.S.S. Brooklyn. (8)

Co. Dublin.

Action at Mobile Bay, Alabama, 26 April 1865. Medal issued 29 June 1865.

Corcoran, Thomas E. Landsman, U.S.S. Cincinnati.

Co. Dublin.

Action at Vicksburg, Mississippi, 27 May 1863. Medal issued 10 July 1863.

Cosgrove, Thomas. Private, Company F, 40th Massachusetts Infantry.

Co. Galway.

Action at Drurys Bluff, Virginia, 15 May 1864. Medal issued 7 November 1896.

Creed, John. Private, Company D, 23rd Illinois Infantry.

Co. Tipperary.

Action at Fishers Hill, Virginia, 22 September 1864. Medal issued 6 October 1864.

Cullen, Thomas. Corporal, Company I, 82nd New York Infantry.

Action at Bristoe Station, Virginia, 14 October 1863. Medal issued 1 December 1864.

Curran, Richard. Assistant Surgeon, 33rd New York Infantry.

Co. Clare.

Action at Antietam, Maryland, 17 September 1862. Medal issued 30 March 1898.

Delaney, John C. Sergeant, Company I, 107th Pennsylvania Infantry.

Action at Dabnys Mills, Virginia, 6 February 1864. Medal issued 29 August 1894.

Donoghue, Timothy. Private, Company B, 69th New York Infantry.

Action at Fredericksburg, Virginia, 13 December 1862. Medal issued 17 January 1894.

Doody, Patrick. Corporal, Company E, 164th New York Infantry.

Action at Cold Harbor, Virginia, 7 June 1864. Medal issued 13 December 1893.

Doolen, William. Coal Heaver, U.S.S. Richmond.

Action at Mobile Bay, Alabama, 5 August 1864. Medal issued 31 December 1864.

Dougherty, Michael. Private, Company B, 13th Pennsylvania Cavalry.

Co. Donegal.

Action at Jefferson, Virginia, 12 October 1863. Medal issued 23 January 1897.

Dougherty, Patrick. Landsman, U.S.S. Lackawanna.

Action at Mobile Bay, Alabama, 5 August 1864. Medal issued 31 December 1864.

Downey, William. Private, Company B, 4th Massachusetts Cavalry.

Action at Ashepoo River, South Carolina, 24 May 1864. Medal issued 21 January 1897.

Drury, James. Sergeant, Company C, 4th Vermont Infantry.

Action at Weldon Railroad, Virginia, 23 June 1864. Medal issued 18 January 1893.

Dunphy, Richard D. Coal Heaver, U.S.S. Hartford.

Action at Mobile Bay, Alabama, 5 August 1864. Medal issued 31 December 1864.

English, Edmund. First Sergeant, Company C, 2nd New Jersey Infantry.

Action at Wilderness, Virginia, 6 May 1864. Medal issued 13 February 1891.

Fallon, Thomas T. Private, Company K, 27th New York Infantry.

Co. Galway.

Action at Williamsburg, Virginia, 5 May 1862 and Fair Oaks, Virginia, 30-31 May 1862 and Big Shanty, Georgia 14-15 June 1864. Medal issued 13 February 1891.

Flood, Thomas. Boy, U.S.S. Pensacola. (9)

Action at Forts Jackson and St. Philip, Louisiana, 24-25 April 1862. Medal issued 3 April 1863.

Flynn, Christopher. Corporal, Company K, 14th Connecticut Infantry.

Action at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, 3 July 1863. Medal issued 1 December 1864.

Ford, George W. First Lieutenant, Company E, 88th New York Infantry.

Action at Sailors Creek, Virginia, 6 April 1865. Medal issued 10 May 1865.

Fox, Nicholas. Private, Company H, 28th Connecticut Infantry.

Action at Port Hudson, Louisiana, 14 June 1863. Medal issued 1 April 1898.

Gardner, William. Seaman, U.S.S. Galena.

Action at Mobile Bay, Alabama, 5 August 1864. Medal issued 31 December 1864.

Gasson, Richard. Sergeant, Company K, 47th New York Infantry.

Action at Chapins Farm, Virginia, 29 September 1864. Medal issued 6 April 1865.

Ginley, Patrick. Private, Company G, 1st New York Light Artillery.

Action at Reams Station, Virginia, 25 August 1864. Medal issued 31 October 1890.

Gribben, James H. Lieutenant, Company C, 2nd New York Cavalry.

Action at Sailors Creek, Virginia, 6 April 1865. Medal issued 3 May 1865.

Haley, James. Captain of the Forecastle, U.S.S. Kearsarge.

Co. Cork

Action off Cherbourg, France, 19 June 1864. Medal issued 31 December 1864.

Harrington, Daniel. Landsman, U.S.S. Pocahontas. (10)

Action at Brunswick, Georgia, 11 March 1862. Medal issued 3 April 1863.

Havron, John H. Sergeant, Company G, 1st Rhode Island Light Artillery.

Action at Petersburg, Virginia, 2 April 1865. Medal issued 16 June 1866.

Highland, Patrick. Corporal, Company D, 23rd Illinois Infantry.

Action at Petersburg, Virginia, 2 April 1865. Medal issued 12 May 1865.

Hinnegan, William. Second Class Fireman, U.S.S. Agawam.

Action at Fort Fisher, North Carolina, 23 December 1864. Medal issued 31 December 1864.

Horan, Thomas. Sergeant, Company E, 72nd New York Infantry.

Action at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, 2 July 1863. Medal issued 5 April 1898.

Horne, Samuel B. Captain, Company H, 11th Connecticut Infantry.

Action at Fort Harrison, Virginia, 29 September 1864. Medal issued 19 November 1897.

Howard, Martin. Landsman, U.S.S. Tacony.

Action at Plymouth, North Carolina, 31 October 1864. Medal issued 31 December 1864.

Hudson, Michael. Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps.

Action with the U.S.S. Brooklyn at Mobile Bay, Alabama, 5 August 1864. Medal issued 31 December 1864.

Hyland, John. Seaman, U.S.S. Signal.

Action at Red River, Louisiana, 5 May 1864. Medal issued 31 December 1864.

Irwin, Patrick. First Sergeant, Company H, 14th Michigan Infantry.

Co. Clare.

Action at Jonesboro, Georgia, 1 September 1864. Medal issued 28 April 1896.

Jones, Andrew. Chief Boatswain’s Mate, U.S.S. Chickasaw.

Co. Limerick.

Action at Mobile Bay, Alabama, 5 August 1864. Medal issued 31 December 1864.

Jones, William. First Sergeant, Company A, 73rd New York Infantry.

Action at Spotsylvania, Virginia, 12 May 1864. Medal issued 1 December 1864.

Kane, John. Corporal, Company K, 100th New York Infantry.

Action at Petersburg, Virginia, 2 April 1865. Medal issued 12 May 1865.

Keele, Joseph. Sergeant-Major, 182nd New York Infantry.

Action at North Anna River, Virginia, 23 May 1864. Medal issued 25 October 1867.

Kelley, John. Second Class Fireman, U.S.S. Ceres. (11)

Action at Hamilton, North Carolina 9 July 1862. Medal issued 3 April 1863.

Kelly, Thomas. Private, Company A, 6th New York Cavalry.

Action at Front Royal, Virginia, 16 August 1864. Medal issued 26 August 1864.

Kennedy, John. Private, Company M, 2nd U.S. Artillery.

Action at Trevilian Station, Virginia, 11 June 1864. Medal issued 19 August 1892.

Keough, John. Corporal, Company E, 67th Pennsylvania Infantry.

Action at Sailors Creek, Virginia, 6 April 1865. Medal issued 3 May 1865.

Kerr, Thomas R. Captain, Company C, 14th Pennsylvania Cavalry.

Action at Moorefield, West Virginia, 7 August 1864. Medal issued 13 June 1894.

Laverty, John. Fireman, U.S.S. Wyalusing. (12)

Co. Tyrone.

Action at Roanoke River, North Carolina, 25 May 1864. Medal issued 31 December 1864.

Laffey, Bartlett. Seaman, U.S.S. Marmora.

Co. Galway.

Action off Yazoo City, Mississippi, 5 March 1864. Medal issued 16 April 1864.

Logan, Hugh. Captain of the Afterguard, U.S.S. Rhode Island.

Action at Mobile Bay, Alabama, 30 December 1862. Medal issued 22 June 1865.

Lonergan, John. Captain, Company A< 13th Vermont Infantry.

Co. Tipperary.

Action at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, 2 July 1863. Medal issued 28 October 1893.

Madden, Michael. Private, Company K, 42nd New York Infantry.

Action at Masons Island, Maryland, 3 September 1861.

Medal issued 22 March 1898.

Mangam, Richard C. Private, Company H, 148th New York Infantry.

Action at Hatchers Run, Virginia, 2 April 1865. Medal issued 21 September 1888.

Martin, Edward S. Quartermaster, U.S.S. Galena.

Action at Mobile Bay, Alabama, 5 August 1864. Medal issued 22 June 1865.

Martin, James. Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps.

Co. Derry/Londonderry.

Action with the U.S.S. Richmond at Mobile Bay, Alabama, 5 August 1864. Medal issued 31 December 1864.

Martin, William. Seaman, U.S.S. Varuna. (13)

Action at Forts Jackson and St. Philip, Louisiana, 24 April 1862. Medal issued 3 April 1863.

McAdams, Peter. Corporal, Company A, 98th Pennsylvania Infantry.

Action at Salem Heights, Virginia, 3 May 1863. Medal issued 1 April 1898.

McAnally, Charles. Lieutenant, Company D, 69th Pennsylvania Infantry.

Action at Spotsylvania, Virginia, 12 May 1864. Medal issued 1 August 1897.

McCarren, Bernard. Private, Company C, 1st Delaware Infantry.

Action at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania 3 July 1863. Medal issued 1 December 1864.

McCormick, Michael. Boatswain’s Mate, U.S.S. Signal.

Action on the Red River, Louisiana, 5 May 1864. Medal issued 31 December 1864.

McEnroe, Patrick H. Sergeant, Company D, 6th New York Cavalry.

Action at Winchester, Virginia, 19 September 1864. Medal issued 27 September 1864.

McGough, Owen. Corporal, Battery D, 5th U.S. Artillery.

Co. Monaghan

Action at Bull Run, Virginia, 21 July 1861. Medal issued 28 August 1897.

McGowan, John. Quartermaster U.S.S. Varuna. (14)

Action at Forts Jackson and St. Philip, Louisiana, 24 April 1862. Medal issued 3 April 1863.

McGraw, Thomas. Sergeant, Company B, 23rd Illinois Infantry.

Action at Petersburg, Virginia, 2 April 1865. Medal issued 12 May 1865.

McGuire, Patrick. Private, Chicago Mercantile Battery, Illinois Light Artillery.

Action at Vicksburg, Mississippi, 22 May 1863. Medal issued 15 January 1895.

McHale, Alexander U. Corporal, Company H, 26th Michigan Infantry.

Action at Spotsylvania Court House, 12 May 1864. Medal issued 11 January 1900.

McHugh, Martin. Seaman, U.S.S. Cincinnati.

Action at Vicksburg, Mississippi, 27 May 1863. Medal issued 10 July 1863.

McKee, George. Color Sergeant, Company D, 89th New York Infantry.

Action at Petersburg, Virginia 2 April 1865. Medal issued 12 May 1865.

McKeever, Michael. Private, Company K, 5th Pennsylvania Cavalry.

Action at Burnt Ordinary, Virginia, 19 January 1863. Medal issued 2 August 1897.

Molloy, Hugh. Ordinary Seaman, U.S.S. Fort Hindman.

Action at Harrisonburg, Louisiana, 2 March 1864. Medal issued 16 April 1864.

Monaghan, Patrick. Corporal, Company F, 48th Pennsylvania Infantry.

Action at Petersburg, Virginia, 17 June 1864. Medal issued 1 December 1864.

Montgomery, Robert. Captain of the Afterguard, U.S.S. Agawam.

Action at Fort Fisher, North Carolina, 23 December 1864. Medal issued 31 December 1864.

Moore, Charles. Landsman, U.S. Steam Gunboat Marblehead.

Action off Legareville, Stono River, South Carolina, 25 December 1863. Medal issued 16 April 1864.

Morrison, John G. Coxswain, U.S.S. Carondelet.

Action on the Yazoo River, Mississippi, 15 July 1862. Medal issued 22 June 1865.

Morton, Charles W. Boatswain’s Mate, U.S.S. Benton. (15)

Action at Drumgould’s Bluff, Yazoo River, Mississippi, 27 December 1862. Medal issued 3 April 1863.

Mulholland, St. Clair A. Major, 116th Pennsylvania Infantry.

Co. Antrim.

Action at Chancellorsville, Virginia, 4-5 May 1863. Medal issued 26 March 1895.

Mullen, Patrick. Boatswain’s Mate, U.S.S. Wyandank.

Action on Mattox Creek, Virginia, 17 March 1865. Medal issued 22 June 1865.

Mullen, Patrick. Boatswain’s Mate, U.S.S. Don. (16)

Action near Hampton Roads, Virginia, 1 May 1865. Medal issued 29 June 1865.

Murphy, Denis J.F. Sergeant, Company F, 14th Wisconsin Infantry.

Co. Cork.

Action at Corinth, Mississippi, 3 October 1862. Medal issued 22 January 1892.

Murphy, John P. Private, Company K, 5th Ohio Infantry.

Co. Kerry.

Action at Antietam, Maryland, 17 September 1862. Medal issued 11 September 1866.

Murphy, Michael C. Lieutenant-Colonel, 170th New York Infantry.

Co. Limerick.

Action at North Anna River, Virginia, 24 May 1864. Medal issued 15 January 1897.

Murphy, Patrick. Boatswain’s Mate, U.S.S. Metacomet.

Co. Waterford.

Action at Mobile Bay, Alabama, 5 August 1864. Medal issued 31 December 1864.

Murphy, Thomas C. Corporal, Company I, 31st Illinois Infantry.

Action at Vicksburg, Mississippi, 22 May 1863. Medal issued 14 August 1893.

Murphy, Thomas J. First Sergeant, Company G, 146th New York Infantry.

Action at Five Forks, Virginia, 1 April 1865. Medal issued 10 May 1865.

Nolan, John J. Sergeant, Company K, 8th New Hampshire Infantry.

Action at Georgia Landing, Louisiana, 27 October 1862. Medal issued 3 August 1897.

Nugent, Christopher. Orderly Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps.

Co. Cavan.

Action with the U.S.S. Fort Henry, Crystal River, Florida, 15 June 1863. Medal issued 16 April 1864.

O’Beirne, James R. Captain, Company C, 37th New York Infantry.

Co. Roscommon.

Action at Fair Oaks, Virginia, 31 May-1 June 1862. Medal issued 20 January 1891.

O’Brien, Peter. Private, Company A, 1st New York (Lincoln) Cavalry.

Action at Waynesboro, Virginia, 2 March 1865. Medal issued 26 March 1865.

O’Connell, Thomas. Coal Heaver, U.S.S. Hartford.

Action at Mobile Bay, Alabama, 5 August 1864. Medal issued 31 December 1864.

O’Connor, Timothy. Private, Company E, 1st U.S. Cavalry.

Action at Malvern, Virginia, 28 July 1864. Medal issued 5 January 1865.

O’Dea, John. Private, Company D, 8th Missouri Infantry.

Action at Vicksburg, Mississippi, 22 May 1863. Medal issued 12 July, 1894.

O’Donnell, Menomen. First Lieutenant, Company A, 11th Missouri Infantry.

Actions at Vicksburg, Mississippi, 22 May 1863 and Fort DeRussey, Louisiana, 14 March 1864. Medal issued 14 March 1864.

Platt, George C. Private, Troop H, 6th U.S. Cavalry.

Action at Fairfield, Pennsylvania, 3 July 1863. Medal issued 12 July 1895.

Plunkett, Thomas. Sergeant, Company E, 21st Massachusetts Infantry.

Co. Mayo.

Action at Fredericksburg, Virginia, 11 December 1862. Medal issued 30 March 1866.

Preston, John. Landsman, U.S.S. Onieda.

Action at Mobile Bay, Alabama, 5 August 1864. Medal issued 31 December 1864.

Quinlan, James. Major, 88th New York Infantry.

Co. Tipperary.

Action at Savage Station, Virginia, 29 June 1862. Medal issued 18 February 1891.

Rafferty, Peter. Private, Company B, 69th New York Infantry.

Action at Malvern Hill, Virginia, 1 July 1862. Medal issued 2 August 1897.

Rannahan, John. Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps.

Action with the U.S.S. Minnesota at Fort Fisher, North Carolina, 15 July 1865. Medal issued 22 June 1865.

Reynolds, George. Private, Company M, 9th New York Cavalry.

Action at Winchester, Virginia, 19 September 1864. Medal issued 27 September 1864.

Riley, Thomas. Private, Company D, 1st Louisiana Cavalry.

Action at Fort Blakely, Alabama, 4 April 1865. Medal issued 8 June 1865.

Roantree, James S. Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps.

Co. Dublin.

Action with the U.S.S. Oneida at Mobile Bay, Alabama, 5 August 1864. Medal issued 31 December 1864.

Robinson, John H. Private, Company I, 19th Massachusetts Infantry.

Action at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, 3 July 1863. Medal issued 1 December 1864.

Robinson, Thomas. Private, Company H, 81st Pennsylvania Infantry.

Action at Spotsylvania, Virginia, 12 May 1864. Medal issued 1 December 1864.

Ryan, Peter J. Private, Company D, 11th Indiana Infantry.

Action at Winchester, Virginia, 19 September 1864. Medal issued 4 April 1865.

Scanlan, Patrick. Private, Company A, 4th Massachusetts Cavalry.

Action on the Ashepoo River, South Carolina, 24 May 1864. Medal issued 21 January 1897.

Schutt, George. Coxswain, U.S.S. Hendrick Hudson.

Action at St. Marks, Florida, 5-6 March 1865. Medal issued 22 June 1865.

Sewell, William J. Colonel, 5th New Jersey Infantry.

Co. Mayo.

Action at Chancellorsville, Virginia, 3 May 1863. Medal issued 25 March 1896.

Shields, Bernard. Private, Company E, 2nd West Virginia Cavalry.

Action at Appomattox, Virginia, 8 April 1865. Medal issued 3 May 1865.

Smith, William. Quartermaster, U.S.S. Kearsarge.

Action at Cherbourg, France 19 June 1864. Medal issued 31 December 1864.

Spillane, Timothy. Private, Company C, 16th Pennsylvania Cavalry.

Co. Kerry.

Action at Hatchers Run, Virginia, 5-7 February 1865. Medal issued 16 September 1880.

Stewart, Joseph. Private, Company G, 1st Maryland Infantry.

Action at Five Forks, Virginia, 1 April 1865. Medal issued 27 April 1865.

Sullivan, Timothy. Coxswain, U.S.S. Louisville. (17)

Various actions throughout the war. Medal issued 3 April 1863.

Tobin, John M. First Lieutenant and Adjutant, 9th Massachusetts Infantry.

Co. Waterford.

Action at Malvern Hill, Virginia, 1 July 1862. Medal issued 11 March 1896.

Toomer, William. Sergeant, Company G. 127th Illinois Infantry.

Action at Vicksburg, Mississippi, 22 May 1863. Medal issued 9 July 1894.

Tyrell, George William. Corporal, Company H, 5th Ohio Infantry.

Action at Resaca, Georgia, 14 May 1864. Medal issued 7 April 1865.

Urell, M. Emmet. Private, Company E, 82nd New York Infantry.

Co. Tipperary.

Action at Bristoe Station, Virginia, 14 October 1863. Medal issued 6 June 1870.

Walsh, John. Corporal, Company D, 5th New York Cavalry.

Co. Tipperary.

Action at Cedar Creek, Virginia, 19 October 1864. Medal issued 26 October 1864.

Welch, Richard. Corporal, Company E, 37th Massachusetts Infantry.

Action at Petersburg, Virginia, 2 April 1865. Medal issued 10 May 1865.

Wells, Thomas M. Chief Bugler, 6th New York Cavalry.

Action at Cedar Creek, Virginia, 19 October 1864. Medal issued 26 October 1864.

Welsh, Edward. Private, Company D, 54th Ohio Infantry.

Action at Vicksburg, Mississippi, 22 May 1863. Medal issued 11 May 1894.

Welsh, James. Private, Company E, 4th Rhode Island Infantry.

Action at Petersburg, Virginia, 30 July 1864. Medal issued 3 June 1905.

White, Patrick H. Captain, Chicago Mercantile Battery, Illinois Light Artillery.

Action at Vicksburg, Mississippi, 22 May 1863. Medal issued 15 January 1895.

Williams, William. Landsman, U.S.S. Lehigh.

Action at Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, 1 November 1863. Medal issued 16 April 1864.

Wilson, Christopher W. Private, Company E, 73rd New York Infantry.

Action at Spotsylvania, Virginia, 12 May 1864. Medal issued 30 December 1898.

Wright, Robert. Private, Company G, 14th U.S. Infantry.

Action at Chapel House Farm, Virginia, 1 October 1864. Medal issued 25 November 1869.


(1) RJ Proft (ed.), United States of America’s Congressional Medal of Honor Recipients and their Official Citations, Fourth Edition, (Minnesota, 2002), pp. 1-5; Robert P. Broadwater, Civil War Medal of Honor Recipients: A Complete Illustrated Record, (North Carolina, 2007), pp. 4-6.

(2) Over 900 further awards were revoked by a review panel in 1917 as they were deemed not to meet the criteria for the medal

(3) Broadwater, Civil War Medal of Honor Recipients, p.6. The Ohioans received the award for actions at Vicksburg in 1863.

(4) As Irwin’s award does not directly relate to the American Civil War he is not included in this list.

(5) Irish nativity usually not cited. Illegally recruited in Queenstown and erroneously named as ‘Michael Aheam’.

(6) In the first group of naval recipients of the Medal of Honor.

(7) In the first group of naval recipients of the Medal of Honor

(8) Two time recipient of the Medal of Honor

(9) In the first group of naval recipients of the Medal of Honor

(10) In the first group of naval recipients of the Medal of Honor

(11) In the first group of naval recipients of the Medal of Honor

(12) Laverty (also referred to as Lafferty) was awarded a second Medal of Honor for bravery on the U.S.S. Alaska on 14 September 1881. This medal was issued on 18 October 1884.

(13) In the first group of naval recipients of the Medal of Honor

(14) In the first group of naval recipients of the Medal of Honor

(15) In the first group of naval recipients of the Medal of Honor

(16) Two time recipient of the Medal of Honor

(17) In the first group of naval recipients of the Medal of Honor

*With thanks to John Fay and Brendan Hamilton for additions to this list

Further Reading

Broadwater, Robert P. 2007. Civil War Medal of Honor Recipients: A Complete Illustrated Record

Proft, R.J. (ed.), 2002. United States of America’s Congressional Medal of Honor Recipients and their Official Citations, Fourth Edition

Congressional Medal of Honor Society

19 Comments on “Medal of Honor”

  1. January 12, 2011 at 9:08 pm #

    Seeking information regarding civil war veteran , William Brennan, said to have served in mounted cavalry unit under Sherman’s command in the campaign through Georgia where he is though to have suffered a serious head wound. Said to have mustered out of service from Freeport, Illinois and from there to have settled in or near Jesup, Blackhawk County, Iowa. Any and all information would be greatly appreciated. Age of Mr. Brennan on entry into service would have likely been early 20s. Exact birthdate unknown but birthplace was Dublin , Ireland. County Meath was said to be his ancestral home.

    • January 21, 2011 at 2:32 pm #

      Hi Timothy,

      I had a look on the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System and it lists a William Brennan who served in the 4th Illinois Cavalry, though they mustered out in Springfield Illinois. They did serve in the Western Theatre (they were present at Forts Henry & Donelson, Shiloh and Corinth) but not with Sherman per se. A total of 11 William Brennans are listed in the Union Cavalry, and some such as the 5th Ohio Cavalry and the 7th Pennsylvania did serve with Sherman in the West but didnt muster out in Illinois. There is a possiblity of course that he was not enlisted under the name William (he may have used a middle name for example), and maybe present in a different regiment. A good starting point is to have a look at the soldiers and sailors system at http://www.itd.nps.gov/cwss/index.html and maybe the yahoo groups forum on the Civil War in the West, where there are a number of very knowledgable people who may be able to help- it is at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/civilwarwest/. Is there any chance he may have been with an infantry regiment?

      Kind Regards,

      Damian.

  2. January 25, 2011 at 7:40 pm #

    Christopher Brennan is listed in the CWSS as serving from NEW YORK (2 different Units) on board the U.S. S. Mississippi seen to the left in this photo:

  3. Brian Ó Donnchadha
    March 26, 2011 at 7:54 pm #

    Damian – A total aside, but it’s interesting to see Menomen O’Donnell. Menamin being one of Hugh O’Donnells sons.
    I wonder where that lad was from…

    • March 28, 2011 at 11:25 am #

      Hi Brian,

      I am pretty sure he was a Donegal man alright but I will check it out to confirm!

      Damian.

  4. JAMES BOND
    July 5, 2011 at 6:15 pm #

    Hello Damian.
    You have not listed my great uncle John Curtis who served with the 9th Connecticut Infantry. He received the Medal of Honor for his actions at Baton Rouge. His portrait is on the monument at Vicksburg.

    • July 6, 2011 at 8:45 am #

      Hi James,

      Great to hear from you! Your Great Uncle was an incredible individual. The reason he is not on this list is I have restricted it to those born in Ireland. I hope at some point to do a second list of those who were Irish-American, or at the very least Irish-Americans in Irish Regiments, in which case he will certainly be there!

      Kind Regards,

      Damian.

  5. Bart Armstrong
    July 12, 2011 at 4:32 pm #

    Have you ever checked into the birthplace of John Neil, Medal of Honor, at Fort Fisher 1864, on USS Agawam. There is some debate about Irish birth but many believe it was in Newfoundland.

    Bart Armstrong
    Victoria BC

    • July 15, 2011 at 5:37 pm #

      Hi Bart,

      Thats certainly worth looking into a bit more- Broadwater lists him as born in Canada as does the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, which is why I didn’t include him in the list. If there is a possibility that he may have been born in Ireland though I must investigate it!

      Kind Regards,

      Damian.

  6. Bart Armstrong
    September 4, 2011 at 3:05 am #

    Your first fellow…James Allen is no doubt an Irish born Medal of Honor recipient. But did you know that sometime in the first 5 yrs of life his family imigrated to Canada, dates and unknown, and then he became an orphan. By his early teens he had somehow made it to the US and soon entered the NY regiment and went off to war.

    If anyone has any info about his time in Canada I would love to hear from them,

    thanks

    Bart Armstrong
    Victoria BC

    • September 5, 2011 at 8:18 am #

      Hi Bart,

      It sounds like he had a tough start in life. I echo your call regarding his time in Canada, I would also be keen to find out more about him!

      Kind Regards,

      Damian.

  7. Jembo
    January 14, 2013 at 10:10 pm #

    Hi Damian.

    Looking down your list I don’t see Michael C Horgan anywhere. According to the attached link he is listed as Irish Born.

    Kindest regards,

    Jembo

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_C._Horgan

  8. Jembo
    January 15, 2013 at 9:53 pm #

    Damian,sorry about this but I found him listed under Martin Howard.I must change my bifocals

    Kindest regards,

    Jembo

    • January 17, 2013 at 9:36 am #

      Hi Jembo,

      No problem at all it is always worth keeping an eye out- I am convinced there are some more out there!

      Kind Regards,

      Damian.

  9. November 14, 2013 at 8:04 pm #

    The most telling fact of the Medal of Honor data is that it is very highly statistically correlated with enlistments and combat fatalities. Consequently, we know that at least 10 percent of the Union army soldiers and sailors were immigrants born in Ireland. Moreover, many of the English, Scots and Canadian immigrant soldiers were individuals with an Irish heritage, notably Edward Doherty an escaped Bull Run POW who survived to lead the 16th New York Cavalry that hunted down and killed John Wilkes Booth. As many or more Union soldiers born in the US had Irish ancestors and family: generals Phil Sheridan, William Tecumseh Sherman, George Gordon Meade, John Reynolds… even Grant had Irish roots. Dennis Hart Mahan was the dean of faculty at West Point before and during the Civil War. His son Alfred Thayer Mahan, father of the modern US Navy, served in the Navy during the Civil War. Colonel Patrick Henry O’Rorke born in Ireland, led the graduates of the West Point class where Custer was last, and also led the charge that saved the Union army at Little Round Top.

    • November 17, 2013 at 1:23 pm #

      Hi Jim,

      Thanks for this- there are undoubtedly Irish everywhere you look during this period- many of whom have yet to have their stories told. It is an incredibly rich area of study, I only wish more historians in Ireland would begin to look at it!

      Kind Regards,

      Damian.

  10. Tom
    November 19, 2013 at 8:57 pm #

    Damian,

    In your MOH list you omit Drummer Boy Willie McGee of NJ 33rd

    • November 20, 2013 at 8:49 am #

      Hi Tom,

      Many thanks for the comment. The sources I have indicate that Willie was born in the United States rather than Ireland (albeit to Irish parents)- I have only included Irish-born on the list in the first instance, although I do hope to look at Irish-Americans in the future, that is a much more difficult task! There have been a couple of men on the list who were initially thought to have been born in the U.S. but were in fact born in Ireland, might this also have been the case with Willie?

      Kind Regards,

      Damian.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Medal of Honor: Sergeant Dennis J.F. Murphy, 14th Wisconsin Infantry | Irish in the American Civil War - January 31, 2011

    [...] American Civil War Skip to content HomeAfter Action ReportsAuthor ProfileBooksGeneralsMedal of Honor ← ‘Ten Feet East of a Walnut Stump’: An Irishman at Sharpsburg [...]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,748 other followers

%d bloggers like this: