Civil War Wiki
Advertisement

Template:Medal of Honor recipients The American Civil War (1861–1865) was a civil war in the United States of America where eleven Southern slave states declared their secession from the U.S. and formed the Confederate States of America (the Confederacy). Led by Jefferson Davis, they fought against the U.S. federal government (the Union), which was supported by all the free states and the five border slave states in the north.

In the presidential election of 1860, the Republican Party, led by Abraham Lincoln, had campaigned against the expansion of slavery beyond the states in which it already existed. The Republican victory in that election resulted in seven Southern states declaring their secession from the Union even before Lincoln took office on March 4, 1861. Both the outgoing and incoming U.S. administrations rejected secession, considering it rebellion.

The American Civil War was the deadliest war in American history, causing 620,000 soldier deaths and an undetermined number of civilian casualties. Hostilities began on April 12, 1861, when Confederate forces attacked a U.S. military installation at Fort Sumter in South Carolina. Lincoln responded by calling for a volunteer army from each state, leading to declarations of secession by four more Southern slave states. Both sides raised armies as the Union assumed control of the border states early in the war and established a naval blockade. In September 1862, Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation made ending slavery in the South a war goal, and dissuaded the British from intervening. Confederate commander Robert E. Lee won battles in the east, but in 1863 his northward advance was turned back at Gettysburg and, in the west, the Union gained control of the Mississippi River at the Battle of Vicksburg, thereby splitting the Confederacy. Long-term Union advantages in men and material were realized in 1864 when Ulysses S. Grant fought battles of attrition against Lee, while Union general William Sherman captured Atlanta, Georgia, and marched to the sea. Confederate resistance collapsed after Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865.

Medal of Honor[]

The Medal of Honor was created during the American Civil War and is the highest military decoration presented by the United States government to a member of its armed forces. The recipient must have distinguished themselves at the risk of their own life above and beyond the call of duty in action against an enemy of the United States. Due to the nature of this medal, it is commonly presented posthumously.[1]

Of the 3,464 Medals of Honor awarded to date, 1522 were awarded during the American Civil War. Of the 1522, most were awarded to white soldiers. Mary Walker, a surgeon with XXX, was awarded a Medal of Honor; however, it was later revoked, and then reinstated. Twenty-five were awarded to African Americans, including seven sailors of the Union Navy, fifteen soldiers of the United States Colored Troops, and three soldiers of other Army units. It was common for Civil War Medals of Honor to be awarded decades after the conflict ended and in one case, Andrew Jackson Smith's Medal was not awarded until 2001, 137 years after the action in which he earned it. Smith's wait, caused by a missing battle report, is the longest delay of the award for any recipient.[2]

Recipients[]

This is a referenced overview list of Medal of Honor recipients for the American Civil War.

See also[]

  • List of Medal of Honor recipients

References[]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Army Center of Military History.
Specific
  1. "A Brief History — The Medal of Honor". Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). Department of Defense. August 8, 2006. http://www.defenselink.mil/faq/pis/med_of_honor.html. Retrieved February 9, 2010. 
  2. Owens, Ron (2004). Medal of Honor: Historical Facts and Figures. Turner Publishing Company. p. 23. ISBN 1563119951. http://books.google.com/books?id=s65pmBAUmD4C. Retrieved June 24, 2009. 
General
Advertisement