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PA Civil War > Medal of Honor > Allegheny County

PA Civil War Medal of Honor Recipients

The Medal of Honor, established by joint resolution of Congress, 12 July 1862 is awarded in the name of Congress to a person who, while a member of the Armed Services, distinguishes himself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. The deed performed must have been one of personal bravery or self-sacrifice so conspicuous as to clearly distinguish the individual above his comrades and must have involved risk of life. Incontestable proof of the performance of service is exacted and each recommendation for award of this decoration is considered on the standard of extraordinary merit. A large percent of Medal of Honor recipients were awarded for action involving flags.

Allegheny County, Pennsylvania

NOTE: An asterisk (*) denotes a posthumous award.


CARLISLE, CASPER R.: Born 1841 in Bakerstown, Richland Twp., Private, Company F, Independent Pennsylvania Light Artillery (Hampton's Battery, so named for Captain Robert P. Hampton, killed at Chancellorsville, Va. on May 3, 1863) Gettysburg, Pa., 2 July 1863. Citation given: 21 December 1892. Saved a 1,000 pound, 3 inch cannon of his battery under heavy musketry fire, most of the horses being killed and the drivers wounded. He and a comrade managed to get the gun to the safety of the Trostle Farm Barn. The medal was requested by several of Carlisle's comrades at their 1888 reunion, and this effort was supported by the official report of his Commanding Officer, Captain James Thompson. Casper Carlisle was a member of the Lt. James Lysle GAR Post 128 at 128 Federal Street on Pittsburgh's North Side, and he died on April 29, 1908, at the age of 67. Carlisle is buried in the Mt. Lebanon Cemetery in Section 317; in 1991, Joe Pulgini and Wes Slusher (Co-authors of "Allegheny County Medal of Honor Recipients") obtained a suitable headstone for the site. A monument to his artillery company, dedicated on May 29, 1871, still stands on Cedar Avenue on the North Side of Pittsburgh. Carlisle lived in several Pittsburgh locations, among them on Bedford Avenue, and on Reed and Mercer Streets in the Hill section.

HIGBY, CHARLES: Pittsburgh, Private, Company F, 1st Pennsylvania Cavalry. Appomattox Campaign, Va., 29 March to 9 April 1865. Citation given: 3 May 1865. Capture of flag.

KELLY, ALEXANDER: Pittsburgh, (Homewood), First Sergeant, Company F, 6th U.S. Colored Troops. Born April 5, 1840 in Saltsburg, Conemaugh Twp. in Indiana County. A coal miner prior to the war, he moved to Homewood in 1863 and joined the service on April 7, 1863. Kelly's medal was given for an action at Chapins Farm, VA on 29 September 1864. Citation given: 6 April 1865. "Gallantly seized the colors, which had fallen near the enemy's lines of abatis, raised them and rallied the men at a time of confusion and in a place of the greatest danger." (Information added 4/26/99 - Courtesy of Wes Slusher, Joe Pulgini and Arthur Fox) Kelly left the army at Wilmington, NC on Sept. 20, 1865 and he moved back to 5632 Harvard Street in Homewood where he married his wife, Victoria, on on July 30, 1866. He was a night watchman at a nearby Livery Stable and died on June 19, 1867; he is buried in the Lemington Cemetery in Pittsburgh.

KINDIG, JOHN M.: East Liberty, Corporal, Company A, 63rd Pennsylvania Infantry. Spotsylvania, Va., 12 May 1864. Citation given: 1 December 1864. Capture of flag of 28th North Carolina Infantry. (C.S.A.).

LUTY, GOTLIEB: Corporal, Company A, 74th New York Infantry. Chancellorsville, Va., 3 May 1863. Citation given: 5 October 1876. Bravely advanced to the enemy's line under heavy fire and brought back valuable information.

MATTHEWS, MILTON: Pittsburgh, Private, Company C, 61st Pennsylvania Infantry. Petersburg, Va., 2 April 1865. Citation given: 10 May 1865. Capture of flag of 7th Tennessee Infantry (C.S.A.).

MITCHELL, ALEXANDER H.: Perrysville, First Lieutenant, Company A, 105th Pennsylvania Infantry. Spotsylvania, Va., 12 May 1864. Citation given: 27 March 1890. Capture of flag of 18th North Carolina Infantry (C.S.A.), in a personal encounter with the color bearer.

MITCHELL, THEODORE: Tarentum, Private, Company C, 61st Pennsylvania Infantry. Petersburg, Va., 2 April 1865. Citation given: 10 May 1865. Capture of the flag of the Tennessee Brigade (C.S.A.).

OLIVER, CHARLES: Sergeant, Company M, 100th Pennsylvania Infantry. Petersburg, Va., 25 March 1865. Citation given: 3 July 1865. Capture of flag of 31st Georgia Infantry (C.S.A.).

PEARSON, ALFRED L.: Pittsburgh, Colonel, 155th Pennsylvania Cavalry. Lewis' Farm, Va., 29 March 1865. Citation given: 17 September 1897. Seeing a brigade forced back by the enemy, he seized his regimental color, called on his men to follow him, and advanced upon the enemy under a severe fire. The whole brigade took up the advance, the lost ground was regained, and the enemy was repulsed.

SCHOONMAKER, JAMES M.: Pittsburgh, Colonel, 14th Pennsylvania Cavalry. Winchester, Va., 19 September 1864. Citation given: 19 May 1899. At a critical period, gallantly led a cavalry charge against the left of the enemy's line of battle, drove the enemy out of his works, and captured many prisoners.

SOWERS, MICHAEL: Private, Company L, 4th Pennsylvania Cavalry. Stony Creek Station, Va., 1 December 1864. Citation given: 16 February 1897. His horse having been shot from under him he voluntarily and on foot participated in the cavalry charge made upon one of the forts, conducting himself throughout with great personal bravery.

KERR, THOMAS R.: Pittsburgh, Born in Ireland. Captain, Company C, 14th Pennsylvania Cavalry. Moorefield, W. Va., 7 August 1864. Citation given: 13 June 1894. After being most desperately wounded, he captured the colors of the 8th Virginia Cavalry (C.S.A.).

HERRON, FRANCIS J.: Pittsburgh, Lieutenant Colonel, 9th lowa Infantry. Pea Ridge, Ark., 7 May 1862. Citation given: 26 September 1893. Was foremost in leading his men, rallying them to repeated acts of daring, until himself disabled and taken prisoner.

More about Allegheny County in the Civil War

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