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PA Civil War Medal of Honor RecipientsThe 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.
Greene County, Pennsylvania
NOTE: An asterisk (*) denotes a posthumous award.
GREENE COUNTY, PA
PIPES, JAMES: Waynesburg. Captain, Company A, 140th Pennsylvania Infantry. Gettysburg, Pa., 2 July 1863; At Reams Station, Va., 25 August 1864. Citation given April 5, 1898: While a sergeant and retiring with his company before the rapid advance of the enemy at Gettysburg, he and a companion stopped and carried to a place of safety a wounded and helpless comrade; in this act both he and his companion were severely wounded. A year later, at Reams Station, Va., while commanding a skirmish line, voluntarily assisted in checking a flank movement of the enemy, and while so doing was severely wounded, suffering the loss of an arm. (Thanks to Roger Doty-Greene County.) (Buried at Arlington National Cemetery; thanks to Edward Snarey, Washington County)
PURMAN, JAMES J.: Near Waynesburg. Lieutenant, Company A, 140th Pennsylvania Infantry. Gettysburg, Pa., 2 July 1863. Citation given October 30, 1896: Voluntarily assisted a wounded comrade to a place of apparent safety while the enemy were in close proximity; he received the fire of the enemy and a wound which resulted in the amputation of his left leg. (Thanks to Roger Doty-Greene County) Buried at Arlington National Cemetery (Thanks to Edward Snarey, Washington County)
LEONARD, WILLIAM E.: Jacksonville, (now Jacktown) Greene County, Pa. Private, Company F, 85th Pennsylvania Infantry. Deep Bottom, Va., 16 April 1864. Citation given 6 April 1865 for capture of battle flag. Buried at Presbyterian Cemetery in Wind Ridge, Greene County, Pa. (Thanks to Edward Snarey, Washington County)
SHANES, JOHN: Born July 23, 1844, Died January 26, 1904, Greene County, Pa., Co. K, 14th West Virginia Cavalry. Carter's Farm, Va. Date unknown. Following information supplied by Dan Shane of Greene County, Pa., and the following is a copy of the obituary of John Shanes that appeared in the Waynesburg Republican Newspaper, Waynesburg, Pa. on February 18, 1904.
In memory of our father, Mr. John Shanes, who died at his home near Brave, Pa., January 26, 1904, of throat and lung trouble. He was born July 23, 1844, and was therefore aged 69 years, 6 months and 3 days. He was the son of Nicholas and Elizabeth Shanes, deceased, the Shanes being a very old and prominent family coming to Greene County when it was not but a howling wilderness. After a long conflict with disease, our common foe Death triumphed, but the note of triumph was lost in the shout of victory, for it was sweet music to him to hear the muffled rhythm of the boatman as he came to take him home. At an early age he enlisted in Co. K 14th WV Vol. Infantry and was in service from September 4, 1862 until July 6, 1865. He endured many hardships which is due to a soldier, and contracted his after diseases from relapse of the measles, starvation etc. Congress awarded him a Medal of Honor for his bravery in a skirmish at Carter's Farm, Va. of which he was proud to possess. He finally had an artist in Chicago to paint a Scene of the Skirmish which he always delighted to look upon and to show to his associates and soldier brethren. He was married to Miss Mary Ann Stiles, March 8, 1868, and lived a cheerful and devoted companion during his stay on Earth, and on up to the time of his death he made remarkable efforts to cheer the hearts of his dear friends, but by and by he gave up to the Conqueror, and passed silently away to his home beyond this mortal day, leaving his dear children, companions and friends to hold in memory of his life all that honesty and kindness could do. His walk as a son, brother and companion and a father was clothed with the grace and goodness due a soldier boy for his loved ones. But the charms of his devotions lifts the dear memories of him far above the ills of life. It hath been the providence of God to pluck the fair blossoms of life's charms to bless those who remain in the memories of all the dear blessed associations, and it doth please God to give unto his followers a sweet rest in the immortal, and to join his dear friends on the other shore. As a tribute to his memory, it can be said he was a good man. He was widely known and loved by everyone, for amid the tumults of life, with it's toil and care, when the dark clouds of worldly strife were passing o'er amid the vicissitudes of earthly sojourn, he looked upon the sunshine that all may behold if their minds are inclined to that which is good. And his goodness will cast a halo behind him, and those who profit by the example will be rejoiced when they are about to pass the portal that closes forever, their earthly existence. Sad it is that family ties must be broken here that the best and sweetest of friends close their eyes and fold their hands forever. That the form we loved so well must be laid away in a cold and silent tomb. But joyful the thought when we remember that the conscious existence, the unquenchable spark, the God given soul has only gone behind the veil that divides the seen from the unseen, that over there, there will be no more sufferings, no more sorrows, but all is brightness and beauty and that the dear ones will await our coming and greet us with glad hands. There will be no sad farewells, no more partings, but the endless ages of eternity. We will enjoy peace and gladness, the beauty, the sunshine of Gods love and companionship of the redeemed. He leaves a wife and nine children, namely: Fred of Chicago, J.W.S. of Washington, Mrs. J. S. Brock of Waynesburg, Mrs. W.W. Phillips and Mrs. Ralph Phillips, Brave, Pa. Mrs. W.H. Laughlin, Spraggs, Pa., and Grant, Dennis, and Lydia at home. Also two brothers; Asa Shanes of Arbela, Mo. and Jacob Shanes of Daybrook, WV., Jacob Wiley of Wise, WV. and Anderson Wiley of Missouri are the only surviving Uncles. Funeral services were conducted at the house by Rev. Hart, after which the G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic) took charge of the remains. After a beautiful, but impressive service by the old soldiers, all that was earthly of our beloved one was lowered into the cold grave. John Shanes is buried in the Lantz/Porter Cemetery just outside of the village of Brave in Greene Co. PA
The 14th West Virginia Volunteer Infantry was organized on August 8, 1862, with Colonel Andrew S. Core in command. Their principal battles were Burlington, (W)Va., Winchester, Va., Fishers Hill, Va. Cedar Creek, Va., Carters Farm, Va. and Cloyd Mountain, Va. At the battle where Shanes won the MOH, Carters Farm, Va. there were 20 killed and 52 wounded. Shane's regiment was mustered out at Cumberland, MD on June 27, 1865
SWAN, CHARLES A.: Greene County, Pa. Private, Company K, 4th lowa Cavalry. Selma, Ala., 2 April 1865. Citation: 17 June 1865. Capture of flag (supposed to be 11th Mississippi, C.S.A.,) and bearer.
YOUNG, ANDREW J.: Carmichaels, Greene County, Pa. Sergeant, Company F, 1st Pennsylvania Cavalry. Paines Crossroads, Va., 5 April 1865. Citation given 3 May 1865 for capture of flag. Buried in Jefferson Cemetery in Jefferson, Pa. (Thanks to Edward Snarey, Washington County)
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