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PA Civil War > Medal of Honor > Schuylkill 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.

Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania

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


BROWN, CHARLES E.: Sergeant, Company C, 50th Pennsylvania Infantry.. Weldon Railroad, Va., 19 August 1864. Citation: 1 December 1864, for capture of flag of 47th Virginia Infantry (C.S.A.). (3/7/99) Sergeant Brown's obituary notice stated that Captain Charles Brown, "in command of Company C, 5oth Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteers in the CIvil War," died at his home on Dock Street, Schuylkill Haven, on February 20, 1919, and notes only that he won the "medal for the Legion of Honor." In Wallace's "Memorial of Patriotism," on page 355, there is a section reading "on the 19th of August the Regiment, with its Division, participated in a movement on the Weldon Railroad, resulting in gaining possession of the important point. It was not accomplished though without a severe fight." The article, in quoting a correspondent of the press, continues"The 50th Regiment of Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteers captured a stand of colors from the 17th Virginia. Emblazoned upon the red, white and red folds were inscriptions of thirteen engagements in which the Regiment had fought - from Bull Run to Mine Run." Charles Brown was active in the 50th Regiment Association after the war and was associated with General Samuel Schwenk who preceded him in death by only a year. Shortly before his death at the age of 78, Brown attended a meeting of the Veterans Volunteers in New York, and he had also offered his services to his government in World War I. After the close of the Civil War, Charles Brown operated a boat on the old Schuylkill Canal, and when the canal was discountinued he went to New York where he operated boats for a time between New York and Connecticut. For a short period he was the gate tender at the entrance of the county almshouse at Schuylkill Haven. (3/7/99: Thanks to Jay Zane and the Historical Society of Schuylkill County for the preceding information on Sgt. Charles E. Brown's post war activities. Visit the HSSC at their webpage at Historical Society of Schuylkill County for more Schuylkill County historical notes) Born Dec. 11, 1841, died Feb. 20, 1919, buried Union Cemetery, Schuylkill Haven, Schuylkill County, PA.

FRICK, JACOB G.: Northumberland, Jan. 23, 1835 (The year may be a misprint since the 1890 census indicates his actual birth year as 1825), Colonel, 129th Pennsylvania Infantry. Fredericksburg, Va., 13 December 1862. At Chancellorsville, Va., 3 May 1863. Citation given: 7 June 1892. At Fredericksburg seized the colors and led the command through a terrible fire of cannon and musketry. In a hand-to-hand fight at Chancellorsville, recaptured the colors of his regiment. (3/4/99 - from the papers of Brevet Major General St. Clair A. Mulholland) Jacob Frick, born in Northumberland, is believed to be Schuylkill County's first Congressional Medal of Honor winner. Enlisting as Third Lieutenant of the Third Ohio Infantry during in the Mexican War on June, 1846, Frick was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the 11th U.S. Infantry and entered the Civil War on September 23, 1861, as a Lieutenant Colonel for the 129th Pennsylvania Infantry. Frick's medal was won at Marye's Hill in Frederickburg, Spottsylvania County, Virginia, during the last charge of the day at the request of Major General Joseph Hooker to lead the assault personally. An eyewitness writes of the attack thusly: "He did so and not only led the regiment to the base of the celebrated stone wall, but carried the colors well. As the line moved forward, the colorbearer went down, and many of the color guard fell. Companion Frick quickly seized and raised the flag, but almost instantly the flag staff was shot off close to his head, and the flag fell drooping over his shoulders. Still he continued to advance in front of the command, and when close to the stone wall, was wounded. Like all other efforts of the day, the charge failed. The regiment held the ground but for a moment, and in a sheet of flame, the men fell rapidly, and Col. Frick, wounded, but with the flag still held aloft, led the regiment from the field." Frick left the 129th Regiment when their enlistment expired, then mustered in as Colonel of the 27th Volunteer Militia in time to repel the Confederate invasion of Pennsylvania. Frick's regiment departed the Harrisburg area on June 24, 1863, and headed to Columbia with orders to guard the vital bridge across the Susquehanna River and act in defense of Lancaster County. With his regiment engaged in battle on June 28, 1863, Frick ordered the long bridge burned to prevent its use by Confederate troops. After a long, illustrious military career, Colonel Jacob G. Frick passed from this life on March 5, 1902, and his remains are buried in the Presbyterian Cemetery in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. (3/4/99: Thanks to Jay Zane and the Historical Society of Schuylkill County for the additional details on Col. Frick's life and times. Visit them at their webpage at Historical Society of Schuylkill County for more Schuylkill County historical notes)

HARRIS, GEORGE W.: Private, Company B, 148th Pennsylvania Infantry. Spotsylvania, Va., 12 May 1864. Citation: 1 December 1864. Capture of flag, wresting it from the color bearer and shooting an officer who attempted to regain it.

HILL, HENRY: Pottsville 1843, Corporal, Company C, 50th Pennsylvania Infantry.. Wilderness, Va., 6 May 1864. Citation: 23 September 1897 reads "This soldier, with one companion, would not retire when his regiment fell back in confusion after an unsuccessful charge, but instead, advanced and continued firing upon the enemy until the regiment reformed and regained its position." (3/4/99 - from the papers of Brevet Major General St. Clair A. Mulholland) It seems that Corporal Hill is the only Schuylkill County soldier to win the Medal of Honor during the Civil War by NOT capturing or re-capturing a flag on the field of battle. Hill, a native of Pottsville, spent most of his life in Schuylkill Haven and spent his early days on the local canal boats. Upon his death on August 3, 1909, at Schuylkill Haven at the age of 66, Hill's obituary said "he was severely wounded by a bursting shell at Cold Harbor and was voted a medal for bravery." The battle of Cold Harbor began June 3, 1864, and Henry Hill served a three year enlistment in Company C, then re-enlisted and took part in battles in the Shenandoah Valley and at Spottsylvania, Beaufort, Cold Run, Chantilly, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Wilderness and Cold Harbor. Henry Hill spent his post war years employed as a night watchman and turnkey at the Schuylkill County Prison. Died August 2, 1909, buried Union Cemetery, Schuylkill Haven, Pa. (3/4/99: Thanks to Jay Zane and the Historical Society of Schuylkill County for the additional details on Henry Hill. If you're looking for more interesting historical facts in Schuylkill County, click on Historical Society of Schuylkill County to go to their informative website)

MONAGHAN, PATRICK H.: Minersville, born in County Mayo, Ireland, November 19, 1843. Corporal, Company F, 48th Pennsylvania Infantry. Petersburg, Va., 17 June 1864. Citation: 1 December 1864. Recapture of colors of 7th New York Heavy Artillery. (3/4/99 - from the papers of Brevet Major General St. Clair A. Mulholland) You'll find it interesting that, on the same day Robert A. Reid captured a Confederate flag at Petersburg, Virginia, June 17, 1864, fellow Schuylkill Countian, Patrick H. Monaghan, recaptured a Union flag on the same battlefield; for which he too was awarded the Medal of Honor. Patrick H. Monaghan came to America as a youngster, and enlisted at the age of 17 as a member of Company F, 48th Regiment, the same regiment to which Robert Reid belonged. In his comments, Brevet Major General St. Clair A. Mulholland, a resident of of Philadelphia and a member of the Military Order, Congressional Medal of Honor Legion of the U.S, states that "Monaghan's regiment was in the 9th Corps, Army of the Potomac, and the early morning charge on the Confederate works. Seeing in the melee three Confederates making for the rear, one of them carrying a stand of colors, he promptly rushed at them and demanded their surrender. They threw up their hands and Sergeant Monaghan brought them in. When the flag was unfurled, it proved to be that of the 7th New York Heavy Artillery that had been captured the day before." Monaghan enlisted on August 12, 1861, and when his three year enlistment expired he re-joined for the duration of the war, mustering out with his regiment July 17, 1865. Monaghan was wounded at Bull Run, the Wilderness and Petersburg and received his medal from General George Meade at the headquarters of Army on December 16, 1864. Following the conflict, Monaghan was active member in the National Guard of Pennsylvania as a Captain, Major and Lieutenant Colonel of his regiment. He made his residence in Mineersville where he married Bridget Derrick, another County Mayo resident who came to this country with her family. While teaching school between 1873 and 1916, Patrick Monaghan gained a reputation in Schuylkill County education circles, and served for many years as Superintendent of the Girardville Public Schools. Patrick H. Monaghan passed away at the age of 74 in 1917 and buried in Old Saint Josephs Cemetery, Girardville. (3/4/99: Thanks to Jay Zane and the Historical Society of Schuylkill County for this biographical sketch of Patrick H. Monaghan. If you're seeking other historical information about Schuylkill County, just go to the Historical Society of Schuylkill County and you'll find a wealth of information.)

REID, ROBERT A.: Pottsville, born at Raploch near Stirling, Scotland, on January 22, 1842, and came to Pottsville at the age of twelve. Private, Company G, 48th Pennsylvania Infantry. Petersburg, Va., 17 June 1864. Citation: 1 December 1864, for Capture of flag of 44th Tennessee Infantry (C.S.A.). (3/4/99 - from the papers of Brevet Major General St. Clair A. Mulholland) Robert A. Reid died in Pottsville on April 25, 1929, at age 87 and was identified by Pottsville newspapers as the city's "Grand old man." One of the earliest pupils of the Bunker Hill School Building, Reid worked as a youth at Benjamin Haywood's rolling mill at Palo Alto, and was also the superintendent of a large rolling mill at Danville where he lived for a quarter of a century. He was a member of the Danville School Board and then lived for several years on a model farm at Bodines near Williamsport. He also served as a member and secretary of the Pottsville School Board for nearly two decades. Robert A. Reid enlisted in April of 1861 in the 48th Pennsylvania Volunteers, Company "G," led by Captain Philip Nagle, a Mexican War Veteran. Reid was discharged with the rank of Ordinance Sergeant. While at Petersburg, Virginia, on June 17, 1864, Reid turned his captured 44th Tennessee Regiment Flag over to the 48th Regiment and Adjutant General Townsend awarded him the Congressional Medal of Honor in September of 1864. A splendid soldier, Robert Reid was present in every battle in which his regiment was engaged: Second Bull Run, Chantilly, South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg, The Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor, and the Seige of Petersburg. He entered politics in 1903 with the nomination of the independent Republicans and Democratic party as a member of legislature for the Fourth District, but he lost to the regular Republican candidate. Reid acted as the secretary of the 48th Regiment Survivors Association for years, and this post was later held by his son, William Reid, until the unit was disbanded. Died April 25, 1929 and buried Odd Fellows Cemetery in Pottsville. (3/4/99: Thanks to Jay Zane and the Historical Society of Schuylkill County for this latest information on Robert A. Reid.

ROBINSON, THOMAS: Tamaqua, born in Ireland. Private, Company H, 81st Pennsylvania Infantry. Spotsylvania, Va., 12 May 1864. Citation: 1 December 1864. Capture of flag in a hand-to-hand conflict.

SEITZINGER, JAMES M.: Worcester, born in Germany, November 24, 1846. Private, Company G, 116th Pennsylvania Infantry. Cold Harbor, Va., 3 June 1864. Citation given: 1 March 1906. When the color bearer was shot down, this soldier seized the colors and bore them gallantly in a charge against the enemy. (3/4/99 - From the papers of Brevet Major General St. Clair A. Mulholland.) The Seitzinger family history shows that Nicholas Seitzinger, born in Reading in 1758, participated in the American Revolution, and one of his eight sons, Jacob Seitzinger, born 1791-died 1844, took part in the War of 1812. Jacob married Elizabeth Moyer (Meier) in Friedensburg, then moved to Pottsville where his son, Israel Seitzinger, born in 1820 (died 1894), organized Company E of the 6th Pennsylvania Volunteers, or Ashland Rifles, on April 1, 1861. This was the first volunteer company from Ashland and their service lasted for ninety days as part of the first contingent to enter the nation's capitol to defend against possible attack. It was 1864 when Israel Seitzinger, along with his son, James M. Seitzinger, joined Company G of the 116th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, and the father and son team participated in the battles of the Wilderness, Cold Harbor, Spottsylvania and Petersburg. They remained in service until the war ended, with James mustering out in May of 1865 and his father in July 1865. Our subject, James M. Seitzinger, was born November 24, 1846, and was awarded the Medal of Honor on March 1, 1906. Family records show that Seitzinger's Commanding Officer, Captain Frank R. Leib, cuncurred with the award and wrote: "In the charge on Cold Harbor on the morning of June 3, 1864, our color sergeant was shot down and through the midst of the shot and shell, James M. Seitzinger, then a private, grabbed the colors and waving it called to the regiment to follow. If in your judgment you deem him worthy of a Medal of Honor, it would be well bestowed on a gallant soldier." Scarcely two months later, August 25, 1864, Medal of Honor winner James M. Seitzinger sustained two wounds in a skirmish near Petersburg, Virginia. James passed away on January 14, 1924 at the age of 77 and is buried in Christ Church Cemetery, Fountain Springs. (3/4/99: Thanks to Jay Zane and the Historical Society of Schuylkill County for this in-depth background on James M. Seitzinger and his family.

More about Schuylkill County in the Civil War

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