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Today's Medal of Honor Moment for 14 June

10 Medals awarded for actions on this day.

Civil War - two battles, same day, different campaigns.  First is the Second Battle of Winchester, one of the opening fights of the Gettysburg Campaign, as Lee has Ewell clear the Shenandoah Valley of Federal troops in order to secure his flank on the march across Maryland and into Pennsylvania.


DURHAM, JAMES R.

Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, Company E, 12th West Virginia Infantry. Place and date: At Winchester, Va., 14 June 1863. Entered service at: Clarksburg, W. Va. Born: 7 February 1833, Richmond, W. Va. Date of issue: 6 March 1890. Citation: Led his command over the stone wall, where he was wounded.

The Regimental History of the 12th West Virginia discusses the battle thusly:

(137) After dark we fell back from the creek to a stone wall at the outskirts of town, when it began pouring down rain in torrents. At 2 o'clock in the morning, Sunday the 14th, we marched up into the fortifications, remaining there till 7 o'clock. At this time while in the fortifications, Lieut. Melvin of Company I, arrived from home, showing that the rear was still open till near that Sunday morning, at least.

(138) Our regiment was the first to go out of the fortifications that morning. We took a position behind a stone wall between the Strasburg and Romney roads, and about a mile from the main fort, which we held till ordered back. A little later two companies as skirmishers took position behind the stone wall we had just left. The left wing was held in reserve, while the right supported a battery placed at about 900 yards from the Rebel lines.

(139) In front of this battery off to the southwest the Johnnys were behind a stone wall. Our artillery did some very accurate shooting, knocking several holes in the wall behind which the Johnnys were, causing them, when the wall was struck, to scatter in a lively manner, and thus affording for the time being, at least, great sport for our boys, though they were quite worn out from want of sleep, having had little or none the night before. Occasional shots from the enemy reached this battery. It was one of these that struck and killed Lieut. Beugough of Company F, who was lying sleeping at the time, being overcome by want of sleep.

(140) About 6 o'clock P. M. the whole regiment advanced to the stone wall. A half hour later the Rebels opened a tremendous fire with their artillery, which heretofore, during the day had been quiet, on our fortifications. The whole force then fell back to the forts, the Rebels having shortly before this captured battery L, of the Regulars. Thus practically ended this day's fighting. However, our siege guns replied to the Rebel guns till about night, the roar of our heavy guns being deafening.

(141) The Rebel artillery fire came from a ridge southwest of our forts, and was directed seemingly to the flag staff of the main fort; and when Gen. Milroy climbed the flag staff, as he did, in order to get a view of the Rebel batteries, it may be, or to note the effect of our fire, the boys cheered him lustily.

(142) Greely in the American Conflict says in regard to this capture of Winchester by the Rebels, that our men took a prisoner Saturday night the 13th, "who rather astonished Milroy by the information that he belonged to Ewell's corps; and that Longstreet's also was just at hand - the two numbering about 50,000 men."

(143) In regard to the operations of the next day, Sunday, 14th, he says that at 4 P. M. they (the Rebels) made a charge up the Front Royal road to the edge of town, but were repulsed. A little later they opened fire from two eight-gun batteries on the northwest, hardly a mile from town; and forthwith Ewell's infantry swept up to and over our breastworks, disregarding the fire of our guns, driving out the 110th Ohio with heavy loss, and planting their colors on our defenses. Meantime, the city had been substantially invested on every side, and was now virtually lost; though an attempt to storm the main fort from the position first gained was repulsed."

(144) Referring to the foregoing alleged attempt to storm the main fort, if there was any made, it was after dark. It is remembered that there was heavy firing from the fort, on the northwest side, as though the enemy was making an attack, but it never seemed quite clear that he was, as it was so dark at the time that an object could be seen but a short distance.


There's not much out there from the 122d Ohio Infantry's perspective.

PATTERSON, JOHN T.

Rank and organization: Principal Musician, 122d Ohio Infantry. Place and date: At Winchester, Va., 14 June 1863. Entered service at: ------. Birth: Morgan County, Ohio. Date of issue: 13 May 1899 Citation: With one companion, voluntarily went in front of the Union line, under a heavy fire from the enemy, and carried back a helpless wounded comrade, thus saving him from death or capture.

ROBINSON, ELBRIDGE

Rank and organization: Private, Company C, 122d Ohio Infantry. Place and date: At Winchester, Va., 14 June 1863. Entered service at: ------. Birth: Morgan County, Ohio. Date of issue: 5 April 1898. Citation: With 1 companion, voluntarily went in front of the Union line, under a heavy fire from the enemy, and carried back a helpless, wounded comrade, thus saving him from death or capture.

The second battle during the Civil War this day is part of the Siege of Port Hudson, Louisiana, an operation in support of Grant's operations at Vicksburg - the drive to clear the Mississippi and put the entire river under Federal control.  This battle is most famous for the performance of the 1st and 3rd Louisiana Native Guard, african-american troops.  Captain Andre Cailloux, "a free man of color from New Orleans" and Captain of the 1st Louisianan Native Guard distinguished himself in the fighting, though he fell mortally wounded during the initial badly coordinated and unsuccessful assaults on 27 May.  The second attempt, on 14 June was worse for poor execution and produced even greater casualties for the Union. 

FOX, NICHOLAS

Rank and organization: Private, Company H, 28th Connecticut Infantry. Place and date: At Port Hudson, La., 14 June 1863. Entered service at: Greenwich, Conn. Birth: ------. Date of issue: 1 April 1898. Citation: Made 2 trips across an open space, in the face of the enemy's concentrated fire, and secured water for the sick and wounded.

LOVERING, GEORGE M.

Rank and organization: First Sergeant, Company I, 4th Massachusetts Infantry. Place and date: At Port Hudson, La., 14 June 1863. Entered service at: East Randolph, Mass. Born: 10 January 1832, Springfield, N.H. Date of issue: 19 November 1891. Citation: During a momentary confusion in the ranks caused by other troops rushing upon the regiment, this soldier, with coolness and determination, rendered efficient aid in preventing a panic among the troops.


Spanish-American War - Two Marines at  The Battle of Cuzco Well.


FITZGERALD, JOHN

Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 17 March 1873, Limerick, Ireland. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 92, 8 December 1910. Citation: For heroism and gallantry in action at Cuzco, Cuba, 14 June 1898.

QUICK, JOHN HENRY

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 20 June 1870, Charleston, W. Va. Accredited to: Pennsylvania. G.O. No.: 504 13 December 1898. Other Navy award: Navy Cross. Citation: In action during the battle of Cuzco, Cuba, 14 June 1898. Distinguishing himself during this action, Quick signaled the U.S.S. Dolphin on 3 different occasions while exposed to a heavy fire from the enemy.

World War I  Gunnery Sergeant Stockham was one of those fellows who just couldn't stay away from his Corps


*STOCKHAM, FRED W.

Rank and organization: Gunnery Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, 96th Company, 2d Battalion, 6th Regiment. Place and date: In Bois-de-Belleau, France, 13-14 June 1918. Entered service at: New York, N.Y. Birth: Detroit, Mich. G.O. NO.:--. Citation: During an intense enemy bombardment with high explosive and gas shells which wounded or killed many members of the company, G/Sgt. Stockham, upon noticing that the gas mask of a wounded comrade was shot away, without hesitation, removed his own gas mask and insisted upon giving it to the wounded man, well knowing that the effects of the gas would be fatal to himself. He continued with undaunted courage and valor to direct and assist in the evacuation of the wounded, until he himself collapsed from the effects of gas, dying as a result thereof a few days later. His courageous conduct undoubtedly saved the lives of many of his wounded comrades and his conspicuous gallantry and spirit of self-sacrifice were a source of great inspiration to all who served with him.

Korea.  Sergeant Bleak was one tough medic.  He killed two enemy with his bare hands, and, later in the same fight..."Closing with the aggressors, he grabbed them and smacked their heads together, then carried his helpless comrade down the hill to safety."  That is one tough medic! 


BLEAK, DAVID B.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Medical Company 223d Infantry Regiment, 40th Infantry Division. Place and date: Vicinity of Minari-gol, Korea, 14 June 1952. Entered service at: Shelley, Idaho. Born: 27 February 1932, Idaho Falls, Idaho. G.O. No.: 83, 2 November 1953. Citation: Sgt. Bleak, a member of the medical company, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and indomitable courage above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. As a medical aidman, he volunteered to accompany a reconnaissance patrol committed to engage the enemy and capture a prisoner for interrogation. Forging up the rugged slope of the key terrain, the group was subjected to intense automatic weapons and small arms fire and suffered several casualties. After administering to the wounded, he continued to advance with the patrol. Nearing the military crest of the hill, while attempting to cross the fire-swept area to attend the wounded, he came under hostile fire from a small group of the enemy concealed in a trench. Entering the trench he closed with the enemy, killed 2 with bare hands and a third with his trench knife. Moving from the emplacement, he saw a concussion grenade fall in front of a companion and, quickly shifting his position, shielded the man from the impact of the blast. Later, while ministering to the wounded, he was struck by a hostile bullet but, despite the wound, he undertook to evacuate a wounded comrade. As he moved down the hill with his heavy burden, he was attacked by 2 enemy soldiers with fixed bayonets. Closing with the aggressors, he grabbed them and smacked their heads together, then carried his helpless comrade down the hill to safety. Sgt. Bleak's dauntless courage and intrepid actions reflect utmost credit upon himself and are in keeping with the honored traditions of the military service.

Unfortunately, Sergeant Bleak was unable to save the other man who earned a Medal of Honor that day at Minari-gol,  Corporal Speicher.


*SPEICHER, CLIFTON T.

Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Army, Company F, 223d Infantry Regiment, 40th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Minari-gol, Korea, 14 June 1952. Entered service at: Gray, Pa. Born: 25 March 1931, Gray, Pa. G.O. No.: 65, 19 August 1953. Citation: Cpl. Speicher distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and indomitable courage above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. While participating in an assault to secure a key terrain feature, Cpl. Speicher's squad was pinned down by withering small-arms mortar, and machine gun fire. Although already wounded he left the comparative safety of his position, and made a daring charge against the machine gun emplacement. Within 10 yards of the goal, he was again wounded by small-arms fire but continued on, entered the bunker, killed 2 hostile soldiers with his rifle, a third with his bayonet, and silenced the machine gun. Inspired by this incredible display of valor, the men quickly moved up and completed the mission. Dazed and shaken, he walked to the foot of the hill where he collapsed and died. Cpl. Speicher's consummate sacrifice and unflinching devotion to duty reflect lasting glory upon himself and uphold the noble traditions of the military service.

*Indicates a posthumous award. 

1 Comments

SGT Quick was quite the Marine. 

In addition to the MOH earned at GTMO, he also got the Navy Cross there.  During WW1 at Belleau Wod, he earned a second Navy Cross and the Distinguished Service Cross.

As Murphy says "Friendly fire, isn't" and that is the reason SGT Quick was signallng on one of the times, to get the naval gunfire "support" shifted to the correct target. Author Stephen Crane wrote "Marines Signaling Under Fire at Guantanamo": describing Quick's actions, and it is a good read at [click here]  but you have to scroll down a bit to the start of the story.