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Today's Medal of Honor Moment for 14 July

Today is an unusual day thus far in the series - only one Medal, awarded for actions at Falling Waters, Viriginia, during the Civil War, in a skirmish during the Union Army of the Potomac's pursuit of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia during the latter's withdrawal from Gettysburg.

Rank and organization: First Sergeant, Company A, 7th Michigan Cavalry. Place and date: At Falling Waters, Va., 14 July 1863. Entered service at: Battle Creek, Mich. Born: 25 May 1838, Potter, N.Y. Date of issue: 21 March 1889. Citation: Capture of flag of 55th Virginia Infantry (C.S.A.). In the midst of the battle with foot soldiers he dismounted to capture the flag.
Let First Sergeant Holton tell the tale, as quoted in Deeds of Valor By Walter F. Beyer and Oscar Frederick Keydel:

"On the morning of July 14,1863, Ouster's Michigan Brigade came face to face with four brigades of rebel infantry strongly entrenched and supported by artillery. This was a division of Lee's army which had failed to cross the Potomac. Although greatly inferior in numbers, the Michigan men formed up and attacked them with great fury. Our skirmish line was rapidly approaching the enemy's battery, where General Kilpatrick ordered a charge by the First Battalion of the Seventh Michigan, which had been left to support Pennington's Battery. The little battalion which comprised only seventy sabres, formed in column of fours, and charged up a lane which was occupied by the right of the Confederate line. They dashed through the enemy and into the field beyond, where the rebel reserve was drawn up. Unheeding the storm of bullets that assailed them, the undaunted little troop dashed into the enemy's ranks and cut its way through.

" Seeing the color-sergeant of the Fifty-fifth Virginia fall wounded, I sprang from my horse and seized the colors. As I remounted, I heard the wounded color- bearer say: ' You Yanks have been after that old flag for a long time, but you never got it before.' While we were forming up to charge them again from their rear, the Confederates threw down their arms, and we marched 400 prisoners from the field.

"General Kilpatrick examined the captured flag, and found on it the names of all the great battles of the Army of the Northern Virginia. The guard ordered me to join his staff with it for the balance of the day, and in the evening Adjutant Briggs wrote an inscription on the margin of the flag, telling how it had been captured by me."