About Rufus King, Jr., Major
Rufus King, Jr. (March 21, 1838 – March 18, 1900) was an artillery officer in the Union Army during the American Civil War, and a Medal of Honor recipient.
Born in New York City, Rufus King, Jr., was the son of Rufus King, a graduate of the United States Military Academy, Class of 1833, and brigadier general during the Civil War, and the brother of Charles King, who was a military commander in the Philippine-American War. His great-grandfather was Rufus King, who was one of the signers of the United States Constitution
The younger King entered the army as a private in Company F, 7th New York Militia, serving a three-month enlistment from April to June 1861. He acquired a direct commission as a first lieutenant in the regular U.S. Army, and was assigned to the 4th U.S. Artillery, on August 5, 1861. He served in the Army of the Potomac throughout the war, eventually commanding (from 1864) Battery A, 4th U.S. Artillery, in the famed U.S. Horse Artillery Brigade. Lieutenant King was awarded one brevet promotion (to captain) for his bravery during the Seven Days Battles, in actions at the Battle of White Oak Swamp, on June 30, 1862. During that fight, King ranked only as a section chief, but took command of combined Batteries A & C, 4th U.S. Artillery, when his commander was wounded.
At the end of the war, King was breveted major for conduct during the war, but would have to wait until 1869 to receive his permanent promotion to captain. He died in New York on March 18, 1900.
The Medal of Honor
King during the American Civil War
On March 22, 1898, the United States Army finally awarded King the Medal of Honor for his actions at White Oak Swamp.
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, 4th U.S. Artillery. Place and date: At White Oak Swamp Bridge, Va., June 30, 1862. Entered service at: New York. Birth: New York. Date of issue: April 2, 1898.
This officer, when his captain was wounded, succeeded to the command of two batteries while engaged against a superior force of the enemy and fought his guns most gallantly until compelled to retire.