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Medal of Honor recipients, American Civil War

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  • Axel Hayford Reed-Medal Of Honor (c.1835 - 1917)
    Added by Elwin C. Nickerson about this Ancestor. : Alexander (Axel) Hayford Reed Axel H. Reed was born in Hartford, Oxford County, Maine on March 13, 1835. He was enrolled August 5, 1861, at Fort S...
  • Colonel William Joyce Sewell (USA), U.S. Senator (1835 - 1901)
    William Joyce Sewell (December 6, 1835 – December 27, 1901) was born in Castlebar, County Mayo, Ireland immigrating to the United States in 1851 where he worked in the merchant industry in Chi...
  • Pvt. William Henry Osbourne (USA) (1839 - 1910)
    Civil War Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. He served as a Private in the Union Army in Company C, 29th Massachusetts Infantry. He was a prisoner of war. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for a...
  • James Madison Burns, Medal of Honor (1845 - 1910)
    Civil War Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. He served as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Union Army. He was awarded the Medal of Honor as a Sergeant in Company B, 1st West Virginia Infantry for actio...
  • Brevet Brig. General Dennis Thomas Kirby (USA) (c.1835 - 1922)
    Civil War Union Brevet Brigadier General, Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. He served during the Civil War first as Major of the 8th Missouri Volunteer Infantry, then as Lieutenant Colonel of t...

Many of the awards during the Civil War were for capturing or saving regimental flags. During the Civil War, regimental flags served as the rallying point for the unit, and guided the unit's movements. Loss of the flag could greatly disrupt a unit, and could have a greater effect than the death of the commanding officer

The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government and is bestowed on a member of the United States armed forces who distinguishes himself "…conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States…" Due to the nature of this medal, it is commonly presented posthumously