PREV ARTICLE       NEXT ARTICLE       FULL ISSUE       PREV FULL ISSUE      

V10 2007 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE




The E-Sylum:  Volume 10, Number 12, March 25, 2007, Article 15

MARCH 25: NATIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR DAY

On March 23 the National Review published a story by James S. Robbin
called "A Time for Heroes", which discusses the origins of the U.S.
Medal of Honor.

"Many readers are I’m sure familiar with the 1927 Buster Keaton silent
classic The General, a comedy about an intrepid though bungling
Confederate railroad engineer pursuing Yankee raiders who have stolen
his much-loved steam engine and erstwhile fiancée.

"O.K., so what is the link between Keaton’s film and the Medal of Honor?
The General was very loosely based on an actual event; in April 1862,
20 Union soldiers from Ohio and two civilians, led by a scout named James
J. Andrews, penetrated deep into Georgia on a raiding mission to disrupt
the Confederate rail and communications system.

"All 22 raiders were soon captured. Eight, including Andrews, were
executed after a military trial in Atlanta. The rest were held as
prisoners of war. Eight escaped jail in October, and the remaining six
were exchanged in March 1863 for a like number of Confederates held
by the Union. They reached Washington on March 25.

"Two weeks earlier the Congress, in the Civil Appropriations Act, had
authorized the president “to cause to be struck from the dies recently
prepared at the United States Mint, for that purpose, ‘Medals of Honor,’
 … and present the same to such officers, non-commissioned officers and
privates, as have most distinguished, or who may hereafter most
distinguish themselves in action, and $20,000 are appropriated to
defray the expenses of the same.”

"Secretary of War Edwin Stanton saw an opportunity to highlight the
courage and sacrifice of these men, and all six were awarded the Medal
of Honor. The first went to the youngest of the raiders, Private Jacob
Parrott, then only 19 years old. The men were also awarded $100, given
commissions as Lieutenants, and given a private audience with President
Lincoln. Eventually all but three of the 22 men on the mission received
the medal.

"To commemorate this event, Congress has designated March 25 as National
Medal of Honor Day. The purpose of the holiday is to recognize the
heroism of the more than 3,400 recipients, educate the public on the
medal and what it means, and to celebrate and honor the more than 100
living recipients of the medal."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story

  Wayne Homren, Editor

Google
 
coinbooks.org Web
The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization 
promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor 
at this address: whomren@coinlibrary.com

To subscribe go to: https://my.binhost.com/lists/listinfo/esylum
Copyright © 2005 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.

PREV ARTICLE       NEXT ARTICLE       FULL ISSUE       PREV FULL ISSUE      

V10 2007 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE


Copyright © 1998 - 2005 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.

NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster