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Petersburg Medals of Honor: Recaptured Colors and Took Two Prisoners




Sergeant, Co. F, 48th Connecticut [sic, Pennsylvania] Inf.
Born at Mayo, Ireland, Nov. 4, 1843

“During the night of June 16th, the Forty-eighth Connecticut [sic, Pennsylvania, see this 48th Pennsylvania site for details] Infantry of the Ninth Army Corps,” says Sergeant Patrick H. Monaghan, “of which I was a member, crossed a marsh in single file, and took position close to a portion of rebel ranks. While in this position every man was instructed to make no noise and be ready for a charge.

“Before daylight the order came, and we and the Thirty-sixth Massachusetts dashed forward under a heavy fire, leaped the enemy’s breastworks and captured four pieces of artillery, six hundred prisoners and a thousand stand of arms. The enemy fell back in confusion toward their next line, while our troops occupied the one just taken. Other members of my company and myself followed the retreating rebels. Between the line just taken and the next the ground was undulating. A small stream flowed in the hollow. Clumps of trees and bushes lined either side of this stream and the enemy made a stand here and delivered fire. As we dashed forward, I saw an officer near the thicket and fired. He fell “near the stream with his head almost in the water. Immediately a tall rebel threw down his gun and ran toward him. I rushed up swiftly and, leveling my empty gun, ordered both to surrender. The tall man cried out : ‘Don’t shoot the Major !’

“I told the major to get up and we would help him back. But as I was speak ing, I saw another group of rapidly retreating rebels, among them a private with a gun in one hand and a flag over his shoulder. I jumped toward him and ordered him to drop his gun and surrender. He dropped the gun and I ran forward, took the flag and marched him to where my other prisoners were seated.

“By this time our troops in the line behind us had begun to fire over our heads, and the Confederates opened a heavy fire from the line in front, but I ran back to my own company with the colors. I got over the breastworks safely, and when I unfurled the flag found that it belonged to the New York Heavy Artillery, who had lost it in the fight of the previous day. My three prisoners were afterwards brought in by some of my companions.”


Read about even more Medal of Honor winners at the Siege of Petersburg:


  1. Beyer, Walter F. and Keydel, Oscar F. Deeds of Valor: How America’s Heroes Won the Medal of Honor…, Volume 1 (The Perrien – Keydel  Company: 1901), p. 365
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