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Petersburg Medals of Honor: A Message Delivered Under Difficulty




Lieutenant. Co. H, 11th Conn. Infantry.
Born in Tullamore, Ireland, March 3, 1843.

With two dangerous wounds in his body Lieutenant Samuel B. Home, of Company H, Eleventh Connecticut Infantry, was carried off the field at Cold Harbor, Va., June 3, 1864, and sent to a hospital. Though his recovery proceeded slowly, he could not bear to be confined to his bed and three months later returned to his regiment, though still an invalid. Ten days later, at Chapin’s [sic, Chaffin’s] Farm, Va., September 29, 1864, he won his medal by a display of courage almost superhuman. It happened thus: Upon his return to the regiment he was attached to the staff of General Ord as aide-de-camp, and during the attack on Fort Harrison was sent to deliver a verbal message to the colonel of one of the advancing regiments.

“Though my injuries still pained me very much I obeyed the order cheerfully,” Lieutenant Horne goes on to tell. “I spurred my horse forward and soon came within range of the enemy’s guns. While going at full gallop my horse was killed by grape shot and fell upon me with crushing weight, cracking some of my ribs, injuring me internally and pinioning me to the ground. Here I lay perfectly help less and suffering intense pain, until Colonel Wells rode up and relieved me from my precarious position. Still the message had to be delivered and although lacerated, in great pain and partly denuded, I proceeded on foot to carry out my mission. I could only advance slowly and with difficulty and had to pass under the very guns of the fort before I reached the colonel of the advancing regiment. I reported to General Ord and was with him when he was wounded on the parapet and with him was taken to the rear.”


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), pp. 433-434
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