The group, becoming known as Andrews Raiders, were given the job to cut telegraph lines, destroy rail track behind them and proceed through enemy territory in Georgia to friendly territory. They were also to burn important bridges en-route.
Success would mean a possibly quick end to the war. But they were captured and tortured before final release, as told in earlier blogs in this space.
He and five others would make their way to DC and tell of their horrible ordeals. The six, Parrott being the first, would be the first of most in the group and, over the years 3,500 plus to receive the Medal of Honor over its 158 year history.
The six would be personally presented with actual medals by the Secretary of War and then led up the street to meet and have a brief chat with Abraham Lincoln.
That day was 25 March 1863.
Several years ago I made contact with family who claim they had the original and sent along this wonderful image of it's reverse. It is shown with Jacob probably in his early 20's.
Finally, in 1991 President Herbert W Bush signed a proclamation setting the date in stone as one to remember, celebrate give honor to all those who have bestowed with the medal since its inception in 1863.
Here is his proclamation of 30 years ago....
It noted that it had 110 recipients with connection to the state, and then listed each with brief details about their citations. This was a wonderful action on their part to highlight those brave soles. It however missed # 111.
That hero was Canadian sailor James Stoddard from Ontario. He had enlisted with the US Navy for one year and was assigned to serve on the USS Marmora. (shown below)
When all was said and done the enemy retreated. Stoddard and two others where later awarded the Medal of Honor for their heroism. In addition he was promoted from the rank of Seaman to that of Acting Master's Mate.
His story should have appeared in the above mentioned media story, but it was missing.
But the military and government still remembered him!
In the mid 1940's James Stoddard's heroism was remembered and in so doing the ship USS Stoddard was launched. (image below) The vessel with a crew of over 300, would serve in WW11 and Vietnam and in both wars would itself be awarded three battle stars for its incredible performance in those wars.
Please join me then.