Many a battle fought during the month resulted in a later award. One even saw almost 900 medals awarded, and oft noted in this space. Many a recipient was born, or died or had his award officially approved during the month. Many original stories have resulted in anniversary ceremonies of sorts during this month. Be it the discovery of a long lost grave, a correction of dates, names, or unveiling of new markers and more.
Some changes made during the month bring us new and exciting details previously unknown about our past heroes, and, in many a case, an actual relative. Quite a few of these have appeared here in this blog space over the past few years.
Over the past month and more I have tried to bring you news of a ceremony to unveil a new marker for Newfoundland born Thomas Kersey. On 26 July 1876 this US Sailor risked his life while diving into the waters and saving a crew mate from drowning. A date that victim remembered throughout the remainder of his life. (And a date... many a year later, when my mother introduced me to the world for the first time.)
A MOH marker ought to be installed and with the appropriate service due the hero, his descendants,fellow Americans and Canadians.
Indications are that a ceremony will be arranged for a formal unveiling of a new marker. I have since reached out to some folks and noting that Canada would be most interested in attending and in fact, since Kersey was a Canadian, actually participating in the ceremony.
Positive feedback has been passed on to Canadian authorities, but delays still seem to preclude the release of any possible dates for this service. I shall keep my eye on the matter and will bring news once it is learned.
History tells us that 19 men were allowed to wear 2 medals at once. These men were actual double recipients. Should any choose to do serious research, they will find that there were at least 21 double recipients. and perhaps more yet to be detected. The two additional double recipients have been profiled in past blogs in this space.
One of the reasons for its introduction was to help to better show a difference between the Medal of Honor and the badge of membership adopted in earlier years by the ever so influential Grand Army of the Republic. Both looked so much alike that many could not tell one from the other and demands resulted in a change of some sort.
I believe this model should have been the version that was awarded in the late 1890's to Civil War Major General Sickles, whom I hope you have read a little in recent blogs here.
An enemy cannon ball apparently shattered his leg resulting in an amputation within hours. That was during the famous Gettysburg battles and the day before Pickett's famous Charge. And both being in July 1863.
However all attempts to verify such an award to Wyman have so far provided no evidence of such an award being actually made. Investigations continue on several fronts and if the story sees more light, I will share it with you.
On discussing the matter with the Congressional Medal of Honor folks I am reminded that back in CW days some of the generals and admirals were so proud of their troops that they actually went out and purchased some form of a medal to thank their men for their service.
Could this be the case here? Did he get a MOH that was not in fact a MOH as we know it to be? I am unaware of any recorded lists of these types of medals.
Some even called these...Medals of Honor. But whenever that term is mentioned in this space it refers to THE Medal granted not by individual officers...but by the President after being approved at the highest of authorities... the Congress.
More on this on Sunday...