Many would die on US soil. But he'd be one of the lucky ones and while wounded, lived to tell his story. His wounds caused him to spend a lot of time in and out of hospital and leaving one regiment to join a 2nd and ultimately a third when his injury became so bad he could not continue at the front lines.
President Johnson promised each of the 4 officers and 25 First Sergeants...John being one of these, a Medal of Honor for performing this duty. Each was so awarded on 5 May 1865.
While many would question why such a high award was presented, when there are so many others that performed so bravely during the war years before getting their medals. But you must remember that the requirements for the medal were not what they are today. And with over 50 different types of bravery awards in the service today, during the CW there was ONE. The president had authority to make this award and he did so.
It was just a year earlier that John married a Pottsville Pa woman, and so, when the war ended John turned to civilian work and at one point was working as a letter carrier. He remained in the area till death in 1891.
At the upper left we see that John applied for an invalid's pension in mid 1887, and since a certificate number is given at the right, it shows his application was successful. Just off the page in upper left is a stamp DEAD, mostly not shown, When the pensioner dies, this is affixed, and usually a date of death given. It is missing on this card.
After death a widow, or mother or other authorized person can apply for a continuation of the pension, in the case here... as a widow. Usually, but missing on this card, is the widow's first name. As is the date of her application. Note the APPLICATION NUMBER for the widow's pension. It is important... as you shall soon see.
Using the latest pension application number, in this case, those of the widow, a web search produced no files. But millions have yet to be scanned and uploaded. But then a NARA search located the file. About 70 pages have been sent to me. Great stuff within. Some files have well over 100 pages, some a dozen... It is often the luck of the draw.
And within these pages there is an affidavit signed by the very undertaker who saw the body of John Hanna at death on 31 July 1891 and actually buried the man on August 4th.
This documents that the John Hanna mentioned above is buried at the Presbyterian Cemetery at Pottsville Pa.
This cemetery is the final resting place of Colonel Frick, a Medal of Honor hero from the days of Chancellorsville. While research is ongoing in several fronts to get to the bottom of this case, it would be wonderful to see the day in the near future where Mr Fricks, a Pottsville man and Hanna, a long time Pottsville man, once again chatting from above about their due recognition from days long gone.
And there is some irony here. Just about 70 miles to the South East is the famous grounds of Valley Forge where well over 3,500 MOH recipients are honoured, despite the fact that the heroes convention hall above, houses those 3500, and I'd bet even have room for the 1917 boys as well.
I will bring you more of this as the story improves.