Medal Of Honor Recipients
Fayette County Pennsylvania
The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the armed services and generally presented to the recipient by the president, according to the Congressional Medal of Honor Society.
The idea for the Medal of Honor was first introduced in 1861 by Iowa Sen. James W. Grimes to recognize those in the Navy that distinguished themselves during wartime.
President Abraham Lincoln signed the bill, authorizing the medal.
In early 1862, Massachusetts Sen. Henry Wilson introduced a similar bill that would authorize the president to also distribute the medals to U.S. Army privates that distinguished themselves in battle. It too, received full support and was signed into law by Lincoln.
Connellsville native Pvt. Samuel Johnson was the first of 20 men that received the service award for their heroic acts at the Battle of Antietam during the Civil War.
CASEY, HENRY: Private, Company C, 20th Ohio Infantry. Vicksburg, Miss., 22 April 1863. Citation given: 23 September 1897. Voluntarily served as one of the crew of a transport that passed the forts under a heavy fire.
JOHNSON, SAMUEL: Private, Company G, 9th Pennsylvania Reserves. Antietam, Md., 17 September 1862. Citation given: 30 May 1863. Individual bravery and daring in capturing from the enemy two colors of the 1st Texas Rangers (C.S.A.), receiving in the act a severe wound.
MORRISON, FRANCIS of Ohiopyle. Enlisted in the U.S. Army at Drakestown, Somerset County, and assigned to Co. H, 85th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment. He received the Medal of Honor for "voluntarily exposing himself to a heavy fire to bring off a wounded comrade" on June 17, 1864, at Bermuda Hundred, Va.
SHELLENBERGER, JOHN S.: Corporal, Company B, 85th Pennsylvania Infantry. Deep Run, Va., 16 August 1864. Citation given: 6 April 1865. Capture of flag.
Wilson, Alfred L.: Technician 5th Grade. Enlisted in the U.S. Army at Fairchance and assigned to the Medical Detachment of the 328th Infantry/26th Infantry Division. His Medial of Honor citation states, "He volunteered to assist as an aid man a company other than his own, which was suffering casualties from constant artillery fire. He administered to the wounded and returned to his own company when a shellburst injured a number of its men. While treating his comrades he was seriously wounded, but refused to be evacuated by litter bearers sent to relieve him. In spite of great pain and loss of blood, he continued to administer first aid until he was too weak to stand.
Crawing from one patient to another, he continued his work until excessive loss of blood prevented him from moving.
He then verbally directed unskilled enlisted men in continuing the first aid for the wounded.
Still refusing assistance himself, he remained to instruct others in dressing the wounds of his comrades until he was unable to speak above a whisper and finally lapsed into unconsciousness.
The effects of his injury later caused his death.
By steadfastly remaining at the scene without regard for his own safety, Cpl. Wilson through distinguished devotion to duty and personal sacrifice helped to save the lives of at least 10 wounded men" on Nov. 8, 1944, near Bezange la Petite, France.
WORTICK (WERTICK), JOSEPH: Private, Company A, 8th Missouri Infantry. Vicksburg, Miss., 22 May 1863. Citation given: 14 July 1894. Gallantry in the charge of the "volunteer storming party."