Medal of Honor Recipients at Monocacy

A five-point gold star with an eagle at the top, suspended from a red, white, and blue ribbon.

The Medal of Honor is the highest award in the United States military that a soldier can be awarded for bravery or valor against an enemy. The medal was first established for naval enlisted men on December 21, 1861. Seven months later, on July 12, 1862, a medal was authorized for Army enlisted troops. The law was changed in March 1863 to include Army officers, but it was not until 1915 that Navy or Marine officers were eligible.

The Medal of Honor was originally created to recognize the fighting soldier since there was no existing award that did so and was only to be issued during the Civil War. In 1863, however, Congress made the award permanent.

Between 1861 and 1865, 1,522 Medals of Honor were issued. Of these, 32 were issued posthumously. As the actions of Civil War soldiers have been reevaluated, there have even been some recent medals awarded. The last Medal of Honor awarded to a Civil War soldier was presented on 6 November 2014.

At the Battle of Monocacy, two Medals of Honor were awarded. Interestingly, both medals were earned by soldiers from the same regiment, the 10th Vermont Infantry:

A young man in a in a Union uniform.

1st Lieutenant George E. Davis, Company D, 10th Vermont

"While in command of a small force, held the approaches of two bridges against repeated assaults of superior numbers, thereby materially delaying Early's advance on Washington."

A middle-aged man with a mustache.

Corporal Alexander Scott, Company D, 10th Vermont (Canadian)

"Under a very heavy fire of the enemy, saved the national flag of his regiment from capture."

A monument to the 10th Vermont Regiment was erected at Monocacy National Battlefield by the State of Vermont in 1915.

Last updated: March 10, 2022

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