ACTION: Chaffin's Farm (Fort Harrison) VA.
DATE: 29 September 1864.
NAME: Bronson, James H.
RANK/UNIT: 1st Sergeant, Co. D, 5th U.S. Colored Troops.
CITATION: "Took command of his company, all the officers having been killed or wounded, and gallantly led it."
MEDAL PRESENTED: 6 April 1865.
BIOGRAPHICAL DATA: Born: Medal says Delaware County, OH. Bearss says Indiana, PA. 1838.
ENTERED SERVICE: Medal says Indiana County, PA. Bearss says Trumbull County, OH. 4 July 1863.
OTHER: James Bronson was a 25-year-old barber when he joined Uncle Sam's army. He stood 5'9" tall. Although promoted to 1st Sergeant on August 22, 1863, Bronson later requested to be reduced to the ranks and reassigned to the regimental band. His request was granted on November 30, 1864. Bronson was mustered out of service at Carolina City, NC, on September 20, 1865.
Medal of Honor Recipients: 1863-1978, Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1979. p. 40
Bearss, Edwin C., "Black Medals of Honor Received a New Market Heights, 29 September 1864." National park Service Memo in Richmond NBP files, 2 April 1979.
An order from Gen. Benjamin Butler, dated 11 October 1864, had this to say:
Milton M. Holland, sergeant-major, Fifth U.S. Colored Troops, commanding Company C; James H. Bronson, first sergeant, commanding Company D; Robert Pinn, first sergeant, commanding Company I, wounded; Powhatan Beaty, first sergeant, commanding Company G, Fifth U.S. Colored Troops--all these gallant colored soldiers were left in command, all their company officers being killed or wounded, and led them gallantly and meritoriously through the day. For these services they have most honorable mention, and the commanding general will cause a special medal to be struck in honor of these gallant colored soldiers.
Official Records, #89, p168