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Francis Snow Hesseltine

Medal of Honor Citation

On the night of December 28, 1863, Lieutenant Colonel Francis Hesseltine and 100 men embarked on the
gunboat Granite City and proceeded to the Matagorda Peninsula of Texas, where they landed through the surf in
the early morning to conduct a reconnaissance. Poor weather denied the small group further communication
with their supporting ships, and for two days the small force was required to continue their mission on their
own, and in the face of more than one thousand enemy cavalrymen. Lieutenant Colonel commanded his men
through repeated skirmished, beating back the enemy forces. On the second day the unit was heavily engaged,
but repulsed the Confederate forces. Expecting an attack the following morning, and unable to contact the ships,
Lieutenant Colonel Hesseltine had his men prepare fortifications. During the night two bonfires enabled the
Union gunboat Scioto to locate their position while the Granite City went for reinforcements. On December 30
the Union soldiers beat back each rebel assault and survived bombardment by the rebel gunboat J.G. Carr.
Lieutenant Colonel Hesseltine moved his forces down the Peninsula where, in a raging storm, they were picked
up by the Scioto, without having lost a man.

Source: Francis Snow Hesseltine. 2014. 5 May 2014.