The Medal of Honor

“For Conspicuous Gallantry and Intrepidity in Action At the Risk of Life Above and Beyond the Call of Duty”
The Medal of Honor is our Nation’s highest military decoration. Due to its rigorous selection criteria, there have been fewer than 3,500 recipients—and of those, fully one in four are New Yorkers. In our own region, at least 45 Medal of Honor recipients have been associated with Oswego, Jefferson or St. Lawrence Counties. New York State—and particularly the communities of Northern and Central New York—is truly the Home of Heroes. This exhibit honors recipients of the Medal of Honor, in conjunction with the 150th anniversary of the award’s creation by President Abraham Lincoln. I’ve introduced legislation to pay tribute to New York’s Medal of Honor recipients by naming some of the bridges and overpasses of our state in their honor. Learn more about my “Heroes Highways” bill by visiting my website, www.ritchie.nysenate.gov.
New York State Senator

Patty Ritchie

Sgt. David Sprowle
August 5, 1864
Courage under re

Marine Sgt. Sprowle, of Lisbon, was aboard the USS Richmond during action against Confederate forts and gunboats in Mobile Bay. Despite damage to his ship and the loss of several men on board as enemy re raked her decks, Sgt. Sprowle directed the ship’s great guns and forced the surrender of an enemy ship and destroyed the batteries at Fort Morgan. He is buried in Red Mills Cemetery.

Senator Patty Ritchie has proposed legislation to honor New York’s Medal of Honor recipients by naming some of the state’s 20,000 highway bridges for these “Hometown Heroes.”

Lt. William Walling
December 25, 1864
From ‘Gibraltar’ to County Sheriff
Gouverneur’s Lt. Walling led his troops in a Christmas Day assault against Fort Fisher—“the Gibraltar of the South”—and captured the enemy ag. After the war, he served as Deputy Customs Collector in Ogdensburg, and was elected St. Lawrence County Sheriff in 1870.

Senator Patty Ritchie has proposed legislation to honor New York’s Medal of Honor recipients by naming some of the state’s 20,000 highway bridges for these “Hometown Heroes.”

Private James Allen
September 14, 1862
He took prisoners
Pvt. Allen enlisted in the 16th New York Infantry at Potsdam, and received his Medal of Honor during the battle of South Mountain in Maryland, when he single handedly accosted a squad of 14 Confederate soldiers, convincing them to surrender and captured the colors of the 16th Georgia Infantry.

Senator Patty Ritchie has proposed legislation to honor New York’s Medal of Honor recipients by naming some of the state’s 20,000 highway bridges for these “Hometown Heroes.”

Corporal Philot (Follett) Johnson
May 27, 1864
Flushing out a deadly sniper
Born in Brasher, Cpl. Johnson enlisted in the Union Army in Ogdensburg. He voluntarily exposed himself to a Confederate sniper at New Hope Church, Ga., and made it possible for his comrades to shoot the sniper. He is buried at Old Pine Grove Cemetery in Massena.

Senator Patty Ritchie has proposed legislation to honor New York’s Medal of Honor recipients by naming some of the state’s 20,000 highway bridges for these “Hometown Heroes.”

Pfc. John D. Magrath
April 14, 1945
Fearless under re
Pinned down by enemy re and armed only with a ri e, Pfc. Magrath, a member of the famed 10th Mountain Division, attacked a German machine gun emplacement. Five Germans emerged from their foxholes, ring at Magrath and retreating toward their own lines. Picking up the German machine gun, Magrath attacked the eeing enemy. He captured a second German position, and was killed later that same day when two mortar rounds landed at his feet as he crossed a eld. In 1995, Fort Drum renamed its Soldiers Sports Complex as the John D. Magrath Gymnasium.

Senator Patty Ritchie has proposed legislation to honor New York’s Medal of Honor recipients by naming some of the state’s 20,000 highway bridges for these “Hometown Heroes.”

Cpt. Andre Walker Brewster
July 13, 1900
He risked drowning to save his men

Stationed at Madison Barracks in Sackets Harbor, Cpt. Brewster received the Medal of Honor during the Boxer Rebellion in China when he rescued two men under his command from drowning while under re from the enemy. He retired in 1925 with the rank of Major General.
Senator Patty Ritchie has proposed legislation to honor New York’s Medal of Honor recipients by naming some of the state’s 20,000 highway bridges for these “Hometown Heroes.”

2nd Lt. George W. Wallace
March 4, 1900
Marched a mile to help a stricken comrade

2LT Wallace was a member of the 9th Infantry Regiment stationed at Madison Barracks in Sackets Harbor, and received his Medal for his actions at Luzon, the Phillipines, when ambushed, he helped a wounded fellow soldier to aid in a town that was a mile away.

Senator Patty Ritchie has proposed legislation to honor New York’s Medal of Honor recipients by naming some of the state’s 20,000 highway bridges for these “Hometown Heroes.”

Pvt. Carlton William Barrett
June 6, 1944
Courage under re
On D-Day, Fulton’s Pvt. Barrett was forced to wade ashore through neck-deep water under heavy enemy re. Disregarding personal danger, he returned to the surf again and again to assist his oundering comrades and save them from drowning. Refusing to remain pinned down by the intense barrage of small-arms and mortar re, Pvt. Barrett saved many lives by carrying casualties to an evacuation boat lying offshore, and risked his life during many hours to help rally troops on the beach.

Senator Patty Ritchie has proposed legislation to honor New York’s Medal of Honor recipients by naming some of the state’s 20,000 highway bridges for these “Hometown Heroes.”

Major James Coey
February 6, 1865
A leader of men

During the battle of Hatcher’s Run, Va., Oswego’s Major Coey seized the 147th New York Infantry regimental colors and led the entire brigade to follow him in an attack on the enemy. After being severely wounded, he asked to be lifted into the saddle of his horse and a second time rallied the line in an attempt to check the enemy.
Senator Patty Ritchie has proposed legislation to honor New York’s Medal of Honor recipients by naming some of the state’s 20,000 highway bridges for these “Hometown Heroes.”

Lt. Cornelius Minor Hadley
November 20, 1863
He delivered with courage

Sandy Creek’s Lt. Hadley carried important dispatches from Gen. Grant through enemy lines to Gen. Burnside, whose forces were besieged within Knoxville. He brought back replies through enemy lines even though his comrade was taken prisoner after his horse was killed.

Senator Patty Ritchie has proposed legislation to honor New York’s Medal of Honor recipients by naming some of the state’s 20,000 highway bridges for these “Hometown Heroes.”

1LT Noble D. Preston
November 20, 1863
A fearless leader
Lt. Preston joined the Army at Fulton and, though assigned to the quartermaster corps, he volunteered to march on an important Confederate position. When his captain was killed, Lt. Preston rallied the men and led them despite heavy small arms and artillery re until he was shot in the hip and severely wounded.

Senator Patty Ritchie has proposed legislation to honor New York’s Medal of Honor recipients by naming some of the state’s 20,000 highway bridges for these “Hometown Heroes.”

Cpl. Henry E. Plant
March 19, 1865
Defender of our ag

Born in Oswego, Cpl. Plant received the Medal of Honor at Bentonville, NC, when he rushed into the midst of the enemy and rescued the colors after the Color Bearer had fallen mortally wounded.

Senator Patty Ritchie has proposed legislation to honor New York’s Medal of Honor recipients by naming some of the state’s 20,000 highway bridges for these “Hometown Heroes.”

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