This month we honor the ‘Firsts’ and the ‘Onlys’ on the MoH roll. And – appropriately enough – we start with the story of the FIRST recipient to be awarded the medal, Private Jacob Parrott. His citation is below and more of the absolutely incredible story for the action behind this award can be read here: http://www.andrewsraid.com/parrott.html
Now, there was an earlier action for which the medal was awarded, however that award would not actually be recommended and presented until 30 years after the event. On February 13-14, 1861, in what is now Arizona, Bernard J.D. Irwin was an Assistant Surgeon in the Army when he voluntarily led a command of troops to relieve a surrounded detachment of the 7th Infantry. The action was only recalled in 1893, and it was not until January 12th, 1894 that Irwin’s Medal would be awarded, putting him out of the running for ‘First Awarded’ status, even though his action occurred before our featured man this week.
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Rank and Organization: Private, Company K, 33d Ohio Infantry. Place and Date: Georgia, April 1862. Entered Service At: Hardin County, Ohio. Birth: 17 July 1843, Fairfield County, Ohio. Date of Issue: 25 March 1863.
Citation: One of the 19 of 22 men (including 2 civilians) who, by direction of Gen. Mitchell (or Buell) penetrated nearly 200 miles south into enemy territory and captured a railroad train at Big Shanty, Ga., in an attempt to destroy the bridges and tracks between Chattanooga and Atlanta.