Medals (September 15, 1864)

Medal of Honor

The Medal of Honor.

In his letter of September 15, 1864, George Meade mentions the presentation of the Medal of Honor to several soldiers of the V Corps. It appears these soldiers were Frederick C. Anderson, George W. Reed, and John Shilling, all three of whom earned their medals for their fighting at the Weldon Railroad. Anderson was a private in Co. A, 18th MA, and he captured the flag and the bearer of the 27th South Carolina. Reed, a private in Co. E, 11th PA, captured the 24th NC’s flag. Shilling, of Co. H, 3rd DE, also captured a flag.

General Grant went this morning to Harper’s Ferry to visit Sheridan. There were some indications of a movement on Lee’s part yesterday, but nothing occurring this morning, he went off. He is to be absent, I believe, some five or six days. What Grant meant by the rebels deserting at the rate of a regiment a day, referred, I presume, to their desertions in all parts of the field, and to the present diminished size of their regiments. This would make a daily desertion of about three hundred. I have no means of knowing what proportion of this amount is drawn from the returns of other armies; but, in the Army of the Potomac, ten a day would be a liberal estimate of the deserters who have come into our lines for some time past. I think Grant was a little hyperbolical in the expression he used. He is of a very sanguine temperament, and sees everything favorable in a strong light, and makes light of all obstacles. In some respects this is an admirable quality, if it is not carried to extremes.

I don’t think that I told you that, day before yesterday, I presented to some soldiers of the Fifth Corps medals of honor, conferred upon them for good conduct on the field of battle. There was a great ceremony on the occasion, and I made a few remarks, which I presume will appear in print. The weather, after being cool, has again become warm. Sickness is beginning to show itself.

Meade’s correspondence taken from The Life and Letters of George Gordon Meade, Major-General United States Army, Vol. 2, (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1913), pp. 227-28. Available via Google Books.

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