Shadrach & Wilson - The Medal of Honor

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The Medal of Honor

The purpose of this site is to provide a history and resource guide to the Andrews Raid of April 12, 1862 and the Quest for the Medal of Honor on behalf of: Pvt. Philip G. Shadrach and Pvt. George D. Wilson.

On March 25, 1863 Secretary of War Stanton awarded the first Medals of Honor to the participants in the Andrews Raid that were repatriated in a prisoner of war exchange. The recipients gave a deposition before Judge Advocate General Joseph Holt of the United States Army about this raid, also known as the Great Locomotive Chase. Their award ceremony was completed with a visit and discussion with President Abraham Lincoln. At that time, Secretary of War Stanton declared that as they become known, all men of this party shall receive this award. The Story of Andrews Raid.

On January 28, 2008 legislation was signed into law by President George W. Bush providing authorization for the President of the United States to award the Medal of Honor to these two soldiers and correct this oversight. More than eight years and two administrations have passed and Pvt. Shadrach and Pvt. Wilson remain unrecognized among their comrades with the MOH.

This website provides details of the mission, the action of these men behind enemy lines, the risks they took and the sacrifice they made in preservation of the Union. The website also provides some personal background on these men and the recent effort to see them rightfully honored. With your help, a grateful nation can help move our government into making a determination for these men. The decision due these men is about the respect earned and due all former and current servicemen and women. It is for all that we must advocate on their behalf.

"At that time, Secretary of War Stanton declared that as they become known, all men of this party shall receive this award."

Quest for Retroactive Civil War Medals of Honor for:

  • Private Philip Gephart Shadrach, Company K, 2nd Ohio Voluntary Infantry Regiment, also known as Charles Perry Shadrach, and
  • Private George Davenport Wilson, Company B, 2nd Ohio Voluntary Infantry Regiment.

Bios:

  • Biography of Pvt. Shadrach
  • Biography of Pvt. Wilson
    • Tall with a spare frame, high cheekbones with overhanging brows, thin brownish hair, long thin wiskers and sharp gray eyes. Journeyman shoemaker.
    • Born in 1830 in Belmont County, Ohio to Elizabeth Clark and George Wilson. Father died April 4, 1861.
    • Married Martha Marple Wilson on Sept. 6, 1849, and divorced Feb. 8, 1861. One son born Nov. 12, 1852, died in railroad wreck in Ohio, August 1888. One daughter died in 1861.
    • Enrolled as Pvt., Co. B, 2d Ohio Inf. Regt., Aug. 31, 1861, Franklin Ohio, for three years’ service.
    • Volunteered for Andrews Raid April 7, 1862.
    • Captured April 12, 1862 while executing the secret service mission to take Chattanooga.
    • Tried and Court-martialed as a Union spy at Knoxville, Tenn., May 31, 1862, General Orders No. 54, HQ. Dept. of East Tenn., CSA.
    • Executed by hanging June 18, 1862 at the corner of Fair Street (now Memorial Drive) and South Park Avenue, Atlanta, Ga.
    • Buried at the site of execution. Remains removed post war to the National Cemetery, Chattanooga, Tenn., April 25, 1866. Buried near the Ohio Memorial, Section H, Grave No. 11,178.
    • No Medal of Honor.
"More than twelve years and three administrations have passed and Pvt. Shadrach and Pvt. Wilson remain unrecognized among their comrades with the MOH."

The U.S, Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008

In HR 1583 of the 110th Congress under Title V, Subtitle F – Decorations and Awards are sections 564 and 565 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, whereby each states:

This bill was vetoed but resurrected identically (for purposes of this writing) as HR 4986. On January 22, 2008, final Congressional action was taken and the bill sent to the President for authorization. On January 28, 2008 President George W. Bush signed the bill into law.

Under HR 4986, Subtitle F of Title V, entitled Decorations and Awards:
Through this legislation, Congress intended to rectify the historical oversight that deprived these two Union soldiers of their nation's highest honor. The legislation is brief. It does not convey the action behind enemy lines of these two soldiers. Through this website it is hoped that their story can be told, and this historic oversight rectified with these men placed on the same footing in recognition along with their comrades. A day-by-day story account of the Andrews Raid: The Story of Andrews Raid - Great Lomomotive Chase.

Department Of Defense And Presidential Letter Submittals

ADDENDUM A - Overview

INFORMATION UPDATE TO THE MOH REQUEST COMPENDIUM

The following is an overview of Addendum A and additional information discovered since the February 15, 2016 MOH Compendium submittal to the DOD.

Per the letter in item 2.i. above from LTC R. Arron Lummer, Chief, Awards and Decorations Branch, this appears to be a highly unusual course of action for a Medal of Honor case. Per LTC Lummer’s letter dated January 4, 2017: "once a decision is rendered, the appropriate involved parties will be notified as expeditiously as possible." If this cannot be resolved, the DoD-IG should be requested to independently investigate the matter and provide an open report of the findings.”

The petitioning parties on behalf of Private Shadrach and Private Wilson have not received notification of a decision in this Medal of Honor case of any kind to date.

CURRENT STATUS OF MEDAL OF HONOR

The Andrews Raid, The First Medal Of Honor, And Observance Of Medal Of Honor Day

Articles by R. Shadrach:

Historic Documents:

The Department of Defense Medal of Honor Process

Contact address to Advocate on behalf of Pvt. Shadrach and Pvt. Wilson

Example letter request

Senior Defense Officials' Mailing Addresses

More Information - Links, Books and places to visit:

A Description of Andrews Raid
The Great Locomotive Chase
Andrew's Raid
Great Locomotive Chase alternate narrative.
Spotify audio episode of the Great Locomotive Chase. (18 min.)

Bonds, Russell S. Stealing the General: The Great Locomotive Chase and the First Medal of Honor. Yardley, PA: Westholme Publishing, LLC, 2007.

Pittenger, William. Daring and Suffering: A History of the Andrew Railroad Rail. Cumberland Publishing House, 1999.

Rottman, Gordan L. The Great Locomotive Chase: The Andrews' Raid, 1862. New York: Osprey Publishing, Ltd., 2009.

The Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History in Kennesaw, GA. Extensive exhibit on the Andrews' Raid, including the restored General.