Biden Awards Medal of Honor Posthumously to 2 Civil War Heroes

Biden Awards Medal of Honor Posthumously to 2 Civil War Heroes
President Joe Biden hands Theresa Chandler, great-great granddaughter of Private George D. Wilson, a posthumous Medal of Honor during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House on July 3, 2024. (Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)

Two soldiers who were executed for their role in the Great Locomotive Chase in northern Georgia during the American Civil War were posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor by President Joe Biden on July 3, according to a White House official.

Private Philip G. Shadrach and Private George D. Wilson, both of whom took part in the covert military operation 200 miles behind Confederate lines on April 12, 1862, will be awarded the Medal of Honor for their “gallantry and intrepidity,” the White House official said in a statement.

Also known as the Andrews’ Raid, the covert military operation is one of the earliest special operations in U.S. Army history.

During the mission, a group of 24 Union soldiers called “Andrew’s Raiders” disguised themselves as civilians and infiltrated the Confederacy; hijacking a Confederate train known as the “General.”

The group, led by civilian spy and scout James Andrews, then drove the train north for 87 miles toward the rebel stronghold of Chattanooga, Tennessee, destroying enemy infrastructure including railroad tracks and telegraph wires as they went.

After running out of fuel, 20 of the group members were captured by Confederate troops. Eight members, including Private Shadrach and Private Wilson, were executed by hanging for their actions.

The remaining men were imprisoned.

Soldiers ‘Paid Ultimate Sacrifice’

Private Shadrach, a native Pennsylvanian, was born in Somerset County on September 15, 1840, and enlisted in the Union Army’s Company K of the 2nd Ohio Infantry Regiment on September 20, 1861, for three years, according to the Biden administration.

He was 21 years old when he volunteered to take part in the Great Locomotive Chase mission.

The Civil War hero was “willing to encounter both peril and hardship to fight for what he believed in” and died while “paying the ultimate sacrifice for his country,” the White House said.

Private Wilson, born in Belmont County, Ohio, in 1830, was originally a tradesman who supported his family as a journeyman shoemaker but felt “the call to serve his country,” the White House said.

He enlisted in the Union Army’s Company B, 2nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry, on August 31, 1861, for three years before volunteering for the Andrews’ Raid.

Private Wilson became a “central figure” in the Great Locomotive Chase, according to the White House official.

“Though Private Wilson tragically perished, his story remains inspiring,” the official said.

The Medal of Honor, the highest military decoration, is awarded for acts of gallantry that distinguish an individual from his or her comrades. There must be incontestable proof of the performance of the meritorious conduct.

Six of the Union soldiers who took part in the military operation became the Army’s first-ever recipients of the Medal of Honor on March 25, 1863.

In total, 19 of the 24 participants in Andrews Raid eventually received the Medal of Honor.

From The Epoch Times