A Hero's Grave - in honor of all veterans who served and sacrificed in all the wars our country has engaged in.
DP315-2013 Posted November 11, Veterans Day; created ditto.
Shown here, against a background of a typical small town Civil War Veterans monument, are the grave markers of a Civil War Medal of Honor awardee, Byron M. Cutcheon, a Medal of Honor dating from the time Cutcheon's medal was awarded (1891), a photo of Cutcheon in his uniform, and text giving the date and location of the action for which the medal was awarded.
Soldiers who fought on both sides of the Civil War believed they were fighting to preserve certain freedoms...it was just different freedoms that the two sides focussed on. The Medal of Honor was first awarded by Congress in 1861, for actions during the Civil War. It's design has changed over the years, but what has not changed is that it recognizes 'extraordinary heroism', action above and beyond the call of duty.
Byron M. Cutcheon was only 25 in 1861 when he resigned his post as Principal and professor of multiple subjects for Ypsilanti High School in order to raise a company of volunteers for the Twentieth Regiment, Michigan Infantry. His life to that point had already been remarkable, where, as an orphan who had largely only himself to depend on, he nonetheless managed to complete a degree at the University of Michigan and pursue a promising career in the field of education. The sheer volume of action he saw during the Civil War is astonishing. Here is a list of the actions he participated in, taken from Wikipedia:
"During his service in the American Civil War he was in the battles of Fredericksburg, Virginia; Horseshoe Bend, Kentucky; the Siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi; the Assault on Jackson, Mississippi; the battles of Blue Springs, Tennessee; London, Tennessee; Campbell's Station, Tennessee; the Siege of Knoxville, Tennessee; the Assault on Fort Saunders, at Knoxville; Thurley's Ford, Tennessee; Strawberry Plains, Tennessee; Chuckey Bend; Wilderness (for actions during which he would later be awarded the Medal of Honor); Ny River; Spottsylvania Court House (in which he was wounded, while leading a charge of the Twentieth Michigan and Fifty-first Pennsylvania). He remained at the hospital about two months. For gallant conduct on this occasion he received a commission as brevet colonel. He was next in the Siege of Petersburg, July, 1864, the Weldon Railroad, Reams Station, Virginia; Poplar Spring Church, Virginia; Boydton Plank Road, Hatcher's Run, and the siege of Petersburg, from November 1864, to March 1865.
On October 16, 1864, he was assigned the command of the Second Brigade, Fifteenth Division Ninth Army Corps, and remained in command of that brigade until March 6, 1865, when he resigned on account of sickness in his family. He was brevetted brigadier general of U.S. Volunteers, March 13, 1865, for conspicuous gallantry on the field of battle."
There is at least one inaccuracy in the Wikipedia information. Other sources consistently give the action at Horseshoe Bend, Ky, and not the Battle of the Wilderness (Va.) as the one for which Cutcheon eventually received the Medal of Honor.
Cutcheon's career continued its upward trend after the war. He must have been a truly outstanding person. I happened upon his grave (along with that for his wife and only daughter) quite by accident a few days ago. They lie in a secluded part of Highland Cemetery, Ypsilanti, and I was struck by the fact that he had won a Medal of Honor. I thought that sharing a little of his story would be appropriate for Veterans Day.
arctangentDailyPhotosDPD315posted 2013post 299Mondayholidayveteransremembrancemontagemedal of honorHighland CemeteryYpsilantiByron M. CutcheonCutcheon19th centuryCivil Warlate postr37c11v198
From Older DailyPhotos #2 late 2013