Medal of Honor recipients buried at the Hampton National Cemetery


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Medal of Honor recipients

Resting at Hampton National Cemetery are eight recipients of the Medal of Honor, our nation’s highest military award.

Seven were awarded the Medal of Honor for service during the Civil War, while the eighth was honored for his bravery and sacrifice during the Vietnam Conflict.

Their personal histories mark this nation’s diversity.

While the information regarding each recipient may seem sparse, there can be no doubt of their commitment, courage and valor.

Cassidy, Michael – Landsman, United States Navy
Phoebus section B  – grave no. 9503

Born in 1837, Ireland
Died March 18, 1908

Served on board the U.S.S. Lackawanna during successful attacks against Fort Morgan, rebel gunboats and the ram Tennessee, in Mobile Bay, Alabama, on 5 August 1864.

Displaying great coolness and exemplary behavior as first sponger of a gun, Cassidy, by his coolness under fire, received the applause of his officers and the guncrew throughout the action which resulted in the capture of the prize ram Tennessee and in the destruction of batteries at Fort Morgan.

Davis, John – Ordinary Seaman, United States Navy
Phoebus section C – grave no. 8534

Born in Cedarville, New Jersey
Died August 19, 1903

Served on board the U.S.S. Valley City during action against rebel fort batteries and ships off Elizabeth City, North Carolina, on 10 February 1862.

When a shell from the shore penetrated the side and passed through the magazine, exploding outside the screen on the berth deck, several powder division protecting bulkheads were torn to pieces and the forward part of the berth deck set on fire.

Showing great presence of mind, Davis courageously covered a barrel of powder with his own body and prevented an explosion, while at the same time passing powder to provide the division on the upper deck while under fierce enemy fire.

Garrison, James – Coal Heaver, United States Navy
Phoebus section B – grave no. 9523

Born in 1840, Poughkeepsie, New York
Died  August 19, 1908

On board the flagship, U.S.S. Hartford, during successful engagements against Fort Morgan, rebel gunboats and the ram Tennessee in Mobile Bay, Alabama, on 5 August 1864.

When a shell struck his foot and severed one of his toes, Garrison remained at his station at the shell whip and, after crudely bandaging the wound, continued to perform his duties until severely wounded by another shellburst.

Hilton, Alfred B. – Sargeant, Company H, 4th United States Colored Troops, United States Army
Hampton section E – grave no. 1231

Born in Harford County, Maryland
Died October 21, 1864

When the regimental color bearer fell, this soldier seized the color at Chapins Farm, Virginia on 29 September 1864 and carried it forward, together with the national standard, until disabled at the enemy’s inner line.

Mandy, Harry J.  – First Sergeant, Company B, 4th New York Cavalry, United States Army
Phoebus section C – grave no. 8709

Born in England
Died August 14, 1904

Capture of flag of 3d Virginia Infantry (C.S.A.) at Front Royal, Virginia on 15 August 1864.

Sargent, Ruppert L. –  First Lieutenant, Company B, 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division, United States Army
Hampton section F1 – grave no. 759

Born January 6, 1938, Hampton, Virginia
Died March 15, 1967

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty at Hau Nghia Province, Republic of Vietnam, on 15 March 1967.

While leading a platoon of Company B, 1st Lt. Sargent was investigating a reported Viet Cong meeting house and weapons cache.

A tunnel entrance which 1st Lt. Sargent observed was booby trapped. He tried to destroy the booby trap and blow the cover from the tunnel using hand grenades, but this attempt was not successful. He and his demolition man moved in to destroy the booby trap and cover which flushed a Viet Cong soldier from the tunnel, who was immediately killed by the nearby platoon sergeant.

1st Lt. Sargent, the platoon sergeant, and a forward observer moved toward the tunnel entrance. As they approached, another Viet Cong emerged and threw 2 hand grenades that landed in the midst of the group.

1st Lt. Sargent fired 3 shots at the enemy then turned and unhesitatingly threw himself over the 2 grenades. He was mortally wounded, and his 2 companions were lightly wounded when the grenades exploded.

By his courageous and selfless act of exceptional heroism, he saved the lives of the platoon sergeant and forward observer and prevented the injury or death of several other nearby comrades.

1st Lt. Sargent’s actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military services and reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Army.

Veale , Charles – Private, Company D, 4th U.S. Colored Troops, United States Army
Hampton section F – grave no. 5097

Born in Portsmouth, Virginia
Died July 27, 1872

Seized the national colors after two color bearers had been shot down close to the enemy’s works at Chapins Farm, Virginia, on 29 September 1864, and bore them through the remainder of the battle.

Warren, David – Coxswain, United States Navy
Phoebus section C – grave no. 7972

Born in 1836, Scotland
Died August 2, 1900

Served as coxswain on board the U.S.S. Monticello during the reconnaissance of the harbor and water defenses of Wilmington, North Carolina, 23 to 25 June 1864.  

Taking part in a reconnaissance of enemy defenses which lasted 2 days and nights, Warren courageously carried out his duties during this action which resulted in the capture of a mail carrier and mail, the cutting of a telegraph wire, and the capture of a large group of prisoners.

Although in immediate danger from the enemy, Warren showed gallantry and coolness throughout this action which resulted in the gaining of much vital information of the rebel defenses.