Medal of Honor wall to be dedicated


Corporal Richard W. DeWitt, Civil War, Company D, 47th Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment

Private Benjamin W. Schenck, Civil War, Company D, 116th Illinois Infantry

Private Thomas Guinn, Civil War, Company D, 47th Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment

Sergeant Joseph Stickels, Civil War, Company A, 83rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment

Private Edward J. Bebb, Civil War, Company D, 4th Iowa Cavalry

Private William G. Cubberly, Western Frontier Indian Campaign, Company L, 8th U. S. Cavalry Regiment

Sergeant William T. DeArmond, Western Frontier Indian Campaign, Company I, 5th U. S. Infantry Regiment

Private Samuel D. Phillips, Western Frontier Indian Campaign, Company H, 2nd U. S. Cavalry Regiment

Private First Class Patrick L. Kessler, World War II, Company K, 30th Infantry, 3rd infantry Division

Private First Class William B. Baugh, Korean War, Company G. 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division

Captain William F. Barber, Korean War, commanded Company F, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division

Sergeant Gordon R. Roberts, Vietnam War, Company B, 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division

Source: Butler County

Stories of uncommon valor by a dozen Butler County war heroes will be officially unveiled when the Medal of Honor memorial wall is dedicated during a ceremony Monday at the Government Services Center.

The 3-D wall was erected on the west end of the lobby last week and it features stories of a dozen Medal of Honor recipients who hailed from the county and a six-minute video with their pictures, battle scenes and Medal of Honor statistics.

Randy Quisenberry, director of assets, purchasing and projects deemed the memorial a success and said it came in on time and within the $17,000 budget.

“The feedback has been tremendous,” he said. “When it was being installed we had a lot of people stop, look, question it, try to get up close to read the stories.”

Local dignitaries will be on hand for the 11 a.m. ceremony. Quisenberry said he reached out to medal recipient Colonel Gordon R. Roberts, of Middletown, who was a sergeant in the Vietnam War, to see if he could travel from North Carolina to participate in the ceremony. He, unfortunately, had a previous engagement. Only 79 recipients of the medal are alive today.

President Abraham Lincoln authorized a bill that created the Medal of Honor on Dec. 21, 1861. The medal was to be “bestowed upon such petty officers, seamen, landsmen and marines as shall distinguish themselves by their gallantry in action and other seamanlike qualities during the present war (Civil War).”

Since that time only 3,492 military personnel have been awarded the medal for going above and beyond the call of duty. There are at least a dozen Butler County residents who have received the medal.

Jim Blount, a local historian who researched the Medal of Honor recipients — and scores of other county residents who served their country — said the honorees were apparently very private people.

“Despite the medal’s lofty status, relatively little is known about the county’s recipients. Their exploits are described in the official citations, some of which are brief. But personal information — especially their lives before and after military service — are a mystery,” he said. “After their service, they apparently refused to capitalize on the honor.”

One of the display’s designers, Ann Scrimizzi, worked with Blount culling the stories of heroism that are displayed on the wall panels. She mentioned one recipient, Samuel Phillips, who was just 16 years old when he captured a Sioux Indian chief in Muddy Creek, Montana, during the Plains Indian Wars in 1877.

“These stories read like they are real life history,” she said. “You can just taste it, it’s like a novel. I think these stories are very exciting for the rest of the county to take pride in.”

About the Author