Civil War Blog

A project of PA Historian

Pennsylvania Medal of Honor Memorial – Part 11

Posted By on February 6, 2012

The memorial for Pennsylvania recipients of the Medal of Honor is located in Harrisburg, Dauphin County on the east side of the Capitol Building.  A grove of trees (Soldiers and Sailors Grove) flanks the grounds where the name of each individual with the date and place of service is noted on a stone in the ground.

The Medal of Honor is awarded by the president on behalf of Congress to a person who distinguishes himself by gallantry at the risk of his or her own life above or beyond the call of duty while engaged in a military operation.  The individual who is awarded the medal must have performed an act that is clearly above any act performed by his or her comrades.  The medal signifies extraordinary merit and there is no higher military honor than can be given.

The Medal of Honor was created during the Civil War and its first recipients were men who served the Union cause in the Civil War.  A total of 1522 medals were awarded for service in the Civil War, with approximately one-fifth of those going to persons with a connection to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  For a complete list of the Civil War recipients of the Medal of Honor, see List of American Civil War Medal of Honor Recipients.

Click on any picture to enlarge it.

William H. Myers

Charles Higby —— Charles M. Betts —– John Ortega

Frank DuMoulin


In the center of the stones that name individuals are three stones with words from various tributes to the recipients of the Medal of Honor.


Additional views of the memorial are presented below:

Looking east from the entrance.  The Civil War stones are in the foreground.

The grove of trees on the south side, looking east.

The tree honoring Pennsylvania Civil War veterans was recently replaced.

From the north side of the grove, looking east.

Looking east from the entrance to the Medal of Honor Memorial.

This is the final part in an eleven (11) part series on the Pennsylvania Medal of Honor Memorial.  Featured have been the stones representing Civil War Medal of Honor recipients.  All of the stones have been shown even though most of the recipients did not live in the Lykens Valley area.  However, their heroism undoubtedly saved the lives of many Pennsylvanians, including soldiers from the Lykens Valley area.  One medal recipient, Thomas W. Hoffman, was born in Lykens Township and several members of his family served in the war.  He will be featured in a future post.  In addition, where known acts of heroism involved veterans who are included in this Civil War Research Project, that will be mentioned.

Readers who have information on any of the Pennsylvania Medal of Honor recipients are invited to comment on the appropriate post.


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