|Jacob Wilson Parrott|
July 17, 1843|
Fairfield County, Ohio
|Died||December 22, 1908
|Place of burial||Grove Cemetery Kenton, Ohio|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Army (POW)|
|Years of service||1861 - 1865|
|Unit||Company K, 33rd Ohio Infantry|
|Battles/wars||American Civil War|
|Awards||Medal of Honor|
Jacob Wilson Parrott (July 17, 1843–December 22, 1908) was the first recipient of the Medal of Honor, a new military award first presented by the United States Department of War to six Union Army soldiers who participated in the Great Locomotive Chase in 1862 during the American Civil War (1861–1865).
Parrott was a native of Fairfield County, Ohio. He joined the United States Army in 1861 as a private in Company K, 33rd Ohio Infantry and first saw combat in the Battle of Ivy Mountain. In April 1862, he volunteered to take part in a daring raid with twenty-one others (later known as "Andrews' Raiders" because they operated under the command of James J. Andrews). After infiltrating Confederate lines and hijacking the locomotive "General," they were captured and imprisoned. Parrott was severely beaten 110 times in an attempt to make him talk. Parrott and fourteen others managed to escape, but only six of them reached friendly lines. He was later exchanged and taken to Washington, D.C. meeting President Abraham Lincoln and was presented with the Medal of Honor by Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton. He served with the Union Army for the rest of the war. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1863 after the Battle of Stones River and as a first lieutenant in 1864.
He returned to Kenton, Ohio after the war and remained a cabinet maker and ran a stone quarry out south of Kenton, Ohio. Parrott suffered a heart attack and died while walking home from the county courthouse in Kenton, Ohio. He is buried in Grove Cemetery, on State Route 309, east edge of Kenton, Ohio.
Medal of Honor citation
Rank and Organization:
- Private, Company K, 33d Ohio Infantry. Place and date: Georgia, April 1862. Entered service at: Hardin County, Ohio. Birth: July 17, 1843, Fairfield County, Ohio. Date of issue: March 25, 1863.
One of the 19 of 22 men (including 2 civilians) who, by direction of Gen. Mitchell (or Buell) penetrated nearly 200 miles south into enemy territory and captured a railroad train at Big Shanty, Ga., in an attempt to destroy the bridges and tracks between Chattanooga and Atlanta.
- "PARROTT, JACOB, Civil War Medal of Honor recipient". American Civil War website. November 8, 2007. Retrieved November 8, 2007.
- "Andrews Raid biography of Parrott". Retrieved September 29, 2010.
- "Civil War Medal of Honor recipients (M-Z)". Medal of Honor citations. United States Army Center of Military History. August 3, 2009. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
- "Jacob Parrott". Claim to Fame: Medal of Honor recipients. Find a Grave. Retrieved October 24, 2007.
- "Lancaster home to first Medal of Honor winner, eight others from Civil War". Retrieved April 25, 2011.