James Sweeney (Medal of Honor)

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James Sweeney
US-MOH-1862.png
Born (1845-09-24)September 24, 1845
Manchester, England
Died June 26, 1931(1931-06-26) (aged 85)
Los Angeles, California
Place of burial Los Angeles National Cemetery
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army
Union Army
Rank Corporal
Unit 1st Vermont Cavalry
Battles/wars American Civil War
 • Battle of Cedar Creek
Awards Medal of Honor

James Sweeney (September 24, 1845 – June 26, 1931) was a Union Army soldier during the American Civil War. He received the Medal of Honor for gallantry during the Battle of Cedar Creek fought near Middletown, Virginia on October 19, 1864. The battle was the decisive engagement of Major General Philip Sheridan's Valley Campaigns of 1864 and was the largest battle fought in the Shenandoah Valley.

Medal of Honor citation[edit]

“The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Private James Sweeney, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism on 19 October 1864, while serving with Company A, 1st Vermont Cavalry, in action at Cedar Creek, Virginia. With one companion Private Sweeney captured the State flag of a North Carolina regiment, together with three officers and an ambulance with its mules and driver.”

The companion mentioned in his citation was corporal Frederick A. Lyon, who also received the Medal of Honor. One of the captured officers was the mortally wounded general Stephen Dodson Ramseur, who died the next day.

Sweeney was sent to Washington, D.C. with the captured Confederate flag. He was personally introduced to Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton by General George Custer. Stanton personally presented the Medal of Honor to Sweeney who was also promoted to corporal.

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