John Green (Medal of Honor)

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John Green
Head and shoulders of a white man with a Van Dyke beard and mustache wearing a military uniform with a cavalry hat.
John Green, Medal of Honor recipient
Born(1825-11-20)November 20, 1825
Kingdom of Württemberg
DiedNovember 22, 1908(1908-11-22) (aged 83)
Boise, Idaho
Place of burial
Morris Hill Cemetery
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service1846–1848, 1852–1889
RankLieutenant Colonel
Brevet Brigadier General
UnitRegiment of Mounted Riflemen
Commands held1st Cavalry Regiment
Battles/warsMexican–American War
American Civil War

Modoc War

AwardsMedal of Honor
National Association of Veterans of Mexican War Medal

John Green (November 20, 1825 – November 22, 1908) was a United States cavalry officer, who was awarded a Medal of Honor for his bravery and leadership at the First Battle of the Stronghold during the Modoc War.

Early life[edit]

Green, of German birth came to the U.S. at age 6 in 1831. He grew up to become apprenticed to a carpenter on one occasion and to a cabinetmaker, but he did not feel his life was in those lines of work and instead enlisted in the army aged 21.

Military career[edit]

Green entered the army in July 1846, he fought in the Mexican–American War under General Winfield Scott as a first sergeant of the U.S. Mounted Rifles. He was discharged in August 1848, but re-enlisted with the same regiment in September 1852. By the time the American Civil War began, Green was a first lieutenant of the 2nd Dragoons. On August 13, 1861 he was promoted to captain and served with the same regiment throughout the war, though it was renamed the 2nd Cavalry Regiment. He received a brevet promotion to major for service at the Battle of Gettysburg and to lieutenant colonel for service during the war.

Green was promoted to major of the 1st Cavalry Regiment in June 1868, and fought against the Apaches in Arizona. He was in command at Fort Klamath, Oregon when the Modoc War began. He received the Medal of Honor during the First Battle of the Stronghold though the U.S. forces were defeated. Colonel Alvan C. Gillem, commanding officer of the 1st Cavalry, assumed command of the expedition against the Modocs. Green commanded a battalion of cavalry and infantry under Gillem during the Second Battle of the Stronghold in which U.S. forces succeeded in capturing Captain Jack's Stronghold. Green retired in 1889, and received brevet promotions to colonel and brigadier general in 1890.

Earning the Medal of Honor[edit]

At the First Battle of the Stronghold during the Modoc War Green's men displayed a reluctance to fight Modoc warriors, who had been inflicting casualties on their unit. Green left cover, and, standing in full view of the Modoc warriors, proceeded to pace in front of his men, slapping his gloves in his palm for emphasis. Although exposed to enemy fire, Green survived, although he was injured, and remained in command.

Medal of Honor citation[edit]

Rank and Organization: Major, 1st U.S. Cavalry. Place and Date: At the Lava Beds, Calif., January 17, 1873. Entered Service At: Ohio. Birth: Germany. Date of Issue: November 18, 1897.

In order to reassure his command, this officer, in the most fearless manner and exposed to very great danger, walked in front of the line; the command, thus encouraged, advanced over the lava upon the Indians who were concealed among the rocks.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

  • "John Green's Gravesite at". Retrieved September 29, 2010.