John S. Kountz

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John S. Kountz
John S Kountz framed.jpg
John S. Kountz
Born (1846-03-25)March 25, 1846
Richfield, Ohio
Died June 14, 1909(1909-06-14) (aged 63)
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Union Army
Years of service 1861 - 1864
Rank Musician
Unit 37th Ohio Infantry
Battles/wars American Civil War
Awards Medal of Honor

John S. Kountz (March 25, 1846 – June 14, 1909) was a soldier in the United States Army during the American Civil War. He received a Medal of Honor.


Kountz was born March 25, 1846 in Richfield, Ohio. He attended school in Maumee, Ohio, until the age of fourteen, and in September 1861 enlisted as a drummer boy in the 37th Ohio Infantry. At the Battle of Missionary Ridge, when the drum corps was ordered to the rear, he threw away his drum, seized a musket, and was severely wounded in the first assault, being left in the field under the enemy's guns until he was rescued by his company. This episode was the subject of a poem by Kate B. Sherwood, entitled “The Drummer-Boy of Mission Ridge”, which attained a wide reputation. He remained at a hospital in Louisville, Kentucky until he was honorably discharged from the service on April 25, 1864.

On his return to civil life he attended school for one year, after which he was treasurer of Lucas County, Ohio, 1872–1874, and county recorder 1875-1878. He was connected with the Grand Army of the Republic since its organization in 1866, and was elected 13th Commander-in-Chief on July 25, 1884. In the presidential contest that occurred during his official term, he issued an order to bar politics from this organization. He later became president of the Toledo Fire Underwriters' Association.

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Political offices
Preceded by
Robert Burns Beath
Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic
1884 – 1885
Succeeded by
Samuel Swinfin Burdett