Joseph Hanks (Medal of Honor)

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Joseph Hanks
Born(1843-04-22)April 22, 1843
Chillicothe, Ohio
DiedDecember 28, 1922(1922-12-28) (aged 86)
North Bend, Nebraska
Place of burial
AllegianceUnited States
Service/branchUnited States Army
Union Army
Years of service1862 - 1863
Unit37th Ohio Infantry
Battles/warsAmerican Civil War
 • Siege of Vicksburg
AwardsMedal of Honor

Joseph Hanks (March 22, 1843 – December 28 1922) was a Union Army soldier during the American Civil War. He received the Medal of Honor for gallantry during the Siege of Vicksburg on May 22, 1863.

Union assault[edit]

On May 22, 1863, General Ulysses S. Grant ordered an assault on the Confederate heights at Vicksburg, Mississippi. The plan called for a storming party of volunteers to build a bridge across a moat and plant scaling ladders against the enemy embankment in advance of the main attack. The volunteers knew the odds were against survival and the mission was called, in nineteenth century vernacular, a "forlorn hope". Only single men were accepted as volunteers and even then, twice as many men as needed came forward and were turned away. The assault began in the early morning following a naval bombardment.

The Union soldiers came under enemy fire immediately and were pinned down in the ditch they were to cross. Despite repeated attacks by the main Union body, the men of the forlorn hope were unable to retreat until nightfall. Of the 150 men in the storming party, nearly half were killed. Seventy-nine of the survivors were awarded the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor citation[edit]

Voluntarily and under fire went to the rescue of a wounded comrade lying between the lines, gave him water, and brought him off the field.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Civil War Medal of Honor recipients (A–L)". Medal of Honor citations. United States Army Center of Military History. December 3, 2010. Retrieved May 4, 2013.

External links[edit]