Thomas Plunkett

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Thomas Plunkett
Born 1841
County Mayo, Ireland
Died March 10, 1885 (aged 43–44)
Worcester, Massachusetts
Place of burial Hope Cemetery
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1861 - 1864
Rank Sergeant
Unit Company E, 21st Massachusetts Infantry

American Civil War

Awards Medal of Honor

Thomas Plunkett (1841 - March 10, 1885) was a color bearer during the American Civil War. He carried the banner of the 21st Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry at the Battle of Fredericksburg when a cannon blast took away both of his arms and wounded him in the chest.[1] He pressed the flag against his chest with what remained of his arms and continued until one of the color guard took the flag from him so he could retire. Both of his arms were eventually amputated, and it would take another two years for him to recover. For his actions during the battle Plunkett received the Medal of Honor. Battery Plunkett, a battery of two 4-inch rapid firing guns at Fort Warren on Georges Island in Boston Harbor (MA), was completed in 1899 and named in his honor.

Medal of Honor citation[edit]

Medal of honor old.jpg

Rank and Organization:

Sergeant, Company E, 21st Massachusetts Infantry. Place and date. At Fredericksburg, Va., 11 December 1862. Entered service at: West Boylston, Mass. Birth: Ireland. Date of issue: 30 March 1866.


Seized the colors of his regiment, the color bearer having been shot down, and bore them to the front where both his arms were carried off by a shell.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Walcott, 251.
  2. ^ "PLUNKETT, THOMAS, Civil War Medal of Honor recipient". American Civil War website. 2007-11-08. Retrieved 2007-11-08.