County Mayo, Ireland
|Died||March 10, 1885 (aged 43–44)
|Place of burial||Hope Cemetery|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1861 - 1864|
|Unit||Company E, 21st Massachusetts Infantry|
|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. 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
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.
- Walcott, 251.
- "PLUNKETT, THOMAS, Civil War Medal of Honor recipient". American Civil War website. 2007-11-08. Retrieved 2007-11-08.
- "Civil War Medal of Honor recipients (M-Z)". Medal of Honor citations. United States Army Center of Military History. August 3, 2009. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
- "Thomas Plunkett". Claim to Fame: Medal of Honor recipients. Find a Grave. Retrieved July 28, 2010.
- "A Heroic Color Bearer Dead" (PDF). New York Times. March 11, 1885. Retrieved July 21, 2010.
- Walcott, Charles F. (1882). History of the Twenty-First Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers. Boston: Riverside Press. OCLC 53864897.
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