Thomas Plunkett

Last updated
Thomas Plunkett
Born1841
County Mayo, Ireland
DiedMarch 10, 1885 (aged 4344)
Worcester, Massachusetts
Place of burial
Allegiance Flag of the United States (1865-1867).svg United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service1861 - 1864
Rank Union Army Infantry Sergeant.png Sergeant
UnitCompany E, 21st Massachusetts Infantry
Battles/wars 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.

American Civil War Civil war in the United States from 1861 to 1865

The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865, between the North and the South. The most studied and written about episode in U.S. history, the Civil War began primarily as a result of the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of black people. War broke out in April 1861 when secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina shortly after Abraham Lincoln had been inaugurated as the President of the United States. The loyalists of the Union in the North proclaimed support for the Constitution. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States in the South, who advocated for states' rights to uphold slavery.

21st Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry

The 21st Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry was an infantry regiment in the Union Army during the American Civil War. It was organized in Worcester, Massachusetts and mustered into service on August 23, 1861.

Battle of Fredericksburg major battle of the American Civil War

The Battle of Fredericksburg was fought December 11–15, 1862, in and around Fredericksburg, Virginia in the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War. The combat, between the Union Army of the Potomac commanded by Major General Ambrose Burnside and the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia under General Robert E. Lee, was part of the Union Army's futile frontal attacks on December 13 against entrenched Confederate defenders on the heights behind the city. It is remembered as one of the most one-sided battles of the war, with Union casualties more than twice as heavy as those suffered by the Confederates. A visitor to the battlefield described the battle to U.S. President Abraham Lincoln as a "butchery."

Contents

Medal of Honor citation

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.

Citation:

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

Notes

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

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References

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