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Abram J. Buckles


U.S. Army
Medal Of Honor, Civil War

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In May 1863 after assuming command of the Union Army, General Grant launched his offensive against Confederate General Robert E. Lee, marching towards Richmond, Virginia. By May 5 most of Grant's army had crossed the Rapidan River, where for three days they engaged the Confederate forces in the opening battles of the "Wilderness Campaign". In the period from May 5 - 7, twenty-three soldiers earned Medals of Honor in the battles that followed. On May 5 Sergeant Abraham Buckles' regiment was first on the line, and after executing some hurried movements, drew up to the edge of the wilderness. As a color bearer, he had been wounded in the shoulder at Gettysburg but remained in service. Moving towards the Wilderness he paused long enough to strip his shirt and remove some bone fragments that still irritated him from that injury, then unfurled his flag and carried it into the battle. When the unit was pressed, he recalled: "The only possible safety lay in a charge. Waving the flag above my head, I called on the boys to follow." He carried the flag valiantly forward until wounded a second time. John Divelbus, the soldier who picked up and then bore the flag, was almost immediately killed.

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