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Harvey May Munsell


U.S. Army
Medal Of Honor, Civil War

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Sergeant Harvey Munsell served as a color bearer and carried the colors of his regiment through thirteen engagements. He was one of 63 men who was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism in the battle at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, July 1 - 3, 1863, and was cited for his heroism over all three days of that battle. During many of the enemy's charges in the battle at Devil's Den on July 2, all of the regiment's color guards were killed or wounded with the exception of Sergeant Munsell. In the next charge he advanced with the National Colors, though without the protection of any color guard. A shell exploded directly in front of him and knocked him to the ground. He hid the flag under his body as the Confederates stormed the fallen Union soldiers. The 99th Pennsylvania fell back before the enemy charge, believing their color bearer was dead and the flag captured. Sergeant Munsell remained motionless as he was near enemy lines, leaving the impression he was indeed dead. When his regiment mounted a counterattack, rushing past his prostrate body to attack the rebel forces, Sergeant Munsell leaped to his feet and joined them in the charge.

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