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John James Toffey


U.S. Army
Medal Of Honor, Civil War

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"For several days prior to the battle of Chattanooga I had been excused from duty on account of illness," First Lieutenant John Toffey recalled of the events leading to his heroic leadership that earned him a Medal of Honor on November 23, 1863. "The night before the battle the surgeon ordered me to the hospital. I tore up the order and marched with the regiment." On November 23 Lieutenant Toffey's regiment led the attack when Colonel George Mindil ordered him to take command after all the other officers were killed or wounded. "I ran across the field and reached the advance line in time to prevent it from breaking," he recalled. I reformed the line and we again charged the almost impregnable position in the face of an accurate and deadly fire. Just was we were carrying the position I received a severe wound, which disabled me permanently and my military career was brought to a close."
Colonel Mindil recalled, "The superlative brave conduct of First Lieutenant John J. Toffey, saved the position, and enabled us on the following morning to press forward the entire line, and to unite the lines of the Army of the Cumberland with those of General Sherman's Army.

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