Historic Markers Across Tennessee

Medal of Honor Heritage Trail - Missionary Ridge - November - 1863

Marker ID:  
Location: 3136 S Crest Pl, Chattanooga, TN
County: Hamilton
Coordinates: N 35° 1.126    W 085° 15.832
  35.01876666    -85.26386666
Waymark: None


Medal of Honor Heritage TrailMissionary Ridge - November - 1863

The men of General John B. Turchin’s Brigade were bitter at the way they were treated by the Confederates at Chickamauga. As they swarmed up Missionary Ridge on November 25th they screamed “Chickamauga!!” over and over again as their war cry.

Three of these soldiers from the 11th Ohio Infantry and one from the 31st Ohio were awarded the Medal of Honor for the valor they showed going up the ridge in the face of massed artillery and musket fire with such determination that nothing could stand in their path. In his formal report of the action, General Turchin stated: “James B. Bell, Color Sergeant, Eleventh Ohio, who was wounded in five places before he gave up; Corpl. George Greene and Private H.R. Howard, of the same regiment, who captured the rebel flag; James Walker, Private Thirty-first Ohio, who carried the colors after 2 color bearers had fallen, and captured one of the enemy’s flags… should all be promoted”

John B. Bell joined the 11th Ohio infantry at Camp Dennison near Cincinnati, Ohio. He was Colors Sergeant for the regiment when the unit fought at Missionary Ridge as a part of General John B. Turchin’s Brigade. Sergeant James B. Bell’s Medal of Honor citation stated: “Though severely wounded, was first of his regiment on the summit of the ridge, planted his colors inside the enemy’s works, and did not leave the field until after he had been wounded 5 times.”

George Green of Elsham, England was a corporal in the 11th Ohio Infantry when he went up the ridge with Turchin’s men. Many of the attacking Federal soldiers fell before a severe fusillade of enemy fire, but Corporal Green continued until he approached the works and leaped over the enemy’s fortifications. There Corporal Green and Private Hiram Howard found the color bearer of the 18th Alabama Infantry and wrested the flag from him in combat. They earned Medals of Honor for heroism in action.

On August 4, 1862, Arthur MacArthur, at the age of 17, was commissioned First Lieutenant and appointed Adjutant of the 24th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment. In the attack on Missionary Ridge he was in General Philip Sheridan’s Division a short distance south of Turchin’s Brigade. Noon passed, then 1 and 2 p.m., then guided by the beat of drums and the sound of bugles the Army of the Cumberland charged on a dead run toward the enemy rifle pits three quarters of a mile away. Sheridan’s 1st Brigade and the 24th Wisconsin were the first to hit the Confederate rifle pits. Up the ridge, Capt. Edwin Parsons, of Company K, jumped into the pits with MacArthur right on his heels. Lieutenant MacArthur seized his unit’s colors and planted them on the enemy breastworks, thus rallying the regiment at a critical moment, all while under fire from the Confederates. His unit took the breastworks and eventually won the battle. For this feat he was awarded the Medal of Honor and was inspired to become a career soldier.

[Photo on the marker can be found on HMDB.org]

National Medal of Honor and Museum of Military History Foundation.