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° 1.127    W 085° 15.83
  35.01878333    -85.26383333
Waymark: None


Medal of Honor Heritage TrailMissionary Ridge - November - 1863

Private Robert B. Brown was in the 15th Ohio Infantry Regiment. At Missionary Ridge his regiment was a part of General August Willich’s Brigade in General T. J. Wood’s Third Division. “At 9 a.m. on the 25th,” General Willich later wrote, “under orders, our pickets drove the enemy back to their rifle-pits at the foot of Missionary Ridge. At 11 a.m. I received an order to prepare for an advance, and to advance toward Missionary Ridge at the signal of six rapid cannon shots. In his capture of the Confederate flag, Private Robert B. Brown lived up to his commanders standards. When awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor his citation stated: “At Missionary Ridge, Tenn., 25 November 1863. Citation: Upon reaching the ridge through concentrated fire, he approached the color bearer of the 9th Mississippi Infantry, demanded his surrender with threatening gesture and took him prisoner with his regimental flag.”

Geroge L. Banks was Color-Sergeant in the Fifteenth Indiana Infantry, a part of General Philip Sheridan’s command. With his flag he led the attack on Missionary Ridge. In 1897, he received from Secretary of War R.A. Alger the Congressional Medal of Honor. An accompanying letter stated: “You are hereby notified that by direction of the President under the provisions of the Act of Congress approved March 3, 1863, providing for the presentation of Medals of Honor to such officers, non-commissioned officers and privates as have most distinguished themselves in action, a Congressional Medal of Honor has this day been presented to you for most distinguished gallantry in action, the following being a statement of particular service: At Missionary Ridge, November 25, 1863, this soldier, then a Color Sergeant, 15th Indiana Vols., in the assault, led his regiment, calling upon his comrades to follow, and near the summit he was wounded and left behind insensible, but having recovered consciousness rejoined the advance, again took the flag and carried it forward to the enemy’s works, where he was again wounded. In the brigade of eight regiments the flag of the 15th Indiana was the first planted on the Parapet.”

Lieutenant Thomas N. Graham in the 15th Indiana Infantry Regiment was a part of General Philip Sheridan’s command when they moved toward Missionary Ridge. While the 15th Indiana Infantry charged up the steep ridge, they were led by the regimental flag until the Color Sergeant was wounded. Lieutenant Thomas Graham, immediately seized the colors and planted the flag inside the enemy lines. The tattered, torn, bullet ridden flag gives a silent testimony to the heroic acts of the men of the 15th Indiana Regiment. After the war, Lieutenant Thomas Graham was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for carrying the flag of the 15th Indiana Infantry up the side of Missionary Ridge under fire. The official citation for Lieutenant Thomas N. Graham reads “Seized the colors from the color bearer, who had been wounded, and, exposed to a terrible fire, carried them forward, planting them on the enemy's breastworks."

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

National Medal of Honor and Museum of Military History Foundation.