Editor’s note: This is one in a series of historical articles about Champaign County’s part in the Civil War. The articles are leading up to a re-dedication ceremony for the Man on the Monument in Urbana on December 5 at 3 p.m.
The Medal of Honor was authorized in 1861 for Sailors and Marines. In 1862, it was extended to Soldiers. Since that time, more than 3,400 Medals of Honor have been awarded to members of the Navy, the Army, the Marine Corps, and the Coast Guard.
Listed below are the soldiers from Champaign County who received the Medal of Honor.
Marion Ross, 1834-1862, 2nd Ohio Infantry, Sergeant Major; awarded medal in Sept. 1863; born on a farm outside of Addison, which is present-day Christiansburg; buried at Chattanooga Cemetery, Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Nathaniel Gwynne, 1849-1883, Company H, 13th Ohio Cavalry, Private; awarded medal 1-27-1865; born in Urbana; buried in Union Cemetery, Kansas City, Missouri.
Otis W. Smith, 1844-1923, Company G, 95th Ohio Infantry, Private; awarded medal 2-24-1865; Born in Champaign County; buried in Arroyo Grande Cemetery, Arroyo Grande, California.
Oliver P. Colwell, 1839-1872, Company G, 95th Infantry, Captain; awarded medal, 2-24-1865; born in Champaign County; buried in Woodstock Cemetery, Woodstock, Ohio
Hiram R. Howard, 1843-1912, Company H, 11th Ohio Infantry, Sergeant; awarded medal, 7-29-1892; Born in Urbana; buried in Lone Oak Cemetery, Point Pleasant, West Virginia.
Thomas W. Thompson, 1839-1927, Company A, 66th Ohio Infantry, Sergeant; awarded medal, 7-16-1892; born in Champaign County; buried in Maple Grove Cemetery, Mechanicsburg, Ohio.
William W. Cranston, 1838-1907, Company A, 66th Ohio Infantry, Captain, awarded medal; 12-15-1892; born near Woodstock in Champaign County; buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Parsons, Kansas.
Elisha Seaman, 1839-1919, Company A, 66th Ohio Infantry, Sergeant, awarded medal; 6-24-1892; Born in Champaign County; buried at Mt. Tabor Cemetery near West Liberty.
Henry Heller, 1840-1895, Company A, 66th Ohio Infantry, Sergeant, awarded medal; 7-29-1892; born in Clarion County, PA; buried at Kingscreek Baptist Church Cemetery.
Information from Hayla Parker