John C. Hunterson
(1841 – 1927)
Civil War, Medal of Honor
John C. Hunterson was born on August 4, 1841 in Philadelphia.
Civil War Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. He entered the Union Army on July 23, 1861, where he was mustered in as a Private in Company B, 3rd Pennsylvania Volunteer Cavalry. He was awarded the CMOH for his bravery June 5, 1862, a few days after the Battle of Fair Oaks. His citation reads “While under fire, between the lines of the two armies, voluntarily gave up his own horse to an engineer officer whom he was accompanying on a reconnaissance and whose horse had been killed, thus enabling the officer to escape with valuable papers in his possession.” He had been detailed that morning as an orderly to the engineering officer, who served on the staff of Major General Samuel P. Heintzelman, then commander of the Army of the Potomac’s III Corps. The officer had met with III Corps division and brigade commanders Brigadier General Joseph Hooker, Brigadier General Daniel Sickles, and Brigadier General Cuvier Grover, showing them detailed maps of the present disposition of Union forces. After the meeting they rode on, and were fired upon by Confederates in the area. The officer’s horse was shot and killed, and pinned him under it when it fell. Private Hunterson rescued the officer, and unhesitatingly gave up his mount so the maps can be brought to safety. Had they been captured, the defensive positions of the Army in that sector would be known by the Rebels. Private Hunterson was himself captured because of his brave act, but managed to escape later, much the surprise of his comrades, who all thought him destined for a rebel prison. Private Hunterson would serve a full three year enlistment in the field, and was honorably mustered out on August 24, 1864. His Medal was awarded to him on August 2, 1897.
John Hunterson died on November 6, 1927.