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Chattanooga in Hamilton County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

Medal of Honor Heritage Trail

Missionary Ridge - November - 1863

 
 
Medal of Honor Heritage Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Stahl
1. Medal of Honor Heritage Trail Marker
Inscription. General William T. Sherman brought his army to Chattanooga from Memphis and Mississippi. As soon as the army arrived, he led them over a pontoon bridge to Moccasin Bend and behind Stringerís Ridge to make the Confederates think he was going to Knoxville. Once behind the ridge, however, he crossed the river to the Crutchfield farm on Amnicola Highway. Sherman planned to climb the north end of Missionary Ridge and move south along the crest. However his maps were faulty and he found a series of hills rather than one continues ridge. He passed over Billy Goat Hill into the valley and was forced to move uphill against General Patrick Cleburneís fortified artillery on top of Tunnel Hill.

On November 25th, 1863, General Green R. Raumís 2nd Brigade of General John E. Smithís 2nd Division of the 17th Corps moved up the hill on the left but were driven back. Sergeant Freeman Davisí 80th Ohio Infantry was part of the unit. He saw the color bearers shot down and under severe fire and great danger to himself, he recovered both flags and saved them from capture by the enemy. For this accomplishment he was later awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. He was subsequently promoted to the rank of Captain.

John S. Kountz was the drummer boy for Company G, in the 37th Ohio Infantry. This unit was to the right of Raumís brigade in
Medal of Honor Heritage Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Stahl
2. Medal of Honor Heritage Trail Marker
the attack on Tunnel Hill. “When the fighting was going on,” Drummer Kountz later wrote, “I became so enthused that I threw away my drum and went forward with the regiment. The assault lasted but a few minutes, the firing from the enemyís entrenched position being simple terrible – grape canister, shot and shell rained upon usÖ During the battle I was hit by rifle ball just above the knee and the wound bled until the ground under me was covered with blood.”

The company commander asked who would go get him. William Schmidt, his former schoolmate answered, “I will.” Schmidt skirted a low hill for cover as far as he could, and then raced out onto the open field to reach the wounded drummer. He later wrote, “Advancing some distance under cover of the hill, I sprang forward to the spot where he lay. I succeeded in getting him safely back to our lines. When I rescued him he was nearer the rebel works than any of the killed or wounded of our regiment.” William Schmidt was later awarded the Medal of Honor for saving his friend.

Drummer Kountz was taken to an aide station where a surgeon informed him that amputation was necessary. He was chloroformed and on wakening felt for his leg but it was gone. “At the time I was 17 years of age.” Drummer Kountz lost his leg but survived the war for many years.
Drummer John S. Kountz image. Click for full size.
3. Drummer John S. Kountz
Although the War Department found him guilty of disobedience, the same act of heroism earned him the Medal of Honor 30 years later.
 
Erected by National Medal of Honor and Museum of Military History Foundation.
 
Location. 35° 1.128′ N, 85° 15.827′ W. Marker is in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in Hamilton County. Marker is at the intersection of South Crest Road and South Crest Place, on the right when traveling north on South Crest Road. Touch for map. Located at the Bragg Reservation - Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3136 S Crest Pl, Chattanooga TN 37404, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Medal of Honor Heritage Trail (here, next to this marker); Dawson's Georgia Battery (here, next to this marker); Missionary Ridge School (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Medal of Honor Heritage Trail (here, next to this marker); 44th Illinois Infantry (within shouting distance of this marker); 24th Wisconsin Infantry (within shouting distance of this marker);
Freeman Davis-Medal of Honor grave marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, April 19, 2003
4. Freeman Davis-Medal of Honor grave marker
He is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Butler Mo
73rd Illinois Infantry (within shouting distance of this marker); Missouri U.S.A. Troops Monument (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chattanooga.
 
Also see . . .
1. Medal of Honor Heritage Trail. (Submitted on June 2, 2017, by Brandon Stahl of Fairfax, Virginia.)
2. Missionary Ridge - Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park. National Park Service (Submitted on June 3, 2017.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
John S. Kountz-Medal of Honor Grave Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, May 10, 2007
5. John S. Kountz-Medal of Honor Grave Marker
He is buried in Calvary Cemetery, Toledo OH, Section 11, Lot 12. Also William Schmidt is mentioned in the above inscription. He is in an unmarked grave buried in Lakewood Cemetery, Minneapolis MN, Section 8, GAR Tier E, Grave 74
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2017. This page originally submitted on June 2, 2017, by Brandon Stahl of Fairfax, Virginia. This page has been viewed 102 times since then. Last updated on June 6, 2017, by Byron Hooks of Sandy Springs, Georgia. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on June 2, 2017, by Brandon Stahl of Fairfax, Virginia.   4, 5. submitted on June 15, 2017, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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