Troy in Rensselaer County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
William Henry Freeman
Civil War Soldier
PVT CO B 169 NY INF
May 10, 1844 - August 26, 1911
"Volunteered To Carry The Brigade
Flag After The Bearer Was Wounded"
Erected 2012 by Oakwood Cemetery.
Location. 42° 45.349′ N, 73° 40.218′ W. Marker is in Troy, New York, in Rensselaer County. Marker can be reached from Oakwood Road. Touch for map. The marker can be seen from the roadway within Oakwood Cemetery, near the Gardner Earl Memorial Chapel & Crematorium. Marker is in this post office area: Troy NY 12182, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Third Street Burial Grounds, 1824 (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Gardner Earl Memorial Chapel & Crematorium (about 300 feet away); George Henry Thomas (about 800 feet away); St. Peter's Cemetery (approx. 0.2 miles away); Historic Oakwood Cemetery (approx. 0.2 miles away); Warren Family Mortuary Chapel: 1861 (approx. ľ mile away); Major General John Ellis Wool (approx. 0.4 miles away); Amos Eaton (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Troy.
More about this marker. The Historical
Regarding William Henry Freeman. Freeman was employed as a brass molder in Troy, New York before enlisting in Company B of the 169th NY Volunteer Infantry (known as “The Second Troy Regiment”) in early 1863. Among other campaigns, that regiment participated in the 1864 operations against Fort Fisher, NC, which was an immense sand fortification that guarded the inlet to Wilmington, North Carolina, the last major open Confederate seaport on the Atlantic coast.
The Second Battle of Fort Fisher (January 13-15, 1865) was a joint assault by Union Army and naval forces against the Confederate fort, which was sometimes referred to as the "Gibraltar of the South" and the last major coastal stronghold of the Confederacy, thus giving Fort Fisher a tremendous strategic value during the war. The Medal of Honor was awarded to 54 Union servicemen, including Freeman, for their actions during this battle.
At the final attack on that fortress
Colonel Alden recalled the incident in his personal memoir, which was published in 1896:
"Within a few moments thereafter, about five o'clock P.M., [on January 15th], in compliance with the suggestion or order of General Ames, a portion of the Third Brigade, partially in self-defence, charged through the sally port into the interior of the short wing of the fort, receiving a scattering fire from the garrison, resulting in several casualties. A little circumstance occurring at this juncture was indelibly stamped upon my memory because of the bravery and gallantry involved.
"I had in my hand a substitute for the brigade headquarters flag; the color bearer had either been shot or for some reason was absent. I called for someone to take the colors. My private orderly who was with me called out, 'I will carry your colors, Colonel.' I had a just pride in my orderly, who was only 16 years old when he enlisted as a private. The young hero, William H. Freeman, takes equal
Returning to Troy after his discharge, Freeman resumed his career as a brass molder, and was later employed as a janitor in the Post Office. On May 27, 1905, more than 40 years after the fact, Private William Freeman was awarded a Medal of Honor for his service at Fort Fisher. The official citation reads “Volunteered to carry the brigade flag after the bearer was wounded.”
Awarded for actions during the Civil War
The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Private William Henry Freeman, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism on 15 January 1865, while serving with Company B, 169th New York Infantry, in action at Fort Fisher, North Carolina. Private Freeman volunteered to carry the brigade flag after the bearer was wounded.
General Orders: Date of Issue: May 27, 1905
Action Date: January 15, 1865
Company: Company B
Division: 169th New York Infantry
Recently, in 2011, James B. Freeman, a great-grandson of William H. Freeman, and his sister, Shirley Hoffman, very graciously donated William's Medal of Honor, along with a wartime tintype photograph and other
Also see . . .
1. Oakwood Cemetery, Notable Gravesites; William H. Freeman. (Submitted on June 3, 2016, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York.)
2. Find-A-Grave; William Henry Freeman. (Submitted on June 3, 2016, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York.)
3. The Powder Magazine,. Volume 3, Issue 4, Fall 2011, Page 6: Private William H. Freeman, 169th New York Volunteers, and Recipient of the Medal of Honor (Submitted on June 3, 2016, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York.)
Additional keywords. Medal of Honor Second Battle of Fort Fisher
Categories. • Cemeteries & Burial Sites • Forts, Castles • Patriots & Patriotism • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 3, 2016, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. This page has been viewed 233 times since then and 34 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on June 3, 2016, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. 6. submitted on June 5, 2016, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. 7. submitted on June 3, 2016, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.