America's Heroes: Medal of Honor Recipients from the Civil War to Afghanistan

By James H. Willbanks | Go to book overview

Schofield, John M.

Born: September 29, 1831

Died: March 4, 1906

Home State: New York

Service: Army

Conflict: Civil War

Age at Time of Award: 29

John McAllister Schofield was born September 29, 1831, in Gerry, New York, but, at the age of 12, was taken by his father, a Baptist minister, to Freeport, Illinois. He received an appointment to the US Military Academy at West Point in 1849 from Illinois and graduated seventh of 52 cadets in his class in 1853. He was commissioned in the artillery and served in Florida before returning to West Point as an instructor in natural and experimental philosophy. In 1860, he took a leave of absence from the Army and taught at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

When the Civil War began, he first served as mustering officer for the state of Missouri. Receiving a promotion to major of the 1st Missouri Infantry, Schofield served as chief of staff to Brig. Gen. Nathaniel Lyon. He saw action at Wilson’s Creek, where Lyon was killed. During the battle, Schofield led a regiment in a charge against Confederate troops. For his “conspicuous gallantry” in this action, he would be awarded the Medal of Honor on July 2, 1892.

Schofield was promoted to brigadier general in November 1861 and was placed in command of all Federal militia in Missouri until April 1862, when he assumed command of the Army of the Frontier, Department of Missouri. He was promoted to major general in November 1962. Requesting to be relieved from duty due to an altercation with his superior, Samuel R. Curtis, Schofield departed Missouri. On April 17, 1863, he assumed command of the 3rd Division in the XIV Corps of the Army of the Cumberland. He returned to Missouri later that year as commander of the Department of Missouri. In 1864, as commander of the Army of the Ohio, he took part in the Atlanta Campaign under Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman.

When Sherman set off on his “March to the Sea” after the fall of Atlanta, Schofield’s Army of the Ohio was detached to join Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas in blocking Confederate general John Bell Hood’s invasion of Tennessee. On November 30, 1864, Schofield’s forces engaged Hood at the Battle of Franklin, repulsing the Confederate attack and crippling his army. Two weeks later, Schofield’s troops participated in the destruction of what was left of Hood’s army at the Battle of Nashville. Schofield was then ordered to move his army to North Carolina to join forces with Sherman’s army. His troops occupied Wilmington on February 22, 1865, and fought a battle at Kinton on March 10 before joining Sherman at Goldsboro. He was still serving under Sherman in North Carolina when the Civil War ended.

After the war, Schofield was sent on a special diplomatic mission to France to negotiate the removal of French troops from Mexico. During Reconstruction, he served as military governor of Virginia. From June 1868 to March 1869, he served as President Andrew Johnson’s interim secretary of war, replacing Edwin M. Stanton.

In 1873, Schofield was given a secret mission by Secretary of War William Belknap to investigate the strategic potential of the Hawaiian Islands. Schofield subsequently recommended that the US establish a naval port at Pearl Harbor.

From 1876 to 1881, Schofield served as superintendent of the Military Academy at West Point. In 1888, after serving in successive assignments as commander of the Pacific, Missouri, and Atlantic departments, Schofield succeeded Philip H. Sheridan as commanding general of the Army upon Sheridan’s death. As the general in charge, Schofield was instrumental in clarifying lines of authority and achieving harmony between staff and line. He also supported increases in pay for noncommissioned officers, advanced a plan to reduce desertions, initiated efficiency reports for officers, and recommended that incompetent officers be denied promotion.

Lt. Gen. John Schofield retired from the army on September 29, 1895, at the age of 64 and published his memoirs, Forty-Six Years in the Army, two years later. He died at St. Augustine, Florida, on March 4, 1906. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. The military installation at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, about 30 miles north of Honolulu, was named in his honor.

James H. Willbanks


Further Reading

Connolly, John B. John M. Schofield and the Politics of Generalship. Durham: University of North Carolina Press, 2006.

Eicher, John H., and David J. Eicher. Civil War High Commands. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 2001.

McDonough, James L. Schofield: Union General in the Civil War and Reconstruction. Tallahassee: University Press of Florida, 1972.

Schofield, John M. Forty-Six Years in the Army. New York: The Century Company, 1897.

-302-

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America's Heroes: Medal of Honor Recipients from the Civil War to Afghanistan
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • List of Entries ix
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Preface xv
  • Introduction xvii
  • Adams, Lucian 1
  • Baca, John P. 2
  • Bacon, Nicky Daniel 4
  • Baker, Vernon 6
  • Baldwin, Frank D. 8
  • Ballard, Donald E. 11
  • Barfoot, Van T. 13
  • Barnum, Harvey C., Jr 14
  • Barrett, Carlton W. 16
  • Basilone, John 18
  • Benavidez, Roy P. 20
  • Birkhimer, William E. 22
  • Blake, Robert 24
  • Bleak, David B. 25
  • Boyington, Gregory 27
  • Brady, Patrick Henry 29
  • Britt, Maurice L. 30
  • Brown, Bobbie E. 32
  • Bucha, Paul William 34
  • Burke, Lloyd L. 36
  • Bush, Robert Eugene 38
  • Butler, Smedley Darlington 40
  • Butterfield, Daniel 42
  • Cafferata, Hector a., Jr 43
  • Carney, William H. 45
  • Cavaiani, Jon R. 48
  • Chamberlain, Joshua L. 49
  • Childers, Ernest 51
  • Cody, William F. 53
  • Cohn, Abraham 55
  • Cole, Robert G. 57
  • Craft, Clarence B. 59
  • Crandall, Bruce P. 61
  • Custer, Thomas W. 63
  • Dahlgren, John Olof 65
  • Daly, Daniel Joseph 67
  • Davila, Rudolph B. 69
  • Davis, Charles W. 70
  • Davis, Raymond G. 73
  • Davis, Sammy L. 74
  • Day, George E. 76
  • Dean, William F. 78
  • Deblanc, Jefferson Joseph 79
  • Dix, Drew Dennis 81
  • Donlon, Roger Hugh C. 84
  • Donovan, William Joseph 85
  • Doolittle, James H. 87
  • Doss, Desmond T. 88
  • Dunham, Jason L. 90
  • Dunham, Russell E. 91
  • Dyess, Aquilla James 93
  • Ehlers, Walter D. 96
  • Evans, Ernest Edwin 98
  • Faith, Don C., Jr 100
  • Finn, John William 102
  • Fletcher, Frank Jack 104
  • Fluckey, Eugene Bennett 105
  • Foley, Robert F. 107
  • Foss, Joseph Jacob 109
  • Fox, John Robert 112
  • Freeman, Ed W. 113
  • Funston, Frederick 115
  • Galer, Robert Edward 117
  • García, Macario 119
  • Gonsalves, Harold 121
  • Gonzalez, Alfredo 123
  • Gordon, Gary I. 125
  • Hagemeister, Charles Chris 126
  • Harmon, Roy W. 128
  • Harrell, William George 130
  • Hatch, John P. 131
  • Hayashi, Shizuya 133
  • Hayes, Webb C. 134
  • Heard, John W. 137
  • Hendrix, James R. 139
  • Hernández, Rodolfo P. 140
  • Herrera, Silvestre S. 142
  • Hooper, Joe R. 144
  • Howard, Oliver O. 146
  • Howard, Robert L. 148
  • Inouye, Daniel K. 150
  • Irwin, Bernard J. D. 154
  • Izac, Edouard Victor Michel 155
  • Jackson, Joe M. 158
  • Jacobs, Jack H. 160
  • Joel, Lawrence 162
  • Kaufman, Benjamin 164
  • Keeble, Woodrow W. 166
  • Kelly, Charles E. 167
  • Kerrey, Joseph R. 169
  • Kisters, Gerry H. 171
  • Kouma, Ernest R. 173
  • Lang, George C. 175
  • Lemon, Peter C. 177
  • Levitow, John L. 178
  • Liteky, Angelo J. 181
  • Livingston, James E. 182
  • Lopez, Jose M. 184
  • Lucas, Jacklyn Harold 186
  • Luke, Frank, Jr 189
  • Mabry, George L., Jr 191
  • Macarthur, Arthur, Jr 193
  • Macarthur, Douglas 195
  • Mackie, John F. 198
  • Mallon, George H. 200
  • Marm, Walter Joseph, Jr 201
  • Martinez, Joe P. 203
  • McCool, Richard Miles, Jr 204
  • McGinnis, Ross A. 206
  • McGinty, John J., III 207
  • McKinney, John R. 209
  • Merli, Gino J. 211
  • Miles, L. Wardlaw 213
  • Miles, Nelson A. 214
  • Millett, Lewis L. 218
  • Miyamura, Hiroshi H. 220
  • Mize, Ola L. 223
  • Moffett, William A. 225
  • Monsoor, Michael A. 226
  • Monti, Jared C. 227
  • Munemori, Sadao S. 229
  • Munro, Douglas Albert 231
  • Murphy, Audie L. 233
  • Murphy, Michael P. 235
  • Murphy, Raymond G. 236
  • Norris, Thomas R. 238
  • Novosel, Michael J. 240
  • O’Hare, Edward Henry 243
  • O’Kane, Richard Hetherington 245
  • Okubo, James K. 246
  • Olive, Milton L., III 248
  • O’Neill, Richard W. 249
  • Page, John U. D. 251
  • Paige, Mitchell 254
  • Parker, Samuel I. 256
  • Pennypacker, Galusha 258
  • Penry, Richard A. 260
  • Pitsenbarger, William H. 262
  • Pittman, John A. 264
  • Pittman, Richard A. 265
  • Pope, Everett Parker 267
  • Pope, Thomas A. 269
  • Rascon, Alfred V. 271
  • Ray, Ronald Eric 273
  • Red Cloud, Mitchell, Jr 275
  • Rickenbacker, Edward V. 278
  • Roberts, Gordon R. 279
  • Rocco, Louis R. 281
  • Rodriguez, Joseph C. 283
  • Roosevelt, Theodore 285
  • Rosser, Ronald E. 287
  • Rubin, Tibor 289
  • Rudolph, Donald E. 291
  • Ruiz, Alejandro R. Renteria 293
  • Sakato, George T. 294
  • Salomon, Ben L. 296
  • Sandlin, Willie 298
  • Sasser, Clarence Eugene 300
  • Schofield, John M. 302
  • Shafter, William R. 303
  • Shoup, David Monroe 305
  • Shughart, Randall D. 307
  • Sickles, Daniel E. 310
  • Sijan, Lance P. 312
  • Simanek, Robert E. 313
  • Sitter, Carl L. 315
  • Smith, Andrew Jackson 317
  • Smith, Paul R. 319
  • Spurrier, Junior J. 320
  • Stockdale, James B. 322
  • Stone, James L. 324
  • Stowers, Freddie 326
  • Thornton, Michael Edwin 327
  • Thorsness, Leo K. 329
  • Titus, Calvin Pearl 332
  • Turner, George B. 333
  • Urban, Matt 335
  • Vandegrift, Alexander Archer 337
  • Vargas, Jay R. 339
  • Versace, Humbert R. 341
  • Wahlen, George Edward 343
  • Wai, Francis B. 345
  • Wainwright, Jonathan M. 347
  • Walker, Dr. Mary E. 349
  • Ware, Keith L. 350
  • Warren, Francis E. 352
  • Watson, George 353
  • Watters, Charles Joseph 354
  • Webb, Alexander S. 358
  • Wetzel, Gary George 360
  • Whiteley, Eli 362
  • Whittington, Hulon B. 363
  • Williams, Hershel Woodrow 365
  • Wilson, Louis Hugh, Jr. 367
  • Wood, Leonard 369
  • Woodfill, Samuel 372
  • York, Alvin C. 373
  • Young, Rodger W. 375
  • Zabitosky, Fred William 377
  • Zeamer, Jay, Jr. 379
  • Recipients of the Medal of Honor 381
  • Double Award Recipients 487
  • Medals of Honor Awarded by Conflict and Service 489
  • Bibliography 493
  • Index 511
  • About the Editor 529
  • Contributors 531
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