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Civil War Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient
Sgt. Francis E. Brownell (?1894)
 
Civil War Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient Sgt. Francis E. Brownell
The Medal of Honor, the highest award for valor that combat veterans can attain, was inaugurated during the Civil War. After the war, Francis E. Brownell twice put his name forward to receive the medal and succeeded a third time with the help of his congressman. Brownell received his decoration in 1877, inscribed with his name and organization. He returned the medal to the War Department, with the request to describe the action. He was given a new medal, inscribed: The Congress to Sergt Frank E. Brownell, 11th N.Y. Vol Infy for gallantry in shooting the murderer of Col. Ellsworth at Alexandria, VA, May 24, 1861. Although Brownell received his medal long after the event (January 26, 1877, sixteen years after the event) his medal marked the first action in the Civil War to merit the award.

History of the History of Technology, Armed Forces History
National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Behring Center - Bequest of Francis Brownell
Civil War Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient Sgt. Francis E. Brownell

Civil War Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient Sgt. Francis E. Brownell

Col. Elmer E. Ellsworths avenger, Private Francis E. Brownell, is seen in this photograph by Mathew Brady dressed in his Zouave uniform and wearing a mourning band tied around his left arm. He is standing on the secession flag taken from the Marshall House. He is holding the rifle with the sword bayonet with which he used to kill the Alexandria secessionist, James W. Jackson.

Library of Congress

 
Civil War Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient Sgt. Francis E. Brownell
 

CITATION:

Rank and organization: Private, Company A, 11th New York Infantry. Place and date: Alexandria, Va., 24 May 1861. Entered service at: Troy, N.Y. Birth: New York. Date of issue: 26 January 1877.

Killed the murderer of Colonel Elmer E. Ellsworth at the Marshall House Alexandria, Va.

 

Congressional Medal of Honor - Brownells Model 1855 U.S. percussion rifle. Francis E. Brownell was issued this Model 1855 U.S. percussion rifle as a private in Company A, 11th New York Infantry, commonly called Ellsworths Fire Zouaves. It was with this .58 caliber rifle that Brownell shot and killed Ellsworths assailant, James W. Jackson. History of Technology, Armed Forces History, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution - Behring Center - Bequest of Francis Brownell
Brownells Model 1855 U.S. percussion rifle. Francis E. Brownell was issued this Model 1855 U.S. percussion rifle as a private in Company A, 11th New York Infantry, commonly called Ellsworths Fire Zouaves. It was with this .58 caliber rifle that Brownell shot and killed Ellsworths assailant, James W. Jackson. History of Technology, Armed Forces History, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution - Behring Center - Bequest of Francis Brownell



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