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 John Barclay Fassitt

John Barclay Fassitt

Original Name Fassett
Birth
Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 18 Jan 1905 (aged 68)
Bronx, Bronx County, New York, USA
Burial Bronx, Bronx County, New York, USA
Plot Section 9, Spring Lake Plot, Lot 1323
Memorial ID 23411 · View Source
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Civil War Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. He served in the Civil War in the 23rd Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, rising from 1st Lieutenant and Regimental Adjutant to Captain of Company F. He was awarded the CMOH for his bravery on the Second Day of the Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (July 2, 1863). On that day he was serving as the senior aide to Major General David B. Birney, who commanded the Army of the Potomac's 1st Division of the III Corps. When the Confederates under General James Longstreet smashed the III Corps salient near the Peach Orchard, he rendered great service by rallying and reforming elements of General Andrew Humphrey's 2nd Division on Cemetery Ridge. He was returning to the front lines in search of General Birney when he noticed the abandoned and captured artillery pieces of Battery I, 5th United States Regular Artillery. Quickly surmising that the Confederates could use the guns to destroy the newly reformed Union positions on Cemetery Ridge, he ordered the nearest troops, the 39th New York Volunteer Infantry of the II Corps, to charge and retake the guns (the unit's commander would not do it, though, until Captain Fassitt invoked the authority of II Corps commander General Winfield S. Hancock - authority he technically did not have). He then joined in the vicious struggle to retake the guns, and made a conspicuous target being the only one mounted on a horse. The 39th New York succeeded in reclaiming the artillery pieces, and Captain Fassett made a daring escape from Rebels who were attempting to knock him off his horse and capture him. His brave action in securing the safety of the Cemetery Ridge line would win him the Medal of Honor 31 years later. His official citation reads simply "While acting as an aide, voluntarily led a regiment to the relief of a battery and recaptured its guns from the enemy". He would eventually be promoted to Major of his regiment. His Medal was issued on December 29, 1894.

Bio by: Russ Dodge


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 25 Jul 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 23411
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for John Barclay Fassitt (26 Oct 1836–18 Jan 1905), Find A Grave Memorial no. 23411, citing Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, Bronx County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .