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Sgt Michael P. Madden

Sgt Michael P. Madden

Birth
Ireland
Death 18 Dec 1883 (aged 41–42)
California, Moniteau County, Missouri, USA
Burial California, Moniteau County, Missouri, USA
Plot Potters Field Section
Memorial ID 59518799 · View Source
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A veteran of both the American Civil War and the Indian Wars, Sgt. Madden was a survivor of the Battle of the Little Big Horn. His death notice, which appeared in an 1883 Moniteau newspaper, listed him as "Mike Madden", a one-legged employee of a saddlery company in the town of California, Missouri. It was not until more than a century later that he was officially recognized as a former sergeant-saddler in Company K of Custer's 7th Cavalry who had lost his leg in the famous June 1876 battle. An Irish immigrant who had fought for the Union during the Civil War, Madden evidently preferred military to civilian life, and re-enlisted in the US 7th Cavalry in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1871. On June 25-26, 1876 he was engaged in the hilltop fight under Capt. Frederick Benteen and Maj. Marcus Reno, and was shot in the right leg above the ankle while attempting to get water for his beseiged comrades. He then survived the additional trauma of having his shattered limb amputated on the scene, under heavy enemy fire, without benefit of chloroform. Given brandy by regimental surgeon Dr. Henry Porter before and after the operation, the feisty Irishman allegedly endured without a whimper, and was said to have been so appreciative of the second shot of brandy that he quipped "Cut me other leg off!" Though Madden was one of several volunteers who had risked their lives to bring water to the wounded during the desperate fighting, he was one of three who were inexplicably bypassed for the Medal of Honor awarded the others. Honorably discharged as "A sergeant of excellent character", he was located in St. Louis seven years after the battle, and had been a resident of the railroad town of California, Missouri, for the last two months of his life. He was employed there as a saddler by Markworth & Co., later known as Heck's Saddlery. The former trooper's appreciation for the ersatz aenesthetic he received on the battlefield may have hastened his death at age 42, as he reportedly died in a local boarding house after a 2-week drinking binge. Buried in the Potter's Field section of California City Cemetery, his service to the United States was finally recognized with a military headstone in 2010 through the efforts of the Moniteau County Historic Society.


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  • Created by: Nikita Barlow
  • Added: 2 Oct 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 59518799
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Sgt Michael P. Madden (1841–18 Dec 1883), Find A Grave Memorial no. 59518799, citing California City Cemetery, California, Moniteau County, Missouri, USA ; Maintained by Nikita Barlow (contributor 46508077) .