Indian Compaigns Medal of Honor Recipient. His headstone incorrectly states his last name as "Coonrad." Sergeant, Company F, 7th US Cavalry. Awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Indian Wars period 1876-1877. The son of Woollery and Hulda Coonrod, Aquilla was the first white male born within the present borders of Williams County, North Dakota. In October 1876, he was in an engagement with Chief Sitting Bull at Cedar Creek, and in April 1877, he was fighting Crazy Horse at Wolf Mountain, both in the Montana Territory. On April 27, 1877, he was awarded the Medal of Honor for "extraordinary acts of heroism and gallantry in action" and the medal was personally pinned on him by General William T. Sherman, Chief of Staff of the Army. In 1884, while assigned to Fort Buford, North Dakota, he was escorting the Army paymaster, Major Whipple, with a large payroll for outlying posts when they were attacked by seven "highwaymen" (i.e. bandits) about 46 miles southwest of Fort Buford. Seven men jumped out from hiding and began firing at the payroll party, and Sergeant Coonrad was killed by two shots in his abdomen. His men drove off the remaining bandits without loss of the Army payroll. Originally interred at the Post Cemetery at Fort Buford, North Dakota, the remains of Sergeant Coonrod was transferred to the Custer National Cemetery (sometimes referred to as the Little Bighorn National Cemetery), in Montana in 1896.
Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson
1ST SERG CO C 5 US INF