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First Sergeant William H. Wiseman
Saint Mary's Cemetery
Lawrenceville PA





Stolen Medal of Honor
THE CONGRESS
TO
1st SERGT. WM. H. WISEMAN
CO. E 24th VET RES CORPS
OF ESCORT TO REMAINS OF
PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN
APRIL 1865


William Wiseman was posthumously stripped of his Medal of Honor in 1915 (read below). This Medal is unique in that the Congress Of The United States, not the Army, issued this special Award.Wiseman's Medal Of Honor was donated to Allegheny County's Soldier's & Sailor's Hall. The medal was reported missing in March of 1983 from the Hall and to date has not been found. It remains the property of Soldier's & Sailor's Hall and Allegheny County.
It no doubt resides in a Private Civil War Collection.
IF YOU HAVE INFORMATION ON THE WHEREABOUTS OF THIS MEDAL OF HONOR
PLEASE CONTACT:

ALLEGHENY COUNTY SOLDIERS & SAILORS HALL






William H. Wiseman
1839-1903
Civil War Vet 3 Years

Photo September 10th 2002 ~JTMcA


The following article appeared in the June 1997 issue of 'Historical Happenings'. It was written by Michael Murphy

PALLBEARER FOR ABRAHAM LINCOLN
RESTS IN SAINT MARY'S CEMETERY

William H. Wiseman was born in 1839 in the village of Bluden in the County of Cork, Ireland. He immigrated to the United States in 1848 during Ireland's holocast. He enlisted in the army on August 12, 1862. The five foot nine inch, blue eyed, dark haired Wiseman served with Company K of the 139th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry.

He followed the trade of Printer. On 16 September 1863 Wiseman was transferred to the brigade hospital near Warrenton Virginia, with acute dysentery. On 15 March 1864 he was redeployed to the Invalid Corps. Late in the war the Invalid Corps was renamed the Veterans Reserve Corps. The VRC's basic function was to use disabled, who had already performed honorable service, to replace able-bodied men who were performing necessary, but mundane, military duties. The unit was comprised of men who had exhibited meritorious service, but who now were unfit for regular duty. They were authorized to carry weapons. They performed light duty marching, escorting, guarding and such as paper work.
When physically able they were returned to their former units.

The Corps was selected to transport President Lincoln's body from our Nation's Capital, through the country, back to Springfield, Illinois.
Eight states were represented and 1st Sergeant William H. Wiseman represented the Keystone State.

The United States Congress, not the Army awarded the escorts the Medal Of Honor.
Wiseman's Medal Of Honor was inscribed as follows:

"The Congress To 1st Sergt. WM. H. Wiseman CO. E 24th Vet Res Corps Of Escort To Remains Of President Abraham Lincoln April 1865."

After his military service, Wiseman returned to Pittsburg and worked as a Printer for 'The Pittsburg Dispatch' newspaper. He lived at 716 Watson Street in the Uptown section of the city. William H. Wiseman died on November 6, 1903, and was buried from Epiphany Church. He had six sons, two daughters and a wife. He is buried in the St. Mary's Cemetery, Lawrenceville, Section N Lot 167-168.
An eight foot high monument marks his grave. The inscription reads:
"William H. Wiseman 1839-1903 Civil War Vet Three Years."

In June of 1916 a panel of five retired Generals reviewed the criteria under which Medal Of Honor Recipients were bestowed their accolades. They decided that Wiseman did not meet the minimum requirements for courage "Above & Beyond the call of duty;. William Wiseman was posthumously stripped of his Medal of Honor. Wiseman's Medal Of Honor has been donated to Allegheny County's Soldier's & Sailor's Hall. Authorities at the Hall decided not to return the medal. The medal was reported missing in March of 1983 from the Hall and to date has not been found.

Source = Lawrenceville Historical Society


The Medal'sHistory
5 February 1917
The Medal of Honor review board released its findings, striking the names of 911 medal recipients from the honor roll. The stricken names included all the medals awarded to the 27th Maine, 29 members of President Lincoln's funeral guard, and six civilians (whose courage the board did not deny, but who were ruled ineligible for the Medal due their civilian status). Five of the civilians were scouts from the Indian Campaigns including Buffalo Bill Cody. The sixth was Civil War Assistant Surgeon Mary Walker. Though she had participated in major campaigns from Bull Run to Chickamauga, even endured three months as a Confederate prisoner of war, her civilian status denied her continued recognition as a Medal of Honor recipient.



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Copyright 2002- 2008 Tom and Nancy McAdams
Update March 11, 2008

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