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U.S.A. MEDAL OF HONOR



 



SERGEANT GEORGE UHRI
MEDAL OF HONOR WINNER
Submitted by: Gail Hawthorne





My for-fathers fought & died, including my great grandfather, GEORGE UHRI, for our liberty; they paid the price and that is why I am pro-active in forwarding this information to all who are interested in my story, since I feel that I owe this honor to him & to one of his sons, my grand-father, Edward Henry Uhri, who had such a strong influence on my younger years, who I love very much & who will always remains in my heart & in the back roads of my mind. On behalf of all who fought for our freedom, I thank you.


George Uhri, (misspelled UHRL or UHRY), born on October 21, 1838 (Height: 5 feet 71/2 inches; Eyes: Blue), in Baden, Germany to Andrew born in 1810 (as per the 1870 Census Index {Baltimore, Chicago & St. Louis} and died 12/13/1902, as per directory of St. Louis Missouri from 1875 to 1903; 1880 US Census-National Index {Missouri}) & Mary (as per the 1870 Census Index {Baltimore, Chicago & St. Louis}).

SERVICE

George came to the United States from Germany in 1855, as per the 1900 Census, entered the service on February 9, 1856 in New York and was enlisted for 5 years and was assigned to Battery G, 2nd Regiment US Artillery & served against the Seminole Indians in Florida (1856-1857) & in later part of 1857 & 1858 served against the Crows & Sioux in Minnesota.

Uhri became a citizen of the United States of America on December 15, 1860. He served in the American Civil War as a Sergeant, Light Battery “F”, 3rd Regiment US Army Artillery in 1860 and was transferred to Light Battery “F”, 5th Regiment US Army Artillery in 1861 and served in the following battles until 1865:

      1862
      Lee’s Mills, VA.
      Gelding’s Farm
      White Oak Swamp, VA.
      Malvern Hill, VA.
      South Mountain.
      Antietam, MD.
      Fredericksburg, VA.

      1863
      Chancellorsville, VA.
      Rappahannock Station, VA.
      Gettysburg, PA.

      1864
      Siege of Petersburg, VA.
      Chapin’s Farm, VA.

      1864 to 1865
      Siege & capture of Richmond, VA.


AFTER THE WAR

He was married in the City of Richmond on October 08, 1866 to Caroline Ernst; Caroline, known as Lena, was born in Virginia, as per the Newport Rhode Island Census of 1875. Some source documents have George’s wife listed as Lena & other documents have her listed as Caroline. Her grave stone is listed as Lena Uhri. The couple were married for 40 or 45 years and had 5 or 6 children, George, Joseph, Richard, Edward, & Arthur were the only sons that I had heard of from my grand-mother, Catherine, who was married to Edward.

As per the Newport, Rhode Island Census of 1875, he was stationed at Fort Adams, City of Newport, Rhode Island in June 1875, the length of time is unknown. Two of his sons, Arthur, born around 1869, as per the Newport Rhode Island Census of 1875 & Edward Henry Uhrie were born in Rhode Island. Richard, William & Joseph ‘s birthplaces are not known. Edward was born on July 9, 1875 (SS# 139-07-0912A) & died in Florida. His God Father was the prominent banker, J.P. Morgan. Another brother, George E., was born about 1869 in Washington, DC, as per the Newport Rhode Island Census of 1875.

THE MEDAL OF HONOR

On June 16, 1896, written reports of confirmation from other persons acquainted with the facts of this White Oak Swamp incident of June 30,1862 were needed. The reports of Major of the Light Battery “F” 5th Artillery, David H. Kinzie, (eye-witness) recommended this medal of honor to Uhri on November 18,1897, and 2nd Lieutenant Charles R. Hickox, Col. John Hamilton & Captain Henry Brewerton (Uhri’s Battery Commander), who's knowledge of the facts concerning the White Oak Swamp incident were similar to the report of Uhri's were sent via letter to the Adjutant General, US Army, Washington, D.C. on April 23, 1896 .

Because of his heroic conduct at the Battle of White Oak Swamp Bridge in Virginia, the letter & endorsement for the Medal of Honor for signature was issued on December 17, 1897. The Medal of Honor was awarded to Uhri on March 22, 1898 and he acknowledged receiving it on April 5, 1898. He was one of 3 who, under heavy fire of advancing enemy, voluntarily secured & saved from capture a field gun (10 pound Parrott) belonging to Captain Mott’s Battery of the 1st N.Y. Artillery, which had been deserted by its officers & men at the White Oak Swamp Bridge in VA on June 30, 1862.

The Union rearguard under Major General William Franklin stopped Jackson's divisions at the White Oak Bridge crossing, resulting in an artillery duel, while the main battle raged 2 miles farther south at Glendale or Frayser's Farm. White Oak Swamp can be considered part of the Glendale engagement.

The Book “Deed of Valor”1903, page 54, edited by W.F. Beyer & O. F. Keydel, contains a short account of the White Oak Swamp episode in Uhri’s own words, together with a postwar photograph of him. He is also mentioned in the Official Records of the Civil War – The War Of The Rebellion: A Compilation Of The Official Records Of The Union & Confederate Armies, Chapter XXlll, page 466.

AFTER RETIREMENT FROM THE ARMY

George Uhri retired on December 31, 1886; however, Uhri stated that he retired from the army on January 01, 1887. In 1905, he lived at 43 West 42nd Street, New York, New York; the length of time he resided at this address is not known.

George Uhri served as a doorman (below rank of a police officer, usually in charge of the station house, prisoners, etc.) on the Police Department of the City of New York from February 3, 1893 to February 11, 1904. As per his letter of February 11, 1904, he had asked to be dismissed from the force and to be placed on the Roll of The Police Pension Fund. Uhri was granted an annual police pension during his lifetime of $500.00. Uhri's position on the police force and exact dates of service were provided by Mr. Michael Cronin, Curator, at the New York City Police Museum, 100 Old Ship, New York City.

As he was getting on a local trolley, it started up before he was fully on it & he was thrown backwards, hitting his head against a lamppost. He died on September 28, 1911, at 3:20 a.m., from a brain concussion at age 73, at 434 West 58th Street, New York, New York.

On October 7, 1911, a letter from the War Department was sent to the Mayor of New York City requesting confirmation of the date, place & cause of the late soldier’s death.

Widow’s Pension of $12.00 per month was commenced on October 03, 1911 to claimant, Caroline Uhri, age 60, at 434 West 58th Street, New York, New York.

His wife, Lena died on September 13, 1914 of acute bronchial pneumonia at 680 Tenth Avenue in New York City & was buried in the Lutheran Cemetery, Middle Village, New York on September 16, 1914.

He was buried in the Lutheran Cemetery, 6729 Metropolitan Avenue, Middle Village, New York, 11379 - Location: Map #5, Lot 6132 on October 1, 1911.


 






 
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