Organization: Company C, 1st Delaware Infantry
Entered Service: Wilmington, Del.
Date Medal Issued: 1 December 1864
Date of Action: 3 July 1863
Place of Action: Gettysburg, Pa.
Capture of flag.
More about this award
"McCarren's deed of valor came on the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg. There the 1st Delaware Regiment was a part of Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Smyth's 2nd Brigade, Brig. General Hays's 3rd Division of Major General Hancock's II Corps."
"This day, July 3, 1863, the 1st Delaware was placed on Cemetery Ridge behind a short stone wall. About .9 of a mile in front the Rebels were gathering preparing for what was to become known as "Pickett's Charge". Finally, after a long bombardment the solid gray line of 15,000 men came into view and advanced."
"[Brigade Commander] Col. Thomas Smyth ordered the 1st Delaware to hold their fire until the Rebels were only 50 yards away. Then "Open Fire!" was the command and the four lines of soldiers let loose with a volley. The deadly fire stunned the Rebels but they still kept coming and falling. Finally, the charge faltered some 40 feet in front of the Delaware men."
"Regimental Commander Lieutenant William Smith led a countercharge as the 1st Delaware men jumped over the wall. Lt. Smith was later found dead with his sword in one hand and a captured flag in the other. Corporal McCarren was luckier than most as he and Private Mayberry both captured battle flags of the 7th North Carolina and lived to tell about it."
(from Martin, Roger A., Delaware's Medal of Honor Recipients)
It is likely that the flag was actually that of the 13th Alabama Infantry, according to later evidence.