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Army Medal of Honor

Medal of Honor Citation


Edmund Rice

[more about him]


Organization: 19th Massachusetts Infantry

Entered Service: Boston, Mass.

Birth: Brighton, Mass.

Date Medal Issued: 6 October 1891.

Date of Action: 3 July 1863.

Place of Action: Gettysburg, Pa.


Conspicuous bravery on the third day of the battle on the countercharge against Pickett's division where he fell severely wounded within the enemy's lines.

More about this award

"The conspicuous gallantry of Major Edmund Rice, of the 19th. Mass. Vols. Infantry, at the third day's battle of Gettysburg, where he was severely wounded, did more than the single exertion of any other officer on our side to retrieve the day after the battle had been virtually won by the Confederates, who had broken our lines, and were cheering and swinging their hats on our captured guns. After the line was broken, the 19th dashed in and placed themselves in the rear of the break, and for twelve minutes received the enemy's fire, at a distance of less than fifteen paces. In that time one man in every two of the whole regiment, and seven fell over, including Rice, who was shot in front of his men with his foot on the body of a fallen Confederate, he being at that moment the officer fighting nearest to the enemy in our whole line. He fought till he fell; his men fought till they fell. He held Pickett's heavy column in check with the single thin line of his regiment, till reinforcements came from right and left..."

"Rice's regiment lost three-fourths of its force in that awful struggle, but its victorious remnants brought off the field the captured battleflags of the 14th, 19th, 53rd and 57th Virginia Regiments. When Webb's Brigade broke, the writer, recognizing fully the crisis of the moment, listened impatiently for the expected order to meet it, but except Rice's cry to follow him, heard no such order, and believes that none other was given."
(from War Department Records related to the Award, according to Nitch1)


1   Nitch, Steven, Brigadier General Edmund Rice, Published c. 1999, first accessed 01 January 2000, <>  [AotW citation 462]


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