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19459 The Youngest Medal of Honor Recipient
Born in New York, 11-year-old Willie Johnston
enlisted in the Union Army alongside his father,
serving as a drummer boy with the 3rd Vermont
Infantry during the Civil War. In June 1862,
overpowered by Confederate forces, his unit
retreated down the Virginia Peninsula under
orders from General George McClellan. Along
the way, the men discarded their equipment to
hasten their pace. Young Willie, however, clung
to his drum throughout the march and was later
asked to play for his entire division on July 4.
When Abraham Lincoln heard about the
drummer’s bravery, he recommended him for the
Medal of Honor, and Willie received the award
in September 1863. He is seen here in full
uniform wearing his medal. No backmark.

Willie Johnston

Residence Salem VT;
Enlisted on 5/1/1862 as a Drummer.

On 5/1/1862 he mustered into "D" Co. VT 3rd
He was transferred out on 2/5/1864

On 2/5/1864 he transferred into Veteran Reserve
He Re-enlisted on 2/15/1864
He was Mustered Out on 8/31/1865

Other Information:
born in Morristown, NY

(Born in July 1850)

Medal of Honor Information:
He was awarded the Medal of Honor
for action on 7/1/1862 at Seven Days Battle, VA.
(Gallantry in Seven Day Battle and Peninsula