1862 : Private George Sidman Receives Congressional Medal of Honor, Michigan’s Youngest Recipient

April 6, 2023 all-day

Private George Sidman, a drummer boy from Owosso, received the Congressional Medal of Honor for heroism displayed on a Civil War battlefield in June 1862. He was the youngest man in the state to receive the commendation.

While not particularly gifted on the drum, Sidman was kept around in the hopes that he would become a soldier. He earned a soldier’s reputation at Gaines Mill, Virginia a year after he enlisted. Only 16, Sidman fought off the enemy and added enouragment to the battle until a mini ball struck his hip. He continued to fight until he fainted.

He was given the honor for carrying the 3rd Brigade’s new flag in the charge on Marye’s Heights at Fredericksburg where Sidman was wounded again.

Source: Michigan Every Day

For more information, see George D. Sidman: the heroics of a Civil War drummer boy, Civil War Sources, December 21, 2008.

Also see A Distant Thunder: Michigan in the Civil War / Richard Bak. Ann Arbor, MI : Huron River Press, c2004.


Leave a Reply