Vermont Museum is Given an Old Medal of Honor - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vermont Museum is Given an Old Medal of Honor

Colchester, Vermont -- September 28, 2006

Vermont's official military museum has been given a valuable piece of history. A descendant of a Union soldier who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor has donated the medal -- actually two medals -- to the Vermont Veterans Military Museum and Library.

The Medal of Honor is the nation's highest military award. There are two connected with the history of Private Thomas Cosgrove because he was initially awarded an original two decades after the war for his actions in capturing seven armed Confederate soldiers who were holed up in a cellar near Richmond, Virginia, in 1864. Later, he was given a replacement medal which by then had been redesigned.

A room full of people, including Vermont Army and Air Guard members and Adjutant Gen. Mike Dubie, heard the story of the Civil War soldier who single-handedly demanded the surrender of the Confederates. The repeating rifle he carried -- a seven-shot Spencer .52 caliber -- was a fearsome weapon back then, and may explain why the southerners gave up.

Museum president Ron Crisman explained about the medal. "This is unique," he said, "because we have both the original medal, which was a Navy medal at the bottom with an Army ribbon -- and the one that replaced it. He was supposed to send that back (the original medal), but as a good New Englander, he hung onto it."

Cosgrove was from Boston and was a member of the Mass. 40th Volunteer Regiment. Vermont wound up with the medal because the Union hero's great-grandson is retired Brigadier General Ben Day. He donated the award to the Museum so that everyone can see this remarkable piece of American history. 

Andy Potter - Channel 3 News

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