Monday, April 25, 2011

Spring / Summer of History-Civil War 150- Lake County, Ohio - Howell Burr Treat, MOH

Medal of Honor - A Brief Retrospect

In 1782, General George Washington established a purple cloth badge of 'Merit.'  It was created to recognize any "any singularly meritorious action."  This cloth badge, later to become the Medal of Honor had a brief history.  The Merit Badge fell into disuse as the years passed.  In December 1861, Public Resolution 82 marked the official beginning of the Medal of Honor history.  What began as a Navy award for valor, added the Army branch to its rolls by July 1862.  Listed below is a brief synopsis of the MOH.

MOH Summary:
  • 3471 Medals Awarded
  • 19 Double Recipients
  • One President and Two Father/Son Recipients  (Roosevelt and MacArthur)
  • 85 MOH are still living
  • First MOH winner was Ohioian Jacob Perrot, 25 March 1863
  • 2403 Army Recipients
  • Three Eras in MOH annals    (1861-1917, 1918-1962, 1962-present)
  • 2500 Civil War MOH, 910 were later revoked
Recipients by Conflict:
  • Civil War  1522
  • WWI          124
  • WWII        464
  • Korea        133
  • Vietnam    246
  • Others       979

Lake County Profiles:  Howell Burr Treat, MOH

#16-Division 10-North Side is the location of a single grave marker at Evergreen Cemetery in Painesville.  The name on the marker is Howell Burr Treat.  Born March 31, 1833, he died on July 21, 1912 aged 79.  Also on that marker are the three words 'Medal of Honor.'  Treat is one of 330 Civil War and 13 Revolutionary War Veterans buried at Evergreen.  All the veterans were important to our American history and all have a story to tell.  Howell Burr Treat is the only Medal of Honor recipient to be buried in Lake County.  His story, though brief, is a hidden gem and small bit of local lore in the annals of Lake County's Civil War history.

Treat was a Sergeant Company 1,  52nd Ohio Infantry during the Civil War.  On 11 May 1864 at the battle of Buzzard's Roost, Georgia, he brought water to wounded soldiers very close to enemy territory under heavy fire.  Also,  he managed to carry a wounded man to safety.  Nearly thirty years later, issued to Howell B. Treat on 14 August 1894 was a Medal of Honor, an award recognizing "any singularly meritorious action."  Much time has passed since Treat's heroic actions of May 1864 and other more famous Civil War stories have been recorded. However, one can walk through Evergreen Cemetery on any given day during this 150th anniversary of Civil War Ohio and pay tribute to one veteran's story from long ago.

Part of the information used was gleaned from a J. Tirpak, NEOCWRT presentation on 4/21/11.

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