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Frederick S. Neilon
Personal Information
Born: June 22, 1846(1846-06-22)
Place of Birth: {{{place of birth}}}
Died: September 13, 1916 (aged 70)
Place of Death: {{{place of death}}}
Birth Name: {{{birth name}}}
Other Information
Allegiance: United States of America
Participation(s): {{{participations}}}
Branch: United States Army
Union Army
Service Years: {{{service years}}}
Rank: Sergeant
Service number : {{{servicenumber}}}
Unit: 6th U.S. Cavalry
Battles: American Civil War
Indian Wars
Red River War
Awards: Medal of Honor
Relations: {{{relations}}}
Other work: {{{otherwork}}}

Frederick S. Neilon (June 22, 1846 – September 13, 1916), also called Frank Singleton, was an American soldier in the U.S. Army who served with the 6th U.S. Cavalry during the Red River War. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for gallantry fighting Indians at the Upper Washita River on September 9–11, 1874.


Frederick S. Neilon was born in Boston, Massachusetts on June 22, 1846.[1] Primarily raised and educated in Boston, he was encouraged by his mother to pursue a career in business. He completed his business studies in 1864 but, despite his mother's objections, decided to enlist in the Union Army as a second-class private in the ordnance corps at the Watertown Arsenal on March 31, 1864, and remained there for the duration of the American Civil War. After three years working on ordnance development and logistics for the military, he was honorably discharged as a first-class private on March 31, 1867. He was soon hired by the W.E. Jarvis Company in Boston and worked as a machinist and clerk for the next five years. In the summer of 1872, however, he left his job due to the lack of advancement in the company. He travelled west to Chicago hoping to find a better position but, unable to find work, he instead reenlisted in the U.S. Army under the alias Frank Singleton on August 11, 1872.[1][2]

Neilon was initially stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas, and later at Forts Wallace and Dodge. In July 1874, Neilon was joined the 6th U.S. Cavalry at Fort Dodge for General Nelson A. Miles expedition against the Kiowa, Comanche, and the Southern Cheyenne in the Indian Territory and northwestern Texas. It was during this expedition that Neilon saw action at the Battle of Palo Duro Canyon on August 30, 1874, and at the Upper Washita River on September 9–12, 1874.[3] In the latter engagement, he was wounded in the leg while carrying ammunition under heavy fire to outlying defensive positions. He received the Medal of Honor[4][5][6][7][8][9][10] for "gallantry in action",[1][11][12] however, he was forced to retire due to the severity of his leg injury and was discharged on a certificate of disability on May 6, 1875.[2] Neilon died in Boston on September 13, 1916,[1] and buried at Saint Paul's Cemetery in Arlington, Massachusetts.

Medal of Honor citation[]

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company A, 6th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Upper Washita, Tex., 9–11 September 1874. Entered service at:------. Birth: Boston, Mass. Date of issue: 23 April 1875.


Gallantry in action.[13]

See also[]

  • List of Medal of Honor recipients for the Indian Wars


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Cruse, J. Brett. Battles of the Red River War: Archeological Perspectives on the Indian campaign of 1874. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2008. (pg. 161) ISBN 1-60344-027-5
  2. 2.0 2.1 Neal, Charles M. Valor Across the Lone Star: The Congressional Medal of Honor in Frontier Texas. Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 2003. (pg. 302) ISBN 0-87611-184-3
  3. Beyer, Walter F. and Oscar Frederick Keydel, ed. Deeds of Valor: From Records in the Archives of the United States Government; how American Heroes Won the Medal of Honor; History of Our Recent Wars and Explorations, from Personal Reminiscences and Records of Officers and Enlisted Men who Were Rewarded by Congress for Most Conspicuous Acts of Bravery on the Battle-field, on the High Seas and in Arctic Explorations. Vol. 2. Detroit: Perrien-Keydel Company, 1906. (pg. 186)
  4. Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs. Medal of Honor recipients, 1863-1973, 93rd Cong., 1st sess. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1973. (pg. 975)
  5. Manning, Robert, ed. Above and Beyond: A History of the Medal of Honor from the Civil War to Vietnam. Boston: Boston Publishing Company, 1985. ISBN 0-939526-19-0
  6. Hannings, Bud. A Portrait of the Stars and Stripes. Glenside, Pennsylvania: Seniram Publishing, 1988. (pg. 400) ISBN 0-922564-00-0
  7. O'Neal, Bill. Fighting Men of the Indian Wars: A Biographical Encyclopedia of the Mountain Men, Soldiers, Cowboys, and Pioneers Who Took Up Arms During America's Westward Expansion. Stillwater, Oklahoma: Barbed Wire Press, 1991. (pg. 29) ISBN 0-935-26907-X
  8. Wilson, D. Ray. Terror on the Plains: A Clash of Cultures. Dundee, Illinois: Crossroads Communications, 1999. (pg. 244) ISBN 0-916-44547-X
  9. Yenne, Bill. Indian Wars: The Campaign for the American West. Yardley, Pennsylvania: Westholme Publishing, 2006. (pg. 167) ISBN 1-59416-016-3
  10. Nunnally, Michael L. American Indian Wars: A Chronology of Confrontations Between Native Peoples and Settlers and the United States Military, 1500s-1901. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland, 2007. (pg. 136) ISBN 0-7864-2936-4
  11. Sterner, C. Douglas (1999). "MOH Citation for Frederick Neilon". MOH Recipients: Indian Campaigns. Retrieved June 24, 2010. 
  12. Army Times Publishing Company. "Military Times Hall of Valor: Frederick S. Neilon". Awards and Citations: Medal of Honor. Retrieved June 24, 2010. 
  13. "Medal of Honor recipients". Indian War Campaigns. United States Army Center of Military History. June 8, 2009. Retrieved June 29, 2009. 

Further reading[]

  • Konstantin, Phil. This Day in North American Indian History: Important Dates in the History of North America's Native Peoples for Every Calendar Day. New York: Da Capo Press, 2002. ISBN 0-306-81170-7

External links[]