Civil War Wiki
John Kiggins
Personal Information
Place of Birth: {{{place of birth}}}
Died: 1914
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Other Information
Allegiance: United States of America
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Branch: United States Army
Union Army
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Unit: 149th New York Infantry
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Battles: American Civil War
Awards: Medal of Honor
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John Kiggins (died 1914)[1] received the Medal of Honor. He was a Northern flag barer from the 149th regiment of Company D from Syracuse, New York during the American Civil War of United States of America. He received the Medal for showing amazing courage in battle.

The beginning[]

File:Lookout mountain.jpg

The battle of Lookout mountain. John Kiggins can be seen directly in the center holding the flag.

On November 24, 1863, The men of the 149th detachment rose, and were surprised when an order to advance on the Southern troops came that day. The Southerners had a stronghold in Lookout Mountain, and the Northerners had a camp on the Tennessee side of the mountain. It was planned that the Northerners would defeat the enemy through sheer force. The men hastily made a bridge across Lookout Creek, and about half a mile away, started to fight the opposing forces.

The battle[]

Full scale fighting broke out, and the fog thickened. The men of the 149th had difficulty, because they were trapped between a Southern line, and another Northern line. The detachment was being shelled from both sides. John Kiggins thought quickly. He stood on a stump, lifted a large American flag above his head, and waved it around.[2]

File:Army Medal of Honor.jpg

The Army Medal of Honor of the United States of America

The 149th was no longer being shot at by fellow Northerners. However, John Kiggins was open to the fire of the Southern troops. The battle swung in favor of the North, because of Kiggins, and the next day they had control over the mountain.


His clothing was filled with a total of nine bullet holes. The top of his head had been grazed by a bullet, and one bullet entered his thigh, but he survived. On January 12, 1892 John Kiggins was awarded the Army Medal on Honor. He returned to Syracuse, and worked as a night watchman for the Whitman and Barnes Company. He lived in Syracuse until his death on September 29, 1914.[3]

Medal of Honor citation[]

Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company D, 149th New York Infantry. Place and date: At Lookout Mountain, Tenn., November 24, 1863. Entered service at: Syracuse, N.Y. Birth: Syracuse, N.Y. Date of issue: January 12, 1892.


Waved the colors to save the lives of the men who were being fired upon by their own batteries, and thereby drew upon himself a concentrated fire from the enemy.

See also[]

  • List of American Civil War Medal of Honor recipients: G–L


  1. John Kiggins at Find a Grave Retrieved on 2008-08-21
  2. Onondaga Men in the Civil War, by Stephen A. Rogers
  3. Beyer, Walter Frederick; Keydel, Oscar Frederick (1901). Deeds of Valor. The Perrien-Keydel company. pp. 283. Retrieved 2008-05-20.