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John Wainwright
Personal Information
Born: July 13, 1839(1839-07-13)
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Died: April 15, 1915 (aged 75)
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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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Rank: Colonel
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Commands: 97th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry
Battles: American Civil War
 • Battle of Chaffin's Farm
 • Second Battle of Fort Fisher
Awards: Medal of Honor
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John Wainwright (July 3, 1839 – April 15, 1915) was an American military officer during the American Civil War. He received the Medal of Honor for gallantry during the Second Battle of Fort Fisher on January 15, 1865.

Military service[]

Wainwright volunteered for service in the Union Army in 1861 as a private in Company G, 2nd Pennsylvania Infantry. After completing his 90 day enlistment, Wainwright joined the 97th Pennsylvania Infantry as a private. He rose rapidly in the ranks becoming First Sergeant and then being commissioned as Second Lieutenant and promoted to First Lieutenant.

On January 15, 1865, the North Carolina Confederate stronghold of Fort Fisher was taken by a combined Union storming party of sailors, marines, and soldiers under the command of Admiral David Dixon Porter and General Alfred Terry. Wainwright was a brevet Lieutenant Colonel and was in command of the 97th Pennsylvania Infantry because the 97th's colonel, Galusha Pennypacker, was leading a brigade. Both Wainwright and Pennypacker were wounded in the assault on Fort Fisher.

In addition to the Medal of Honor, Wainwright was cited for gallantry at the Battle of Chaffin's Farm on October 7, 1864. He was wounded at James Island on June 12, 1862. Wainwright was promoted to full Colonel on June 1, 1865. He mustered out of the army at Weldon, North Carolina on August 28, 1865.

Medal of Honor citation[]

For The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to First Lieutenant John Wainwright, United States Army, for gallant and meritorious conduct on 15 January 1865, while serving with Company F, 97th Pennsylvania Infantry, in action at Fort Fisher, North Carolina, where, as first lieutenant, he commanded the regiment.

General Orders: Date of Issue: June 24, 1890

Action Date: January 15, 1865

Service: Army

Rank: First Lieutenant

Company: Company F

Division: 97th Pennsylvania Infantry

See also[]