Map of the Vicksburg campaign
8th MO Infantry (US)
Company K
Map of the Vicksburg Campaign

David H. Johnston received the Congressional Medal of Honor, as part of the "Forlorn Hope" charge at Vicksburg.   His Medal of Honor and his 1860 Army Colt revolver have been on display at the Merrick County Historical Society Museum in Central City, Nebraska.

Medal of Honor
BIRTH Indiana County, Pennsylvania
ENTERED SERVICE AT Warsaw County, Illinois
RANK/ORGANIZATION Private, Company K, 8th Missouri Infantry
MOH CITATION Gallantry in the charge of the "volunteer storming party."
PLACE/DATE At Vicksburg, Mississippi; 22 May 1863
DATE OF ISSUE 16 August 1884
extracted from

(Click here for a explanation of why people from other states joined the 8th Missouri)

Photo of David H Johnston Photo of David H. Johnston in later life

Photo of Gravestone for David H Johnston Grave Marker for David H. Johnston     Cemetery Entrance Cemetery Entrance

BIRTH: Aug. 19, 1838   Shelocta, Indiana County, Pennsylvania, USA
DEATH: Sep. 12, 1931   Central City, Merrick County, Nebraska, USA
Civil War Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient.   Born in Indiana County, Pennsylvania, he served as a Private in Company K, 8th Missouri Volunteer Infantry, enlisting in Warsaw County, Illinois.   He would go on to be awarded the CMOH for his bravery at Vicksburg, Mississippi on May 22, 1863.   His citation simply reads "Gallantry in the charge of the "volunteer storming party."   On the day in question 150 men were called to volunteer to make a "forlorn hope" diversionary charge on the Confederate position known as the Stockade Redan - a charge that was intended to draw fire away from the real planned attack, and a charge no one was expected to return from (to this end, only unmarried men were accepted as volunteers).   After charging an open plain in full view of the Confederates, the withering fire was such that most of the volunteers were cut down, and those that made it through the fire sought shelter in a ravine under the Redan.   There they stayed and fought until nightfall, when the survivors made their way to return to the Union lines, Private Johnson being one of them (85 percent of the men who made the charge did not make it back).   He was awarded his Medal on August 16, 1884, twenty one years after he played his part at Vicksburg.
BURIAL: Bureau Cemetery   Clarks, Merrick County, Nebraska, USA

Newspaper - Salina, Kansas The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas
Monday, October 26.1992
By The Associated Press

CENTRAL CITY, Nebraska. - Descendants from more than 10 states, friends and members of a Civil War re-enactment group gathered Sunday to give a Civil War soldier the full recognition he deserved.   "It's just love of family," said Georgia Stettner of Grand Island, great-granddaughter of Medal of Honor recipient Pvt. David H. Johnston, who received the medal but was later confused in War Department records with David A. Johnston of Missouri.   "The more they learned about it and what an honor it is, to have a Medal of Honor recipient, they just wanted to be a part of it."   About 50 family members from Washington State, Utah, Montana, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Ohio, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kansas and Nebraska gathered over the weekend for Sunday's grave-site ceremony northeast of this community of 3,000 in east-central Nebraska, where a Medal of Honor Memorial Marker will be dedicated.   "I have cousins here I have not seen in 25 years," Stettner said.   A Civil War re-enactment group and color guards from the American Legion will be among those honoring Johnston.   In 1978, it was decided that all Medal of Honor recipients would be given markers for their graves, The Medal of Honor Historical Society, a volunteer, non-profit organization, helps in that effort and organized Sunday's ceremony.   David H. Johnston was awarded the Medal of Honor on Aug. 10, 1894, for distinguished gallantry during the siege of Vicksburg on May 22, 1863.   He was a member of a volunteer storming party from Company K, 8th Missouri Infantry.   But U.S. War Department records erroneously credited David A. Johnston of Missouri as the recipient, said Harold Wells of Liberty, Mo., regional director of the Medal of Honor Historical Society.

Oath of Identity - David H Johnston Oath of Identiy - David H. Johnston

John Beresford (great-great-grandson of David H. Johnston's sister Sarah - who is mentioned in the letter above)
has sent information about David H. Johnston to
The National Medal of Honor Museum in Charleston, South Carolina.