Monday, April 03, 2017

Helluva place to find a Medal of Honor

One of my journalistic quests for the last two decades has been the search for any personal effects belonging to the soldier seated third from the left. The man under that hat is Medal of Honor Recipient First Sergeant George Jordan. He also held a Certificate of Merit – the two highest commendations a U.S. soldier could receive in his era.

Jordan was born in 1847 in Williamson County, Tennessee, enlisting in the Army six months after President Andrew Johnson signed the 1866 bill allowing African-Americans to serve in the post-Civil War Army. Jordan educated himself, learning how to read and write, and joined K Troop four years later. He remained there throughout his career, proving to be one of the best field commanders in the Army west of the Mississippi. No one buffalo soldier so epitomized their motto of “We can. We will.” The white officers in charge of the all-black units often trusted Jordan with half of their commands because of knowledge and skill in the field. He served 30 years in the Army and retired.

Read it.  And consider this:
Mize said during the time the sisters possessed the barrel, most of the old photos of black soldiers, personal items and Jordan’s military accouterments got parceled out. The Medal of Honor itself was saved only by the shining brass that made it a useful Christmas tree decoration in a historic home. Hundreds of people passed by it for years never noticing what it was.

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