Remembrance for a local service Civil War medal of honor recipient will be held, at 1 p.m., Sat., May 30.
There will be a Remembrance Service in honor of William F. John who was a Civil War Medal of Honor recipient. The service will be held at 1 p.m. on Sat., May 30 at the Prattsburg Cemetery. The public is invited.
The service is sponsored by Kanza Chapter, Stafford County, Kansas, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. Presentation of colors and flag salute by Cub Scout Pack #354 and Boy Scout Troop #354.
The Prattsburg Cemetery is 9 miles south and 2 miles west of Macksville At Macksville, turn South on SW 120th Ave., travel 9 miles, then turn West, go 2 miles on SW 90th St., then turn North on SW 140th Ave. Go 1/4 mile to Prattsburg Cemetery entrance.
William F. John was born October 23, 1844, at Prussia, Germany and came to the United States Oct. 20, 1853. He married Mary M. “Minnie” John. They had one daughter, and were later divorced.
Mr. John came to the United States at a time when his newly adopted home was in the throes of internal strife. When the call came for troops for service in the Civil War, he enlisted with Co. E, 37th Ohio Infantry on Sept. 19, 1861. At the end of his enlistment, he “rejoined the colors, being mustered out” at the close of the war at Cleveland, Ohio. He was discharged Aug. 7, 1865. William F. John belonged to three Kansas GAR Posts at different stages of his life: J.R. Fulton Post 257 at Garden City; B.H. Porter Post 432 at Macksville; and the Joe Hooker Post 17 at Hutchinson.
He settled on a homestead eight miles south of Macksville in the early days and lived there until 1908. He was admitted to the United States National Home for Disabled Soldiers on Nov. 2, 1924.
On July 14, 1894, nearly 30 years after his heroism at Vicksburg, Pvt. John was awarded the Medal of Honor for gallant action at the Battle of Vicksburg on May 22, 1863. He was also made brevet (honorary) major of the Ohio National Guard for the same action.
His citation reads “Gallantry in the charge of the volunteer storming party.” On that day, 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, a charge no one was expected to return from. Only unmarried men were accepted as volunteers for this mission.
After charging an open plain in full view of the Confederates, the withering fire was such that most of the volunteers soldiers were cut down. Those that made it through the fire sought shelter in a ravine under the Redan. They stayed there and fought until nightfall. The survivors, including Pvt. John, finally made their way back to the Union lines.
William F. John died at his home in Hutchinson on August 29, 1927. The funeral service was held there Aug. 30, with the Rev. W.B. Stevens and the G.A.R. Post in charge of services. Burial was at Prattsburg Cemetery, 11 miles southwest of Macksville. According to his obituary, he was survived by his daughter, Emylin Grayson, and his grandson, William Daugherty.
Descendants include two great-granddaughters, Mary Lou Noyes of Hutchinson, and Sandra Sweet of Lincoln, Nebraska. They will be attending the service with other family members.