27 July 2008

Medal of Honor: B. J. D. Irwin


Assistant Surgeon, US Army

Born: 24 June 1830, Ireland
Died: 1917

Citation: Voluntarily took command of troops [at Apache Pass, Arizona, 13-14 February 1861] and attacked and defeated hostile Indians he met on the way. Surgeon Irwin volunteered to go to the rescue of 2d Lt. George N. Bascom, 7th Infantry, who with 60 men was trapped by Chiricahua Apaches under Cochise. Irwin and 14 men, not having horses, began the 100-mile march riding mules. After fighting and capturing Indians, recovering stolen horses and cattle, he reached Bascom's column and help break his siege.

Note: This was the earliest deed for which the Medal of Honor was awarded.

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