Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Hometown Heroes Exhibit
Hometown Heroes Exhibit at St Lawrence County Historical Association Major John T Rutherford Shooting the horse of a Confederate officer convinced the rebel force which vastly outnumbered him to surrender to 1st Lieutenant John T Rutherford from Waddington, New York. Two weeks prior to this heroic engagement, Rutherford, in command of the 9th New York Cavalry, led a successful charge that captured 90 Confederate soldiers at Yellow Tavern, Virginia on May 12, 1864. Rutherford is just one of the Congressional Medal of Honor Winners from the North Country highlighted in the travelling exhibit New York State Senate: Hometown Heroes, on display through September 15th at the St Lawrence County Historical Association at the Silas Wright House. This travelling exhibit was created by the office of New York State Senator Patty Ritchie, 48th Senate District. On September 1st and 2nd the exhibit will be at the St Lawrence Power and Equipment Museum in Madrid for the weekend. It will then return to the SLCHA through September 15th. The Congressional Medal of Honor was created by President Abraham Lincoln "For Conspicuous Gallantry and Intrepidity in Action At the Risk of Life Above and Beyond the Call of Duty," and is the United States' highest military decoration. At least 45 Medal of Honor winners have been associated with St Lawrence, Jefferson, and Oswego Counties. Since its establishment 150 years ago there have been fewer than 3,500 recipients of the Medal of Honor, and one in four of the recipients are from New York State. The 15 Hometown Heroes depicted in the traveling exhibit include soldiers from the Civil War through Afghanistan, and the only woman ever to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. Doctor Mary Walker Edwards served during the Civil War as the Army's first female surgeon. Doctor Walker was from Oswego and worked in an Army hospital in Washington, and later as a field surgeon on the front lines. She was captured by Confederate forces and imprisoned for 4 months.