Benjamin C Criswell MOH

b. 09/02/1849 Moundsville, West Virginia. d. 17/10/1921 Eldorado, Oklahoma.

DATE OF MOH ACTION: 25/06/1876 Little Big Horn, Montana.

Benjamin C Criswell MOH

BENJAMIN C. CRISWELL was born February 9, 1849, in Marshall County, (West) Virginia, probably in or near Cameron, since the family lived in Liberty District. In two documents in his pension file, he stated he was born in Cameron; in one, he said the location was Moundsville. The parents of Benjamin were John and Margaret (Burrows) Criswell, who were married in West Alexander, Washington County, Pennsylvania on August 19, 1832. Benjamin was in the home in 1850 but was not listed in the 1860 census, at which time the family lived in or near Cameron. The parents continued to reside near Cameron, in Liberty District, according to the 1870 and 1880 census records.

Benjamin enlisted in the Army on May 30, 1870. In five years, he rose in rank from private to first sergeant. He later earned a Medal of Honor for his bravery during a battle against the Sioux Indians on the Little Big Horn River in Montana.

Criswell received the Medal of Honor for returning to the river, under heavy fire, to rescue a fallen soldier. The wounded man was shot again and killed after Criswell helped him ashore on the opposite bank, but even as his fellow troops retreated, Criswell went back again to retrieve the man’s body and to gather as many saddle bags of ammunition as he could carry. He received his Medal on 5 October 1878.

Benjamin would marry three times. His first marriage was to Jennie Ross in Marshall County on 1 November 1877. They would have four children before Jennie died sometime before August 1896. Benjamin remarried to Ella Evans (who had been previously married) on 16 August 1896. They would have a son, Robert, born the following year. Sadly Ella died on 2 November 1898 after just over 2 years of marriage. Benjamin married for a third time on 1 October 1901 to Anna (Hall) Mastion who was either a widow or divorced according to the records. Benjamin and Anna would have five children together. Benjamin died on 17 October 1921 aged 72.



Rescued the body of Lt. Hodgson from within the enemy’s lines; brought up ammunition and encouraged the men in the most exposed positions under heavy fire.