b. 16/05/1842 Hope, New Jersey. d. 14/02/1934 Boonton, New Jersey.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 27/06/1862 Gaines’ Mill, Virginia.
Civil War Medal of Honor Recipient. He was mustered in as a Private in Company I, 1st New Jersey Volunteer Infantry on June 10, 1861, and was promoted to Corporal on January 1, 1862. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery at the June 27, 1862 Battle of Battle of Gaines Mill, Virginia, with his citation reading “Voluntarily carried a wounded comrade, under heavy fire, to a place of safety; though twice wounded in the act, he continued in action until again severely wounded.” Despite his brave efforts in the battle, he and the fellow soldier he tried to save, Sergeant Richard A. Donnelly, were still captured by Confederate forces after the Union Army pulled back, leaving their wounded on the field. He was almost immediately paroled, and convalesced in a Union hospital until he recovered and was exchanged.
After returning to his regiment, he was again wounded and captured by the Confederates during the May 1864 Battle of the Wilderness. This time he remained in Rebel hands, and spent a ten month captivity in the infamous Andersonville, George prison stockade. He was eventually discharged from the serviced as a paroled prisoner on April 21, 1865 at Trenton, New Jersey.
He entered local politics, serving as Mayor of Boonton, New Jersey, and in the New Jersey State Legislature. In the 1890s the impetus grew for him to be awarded the Medal of Honr for his brave act in 1862, spurred on by the soldier he saved, Richard Donnelly, who by that time had risen to Quartermaster General of the New Jersey National Guard. Charles F. Hopkins received his Medal on July 9, 1892. He remained committed to veterans’ affairs for the rest of his life, and was active in honoring his fellow Union soldier. In 1898 he was appointed by New Jersey Governor Foster M. Voorhees as head of the commission that would erect a monument at Andersonville commemorating the 235 men from New Jersey who died there.
In 1911 he led the drive to have his former brigade commander General Philip Kearny disinterred from his unmarked grave in Manhattan, New York City, New York’s Trinity Churchyard and re-buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery. He was successful in his efforts, and General Kearny was re-interred in 1912 in a solemn military ceremony attended by Hopkins, prominent Civil War veterans, and President Woodrow Wilson. When he died in 1934 he was the last remaining Civil War Medal of Honor recipient in New Jersey.
Voluntarily carried a wounded comrade, under heavy fire, to a place of safety; though twice wounded in the act, he continued in action until again severely wounded.
BURIAL LOCATION: GREENWOOD CEMETERY, BOONTON, NEW JERSEY.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: BELIEVED TO BE FAMILY.