b. 1843 Hartford, Connecticut. d. 15/07/1905 Johnson City, Tennessee.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 29/09/1864 Chaffin’s Farm, Virginia.
Born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1843, Frederick Clarence Buck was, for a number of years, a resident of the community of Windsor, Connecticut.
Enlisting for Civil War military service during the summer of 1862, Buck enrolled on August 17 at Windsor, Connecticut, and officially mustered in as a private with Company A of the 21st Connecticut Volunteer Infantry. Assigned initially to the Union’s Army of the Potomac, he and his fellow 21st Connecticut Volunteers fought in the Battle of Fredericksburg from December 12–15 of that year. While engaged in Burnside’s “Mud March”, Buck was promoted to the rank of corporal on January 20, 1863. He and his regiment then participated in the Siege of Suffolk that spring, provost and guard duty near Portsmouth and Newport News that summer, fall and winter. Part of the Union’s expedition along Virginia’s James River, which launched in late January 1864, the 21st Connecticut Volunteers then passed through Fort Powhatan and Smithfield before heading for North Carolina, where they were on duty at New Bern (February 12), Plymouth, Washington and Blount’s Creek before returning to Portsmouth, Virginia in late April. Attached to the Union forces participating in operations against Petersburg and Richmond for much of the spring and summer, they were involved at Swift Creek, Fort Darling, the Battle of Drewry’s Bluff, Bermuda Hundred, and White House before fighting in battles near Cold Harbor for much of June and in the trench warfare at Bermuda Hundred from late August through late September 1864.
It was during this latter period when Buck performed the act which earned him his U.S. Medal of Honor. Wounded during the Battle of Chaffin’s Farm near New Market Heights on September 29, he “refused to leave the field until the fight closed.” Roughly six months later, in March 1865, he was commissioned as a first lieutenant. Having returned to his regiment after recuperating from his battle wounds, he continued to serve with his regiment until it mustered out and returned home to New England.
Suffering from heart disease in his later years, Buck was admitted to the Mountain Branch of the U.S. National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers in Johnson City, Tennessee on March 13, 1905. The hospital ledger noted that he had been a 61-year-old, unmarried laborer and member of the Protestant faith residing in Patten, Maine prior to his admission, and that he was 5′ tall with brown hair, hazel eyes and a dark complexion. No next of kin were entered in the field for “nearest living relative”.
He died at the Soldiers’ Home in Mountain, Tennessee on July 15, 1905, and was laid to rest with military honors in grave number nine in the first row of section F at the Mountain Home National Cemetery.
Although wounded, refused to leave the field until the fight closed.
BURIAL LOCATION: MOUNTAIN HOME NATIONAL CEMETERY, JOHNSON CITY, TENNESSEE.
SECTION F, ROW 1, GRAVE 9
LOCATION OF MEDAL: UNKNOWN.