George Crawford Platt MOH

b. 17/02/1842 Londonderry, Ireland (now Northern Ireland). d. 20/06/1912 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

DATE OF MOH ACTION: 03/07/1863 Fairfield, Pennsylvania.

George C Platt MOH

Born in Londonderry, Ireland, on February 17, 1842, George Crawford Platt was a son of Robert Platt and Martha (Kilgil) Platt, who were also both natives of Ireland. After spending his early childhood in Ireland, George Platt then emigrated sometime around 1851, and settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Platt responded to President Abraham Lincoln’s call for volunteers following the fall of Fort Sumter to Confederate States Army troops in mid-April 1861. After enlisting for a three-year term of military service in Philadelphia on August 5 of that year, Platt officially mustered in that same day as a private with Troop H of the 6th U.S. Cavalry. 

Attached in February 1863 to the 3rd Brigade of the 1st Cavalry Division, which was under the command of Brigadier-General John Buford, they next fought in the Battle of Chancellorsville (April 30–May 6), Stoneman’s 1863 raid, and the battles of Brandy Station (June 9), Middleburg (June 17–19), and Upperville (June 21) before being ordered north to Pennsylvania.

While fighting with his regiment during day three of the Battle of Gettysburg (July 3, 1863), Platt performed the act of valor for which he would later be awarded the U.S. Medal of Honor. Assigned with his regiment to attack Confederate States Army supply wagons near Fairfield, Pennsylvania, and prevent the possible retreat of CSA troops from the major fields of battle in and around Gettysburg, the 6th Cavalrymen encountered a significantly larger force from the 6th, 7th and 11th Virginia Cavalry, and were quickly forced into hand-to-hand combat. Retrieving the American flag after his regiment’s color-bearer was killed, Platt fought off the enemy in order to prevent that flag from falling into enemy hands.

Following his honorable discharge from the military in August 1864, Platt returned home to Philadelphia, where he wed Pennsylvania native Eliza Kelly. Working as a huckster in 1870, he resided in Philadelphia’s 7th Ward with his wife and their Pennsylvania-born children: Robert, Edward, Martha, and Margaret. Employed as a ship’s carpenter by 1880, his Philadelphia household had grown to include children: Levina/Levinia, George C., Elizabeth, and Ellen. A son, William Henry, did not survive infancy. Son Frank arrived in July 1882.

By 1888, the elder George Platt was employed as a contractor. A naturalized citizen of the United States by 1910, George Platt continued to reside in Philadelphia with his wife, Eliza. Still living with them was 44-year-old son, Edward. Post-war, Platt was also an active member of the Grand Army of the Republic.



Seized the regimental flag upon the death of the standard bearer in a hand-to-hand fight and prevented it from falling into the hands of the enemy.