James Milton Pipes MOH

b. 10/11/1840 Morrisville, Pennsylvania. d. 01/12/1928 Washington DC.

DATE OF MOH ACTION: 02/07/1863 Gettysburg, Pennsylvania & 25/08/1864 Ream’s Station, Virginia.

James M Pipes MOH

On August 18, 1862, Pipes enlisted with a volunteer unit from Greene County that would become part of the 140th Pennsylvania Infantry. This unit was created by five men in western Pennsylvania, among them James J. Purman who would go on to earn the Medal of Honor alongside Pipes. When the 140th was mustered, Pipes was ranked a sergeant, and Purman a second lieutenant.

In 1863, the 140th Pennsylvania Infantry fought in the Battle of Gettysburg. On the first day of battle, July 1, Pipes and Purman were on a path of retreat when they doubled back to help save a wounded soldier. After getting the soldier to safety, both men were shot in the legs. Pipes was captured by the Confederates, but was liberated by Union troops the next morning. After spending some time in a Philadelphia hospital, Pipes was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. He returned to the field in November.

After Gettysburg, Pipes served in the Siege of Petersburg where he was promoted to captain in June 1864. On August 24, Pipes was commanding a group of soldiers guarding a section of enemy train tracks and was attacked by enemy troops. As he commanded his troops’ retreat, his right arm was shot and had to be amputated that night. He was hospitalized through November, and was discharged for disability in February 1865.

After the war, Pipes moved to Wheeling, West Virginia, where his family had relocated to during the war. In December 1869 he received an artificial arm. The following year he married Martha Rowena Purdy and had five children by her.



While a sergeant and retiring with his company before the rapid advance of the enemy at Gettysburg, he and a companion stopped and carried to a place of safety a wounded and helpless comrade; in this act both he and his companion were severely wounded. A year later, at Reams Station, Va., while commanding a skirmish line, voluntarily assisted in checking a flank movement of the enemy, and while so doing was severely wounded, suffering the loss of an arm.