Jefferson Coates MOH

b. 24/08/1843 Grant County, Wisconsin. d. 27/01/1880 Dorchester, Nebraska.

DATE OF MOH ACTION: 01/07/1863 Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

Jefferson Coates MOH

Coates was born 24 August 1843 in Grant County, Wisconsin to William Coates and Cynthia Cain. Although born in Grant County his official residence was listed as Boscobel, Wisconsin.

Coates joined the Union Army on 29 August 1861 (a few days after his 18th birthday), and served with the 7th Wisconsin Infantry. He was wounded while fighting in the Battle of South Mountain and during the Battle of Gettysburg where he received the Medal of Honor and a brevet promotion to Captain for courage in battle. During the Battle of Gettysburg he was shot in the face, causing him to lose both of his eyes. He was mustered out for disability on September 1, 1864 at the end of his term of service. He was presented with his Medal on 29 June 1866. 

Despite having become completely blind, Coates learned how to make brooms after the war and married Rachael Sarah Drew April 21, 1867. Together they had 5 children and sometime between 1870 and 1873, they moved to Dorchester, Nebraska.

He died of pneumonia in Dorchester, Nebraska January 27, 1880 and is buried in Dorchester Cemetery in Dorchester.



For extraordinary heroism on 1 July 1863, while serving with Company H, 7th Wisconsin Infantry, in action at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, for unsurpassed courage in battle, where he had both eyes shot out.



11th Row East on North Side