Jerome Jefferson Morford MOH

b. 13/06/1841 Mercer County, Pennsylvania. d. 11/06/1910 Seattle, Washington.

DATE OF MOH ACTION: 22/05/1863 Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Jerome J Morford MOH

Born 13 June 1841 in Sharon, Mercer County, Pennsylvania, Jerome was the ninth child, and fifth son, of James and Martha (Titus) Morford. Some time between 1850 and 1861 James and Martha removed from Mercer County, Pennsylvania to Mercer County, Illinois, with their three youngest children – James Cyrus, Martha Mary,
and Jerome Jefferson.
On 17 October 1861, when he was 4 months and 4 days past his 20th birthday, Jerome enlisted in Company K, 55th Illinois Infantry Volunteers, serving until 14 August 1865. When General Grant called for volunteers to storm a fort as a “forlorn hope” during an assault on Vicksburg, Mississippi, on 22 May 1863, Jerome Morford
was among the first to respond, and among the few to return uninjured from that desperate charge. For his part in this heroic act, he received the Congressional Medal of Honor, a decoration awarded in the name of the Congress to any person who, while an officer or enlisted man of the army, in action involving actual conflict with an enemy, distinguishes himself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life beyond the call of duty. It was later said of Pvt. Jerome Morford that “he was a gallant soldier who never knew the sensation of fear, or if he ever was conscious of it the fact was not revealed by his acts. His superb courage was tested in many desperate adventures and his heroic valor shown on many of the battlefields of the Western army.”
While still in the army, he married, 15 May 1864, Amanda Janette Abbott [1847-1890], a daughter of Abner and Eliza Jane (McDaniel) Abbott. Jerome is shown here with Amanda in a picture taken in 1869, the original of which is in the possession of a descendant, Mrs. Audrey Morford of Alhambra, California. In the early 1870s the
young couple moved from Illinois to Kansas, later moving from there to the state of Washington, between 1888 and 1890. Amanda died when their youngest child, Edgar Clark Morford, was but two months old. Three years later Jerome married Mettie (Clark) Hardy; this marriage ended by divorce in 1896. In 1904 he married Mrs. Frances M. Weaverling, formerly of Anacortes, Washington.
In 1910, though Jerome had nearly reached the allotted span of threescore years and ten, he was constructing a new home across Lake Washington, and it is likely that the labor and exposure of this undertaking was the cause of his fatal illness. He had been such a hardy man all his life that he seemed to forget that a man bordering upon 70 years does not possess the physical endurance of a young man of 20. He died at his Seattle home, 6061- 4th Avenue, N.E., in the Green Lake district, 11 June 1910, after an illness of five days, and on 14 June was laid to rest beside the wife of his youth, in a beautiful cemetery on the heights above the town of Riverton. He was buried with military honors according to the beautiful service of the Grand Army of the Republic, by Green Lake Post No. 112, of which he was commander.
Gallantry in the charge of the “volunteer storming party.”