John Gregory Bishop Adams MOH

b. 06/10/1841 Groveland, Massachusetts. d. 19/10/1900 Boston, Massachusetts.

DATE OF MOH ACTION: 13/12/1862 Fredericksburg, Virginia.

John G B Adams MOH

Adams was born October 6, 1841 in Groveland, Massachusetts and when the Civil War broke out, he enlisted as a private in Major Ben Perley Poore’s Rifle Battalion, a unit that was later folded into the 19th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment. When the 19th departed the state on March 1, 1861, Adams was a corporal in Company A. He served with the 19th in the Peninsula Campaign and at the Battle of Antietam. While serving as a Second Lieutenant in Company I, he was one of 18 Union soldiers who received the Medal of Honor for valour at the Battle of Fredericksburg.

Later promoted to captain, Adams commanded Company I at the Battle of Chancellorsville and the Battle of Gettysburg, where he was severely wounded on July 2, 1863. His convalescence was relatively brief and he was able to return and fight at Battle of the Wilderness, Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, and the Battle of Cold Harbor. He and the entire regiment were captured near Cold Harbor on June 22, 1864 and Adams was held at Libby Prison in Richmond, Virginia. He was also imprisoned at Macon, Georgia, and Charleston, South Carolina, where he and other officers were placed on Morris Island in an attempt to stop naval bombardment by the Union. Moved to Columbia, he and a comrade attempted to escape but were eventually captured. He was held for a total of nine months.

After the war Adams was a foreman for ten years at the B. F. Doak & Company shoe factory in Lynn, Massachusetts. He left that post to become an inspector in the Boston Custom House and later served as the Postmaster of Lynn and Deputy Warden of the State Reformatory at Concord. He served as an elector for the state in the 1868 presidential election. In 1885 he was elected Sergeant at Arms for the Massachusetts legislature, overseeing a staff of approximately forty and earning a salary of $3,000. He was presented with his Medal of Honor 34 years after his action at the Battle of Fredericksburg, on 16th December 1896. 




Seized the 2 colours from the hands of a corporal and a lieutenant as they fell mortally wounded, and with a colour in each hand advanced across the field to a point where the regiment was reformed on those colours.