b. 1839 Wurttemberg, Germany. d. 19/03/1886 La Junta, Colorado.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 12/07/1870 Wichita River, Texas.
Born in Wurttemberg, Germany in 1836, John May emigrated to the United States where he eventually enlisted in the U.S. Army at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He became a member of the 6th U.S. Cavalry where he eventually reached the rank of sergeant. Serving on frontier duty in Texas, May would eventually become a veteran Indian fighter during Texas-Indian Wars. While stationed at Fort Richardson in the summer of 1870, he was part of a mixed detachment consisting of 3 officers and 56 men under the command of Captain Curwen B. McClellan which pursued a band of Indians who had captured the mail at Rock Station only 16 miles from the fort. After nearly a week on the trail, they were ambushed by 250 Kiowas led by Chief Kicking Bird resulting in what would become known as the Battle of the Little Wichita River. Vastly outnumbered, May and his fellow soldiers took cover and were eventually able to force the Kiowas to retreat. After returning to Fort Richardson, McClellan recommended May and 12 other men for the Medal of Honor which they received on August 25, 1870. May died in La Junta, Colorado on March 19, 1886, at age 50.
Gallantry in action.
BURIAL LOCATION: FAIRVIEW CEMETERY, LA JUNTA, COLORADO.
SECTION S, BLOCK 4A, LOT 26.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: UNKNOWN.