b. 1844 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. d. 29/11/1893 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 05/11/1874 Staked Plains, Texas.
John W. Comfort was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1844. At the start of the American Civil War, the 17-year-old Comfort joined up with the 29th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry on June 20, 1861. He immediately reenlisted while stationed in Hamilton County, Tennessee in December 1863, weeks after the Battle of Wauhatchie, and was promoted to the rank of sergeant at the end of the month. Comfort saw continuous action around Chattanooga, Tennessee and in Georgia, including the sieges of Atlanta and Savannah, as well as the Carolinas. After the war’s end, Comfort was honorably discharged on July 17, 1865. He decided on a career in the military, however, and enlisted in the Regular United States Army four months after leaving the volunteer service.
Comfort was initially assigned to Battery K of the 1st U.S. Artillery in Brownsville, Texas and spent the next three years in the Southern United States during Reconstruction before being discharged at Greenville, Louisiana on November 28, 1868. After returning to Philadelphia for a time, he reenlisted again on April 18, 1870. He was sent to the Texas frontier where he served with the 4th U.S. Cavalry in San Antonio and Fort Richardson. He became an experienced Indian fighter during the Texas–Indian Wars reaching the rank of sergeant. On November 5, 1874, while his regiment was battling the Kiowa and Comanche near Lake Tahokay in the Staked Plains, Comfort was separated from his unit and killed an Indian in armed combat. He was commended by his commanding officer, Colonel Ranald S. Mackenzie, who wrote “that Corporal Comfort ran down and killed an Indian on the Staked Plains with no other soldier within a long distance of him…This man is a very distinguished soldier for personal gallantry”. He was recommended for, and received, the Medal of Honor on October 13, 1875. Though discharged from Fort Clark (near present-day Brackettville, Texas) on June 26, 1878, he remained in the army until his retirement in 1892, and afterwards served in Batteries E and A of the 1st U.S. Regular Artillery.
Ran down and killed an Indian.
BURIAL LOCATION; MOUNT PEACE CEMETERY, PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA.
SECTION H, LOT 261, GRAVE 4
LOCATION OF MEDAL: UNKNOWN.