b. 23/09/1840 Boston, Massachusetts. d. 06/12/1900 Dorchester, Massachusetts.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 25/03/1865 Fort Stedman, Virginia.
Civil War Medal of Honor Recipient. He enlisted in the 29th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry on April 18, 1861, and was mustered in as a Private in Company A on May 21, 1861.
Promoted to Sergeant, he performed distinguished bravery in the March 25, 1865 Battle of Fort Stedman, Virginia during the end of Petersburg Campaign. After Fort Stedman had fallen in a Confederate attack, the rebels advanced to nearby Fort Haskell. There the 29th Massachusetts’ commander, Captain John M. Deane, called for volunteers to work an abandoned artillery piece to stop the onrushing Confederates. Sergeant Gaylord, along with Company A’s Sergeant William H. Howe, responded to Captain Deane’s call, and the three soldiers contributed to the repulse of the rebel onrush – all under both fire from their front and from Union artillery fire from other sectors (nearby Union units thought Fort Haskell was captured as well, and shelled it thinking it was full of Confederates).
The three men were eventually awarded the Medal of Honor for their performance that day – Sergeant Gaylord receiving his on June 22, 1896, thirty-one years later (his citation reads “Voluntarily assisted in working an abandoned gun, while exposed to heavy fire, until the enemy’s advancing line was routed by a charge on its left flank”). He received a commission of 2nd Lieutenant on July 24, 1865, but was honorably mustered out on August 10, 1865 before the promotion could become official.
The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Sergeant Levi B. Gaylord, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism on 25 March 1865, while serving with Company A, 29th Massachusetts Infantry, in action at Fort Stedman, Virginia. Sergeant Gaylord voluntarily assisted in working an abandoned gun, while exposed to heavy fire, until the enemy’s advancing line was routed by a charge on its left flank.
BURIAL LOCATION: COHASSET CENTRAL CEMETERY, COHASSET, MASSACHUSETTS.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: UNKNOWN.