Warren C Dockum MOH

b. 01/01/1844 Clintonville, New York. d. 02/10/1921 Colorado Springs, Colorado.

DATE OF MOH ACTION: 06/04/1865 Sayler’s Creek, Virginia.

Warren C Dockum MOH

Born in the meadowlands of Clintonville, New York, a 17-year-old Dockum ran from school with three friends to enlist in the 16th New York Volunteers Infantry Regiment near the start of the Civil War. The boys were transported to Albany for training, transforming from “school boy to soldier,” Dockum wrote in his autobiography.

“After drilling one week we would go to the commanding officer and ask when he was going to send us to the front, fearing that the war would soon be over and we would never see a battle,” Dockum wrote. “He would say, ‘Don’t worry you will get there soon enough to get all the fighting you want.’”

On Sept. 16, 1862, Dockum and his fellow infantrymen marched from Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia to Antietam, Maryland“The next morning we received our guns, 60 rounds of ammunition and three days’ rations and then went to the front,” Dockum wrote. “It was then that I wished I was at home in my little bed.”

An estimated 12,401 Union and 10,316 Confederate soldiers were killed in the Battle of Antietam, making it the deadliest day in U.S. military history, according to the American Battlefield Trust. Despite losing more men, the Union Army was successful in stopping Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s invasion of Maryland. “It was a hotly contested battle and the day was ours,” Dockum wrote of Antietam.

On May 10, 1863, Dockum was wounded and taken prisoner by Confederate forces during the Battle of Chancellorsville. Later that day, friendly fire killed Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson. “As we passed by the house where (Jackson) lay wounded, a little boy came out and told the officer in command that Stonewall was dying,” Dockum wrote. “The officer said, ‘Tut! Tut! He is better than a dozen dead men.”

As a prisoner, Dockum spent six weeks in ‘Libbey Prison,’ an abandoned tobacco warehouse. His 24-hour ration while there was a piece of meat, small loaf of bread and city water. He spent another six weeks as a prisoner in nearby Belle Island. It was then that Dockum feared he would never see his mother again.

“We had white sand for a bed, our shoes for a pillow and the blue dome of heaven for a cover,” he wrote. “Our rations were the same in Libbey prison excepting that we had river water instead of city.”

After being released, Dockum’s wounds were treated in David’s Island, New York. Under the Command of Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, Dockum kept busy, fighting in several battles, including the three-day Siege of Petersburg, Virginia.

“On our way to the city, President Lincoln came along riding a large brown horse and holding his stove pipe hat in his hand,” Dockum wrote. “He had a broad grin on his face. He did not seem to have any fear, as he had a loyal body guard of 75,000 troops.”

After a Union victory at Petersburg, Dockum and his fellow soldiers headed for Richmond, where they would soon find out Confederate forces had evacuated. The Union then pivoted toward the elevated battlefield Sailor’s Creek. It was there, on April 6, 1865, that Dockum would cement his place in history. Dockum was among a group of soldiers directed to charge a hill defended by Confederate forces.

Atop the hill was a battle flag representing the Savannah Volunteer Guards, a Georgia state militia that had been in existence since 1802. After charging the hill twice, Union forces were “repulsed with considerable loss.” In a death defying act of heroism, Dockum charged the hill a third time — breaking through the line of enemy forces and capturing the Savannah Volunteer battle flag.

Three days after Dockum captured the battle flag, Gen. Lee would surrender to Gen. Grant at the Appomattox courthouse, signifying the end of the Civil War. According to his Medal of Honor citation, “On April 6, 1865 at Sailor’s Creek, Virginia, Warren C. Dockum captured the battle flag of the CSA Savannah Guards after two men had been killed in the effort.”

Dockum, a Union Army veteran of the American Civil War, received the Medal of Honor from President Andrew Johnson on May 10, 1865. After his wife Sara’s death in 1893, Dockum moved to a ranch in Turkey Creek, near the Pueblo and El Paso county lines, where he lived until his death in 1921.

While Pueblo is well known for the four Medal of Honor recipients— William J. Crawford, Carl L. Sitter, Raymond G. Murphy and Drew D. Dix— who were raised in Pueblo and are associated with the “Home of Heroes” moniker, Dockum is the only recipient buried in Pueblo.



Capture of flag of Savannah Guards (Confederate States of America), after 2 other men had been killed in the effort.



BLOCK 22, LOT 148a, SPACE 1