b. 25/07/1841 Bristol, Pennslyvania. d. 16/07/1905 Boise, Idaho.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 01/04/1865 Five Forks, Virginia.
Wilmon W. Blackmar (1841-1905) was born in Bristol, Pennsylvania. In August 1861, while attending Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, he returned home to Pennsylvania and in August 1862 enlisted in the Anderson Troop, afterwards known as the 15th Pennsylvania Cavalry, participating in various engagements with Company H and later Company K in the Western Theater and with the Army of the Potomac, including the Battle of Antietam, and was subsequently promoted to corporal, sergeant, 1st sergeant, and then to first lieutenant in charge of Company H of the 1st West Virginia Volunteer Cavalry, to which he had been transferred. For his heroism at the Battle of Five Forks in Virginia on 1 April 1865, in which he formed a line and charged into Confederate forces, causing them to disperse, Blackmar was promoted to the rank of captain by General George Custer and subsequently awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest and most prestigious personal military decoration bestowed for acts of valor in service of their country. He would not receive his Medal until 23 October 1897, 32 years after the Battle of Five Forks.
He later served as Provost Marshal and Assistant Adjutant General to Colonel Henry Capehart of General Custer’s Third Division of General Phil Sheridan’s Cavalry before Lee’s surrender at Appomattox. Blackmar mustered out of the army at the conclusion of the war, graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy, studied law at the Harvard Law School, and married Helen Brewer in 1880, living in both Boston and Hingham, Massachusetts, until his death. He served as a lawyer and then, upon retirement, as judge advocate to several Massachusetts governors. Blackmar was elected Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic in 1904.
At a critical stage of the battle, without orders, led a successful advance upon the enemy.
BURIAL LOCATION: CEDAR GROVE CEMETERY, DORCHESTER, MASSACHUSETTS.
PROSPECT SECTION 10, LOT 52, GRAVE 6
LOCATION OF MEDAL: FAMILY.