b. 09/08/1838 Jefferson County, Ohio. d. 13/09/1912 Dayton, Ohio.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 22/05/1863 Vicksburg, Mississippi.
Civil War Medal of Honor Recipient. Born in Ohio, he was 23 years old when he enlisted in the 30th Ohio Volunteer Infantry on July 30, 1861 at Cadiz, Ohio. Mustered in as a Private in Company B on August 14, 1861, he would go on to be awarded the CMOH for his bravery at Vicksburg, Mississippi on May 22, 1863. His citation simply reads “Gallantry in the charge of the “volunteer storming party.”
On the day in question 150 men were called to volunteer to make a “forlorn hope” diversionary charge on the Confederate position known as the Stockade Redan – a charge that was intended to draw fire away from the real planned attack, and a charge no one was expected to return from (to this end, only unmarried men were accepted as volunteers). After charging an open plain in full view of the Confederates, the withering fire was such that most of the volunteers were cut down, and those that made it through the fire sought shelter in a ravine under the Redan. There they stayed and fought until nightfall, when the survivors made their way back to the Union lines. 85 percent of the men who made the charge did not make it back; Private McGonagle was one of them, having been captured. Paroled and exchanged, he eventually served in the 1864 Atlanta Campaign until he was honorably mustered out of Federal service on August 29, 1864 near Atlanta, Georgia. His Medal was awarded to him on August 15, 1894.
Gallantry in the charge of the “volunteer storming party.”
BURIAL LOCATION: SUMMIT UNITED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH CEMETERY, BUTLER, PENNSYLVANIA.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: UNKNOWN.