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Col. James Church

Date of Award: January 10, 1906
Conflict: Spanish-American War
Branch: U.S. Army

Col. James Church (Assistant Surgeon) portraitCol. James Church served as the assistant surgeon for the 1st United States Volunteer Calvary, better known as the Rough Riders. Led by future president Col. Theodore Roosevelt, the Rough Riders consisted of some of the most talented Western frontiersmen, Native Americans, and hundreds of other skilled men from across the country and abroad. They had the reputation of being one of the stronger, more disciplined volunteer units during the Spanish-American war. Church earned his medal for his heroics in the battle of Las Guasimas, Cuba, as he risked life and limb to rescue the wounded from the battlefield. He was presented with the medal at the White House in 1906, and was the first to be awarded by President Roosevelt.

Citation: “In addition to performing gallantly the duties pertaining to his position, voluntarily and unaided carried several seriously wounded men from the firing line to a secure position in the rear, m each instance being subjected to a very heavy fire and great exposure and danger.”

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