Civil War and Indian Wars Medal of Honor recipients buried in Oklahoma

According to the Medal of Honor Historical Society, Oklahoma now has five Civil War recipients buried in the state. Another recipient was from the Indian Wars time period.

The following information is only a brief summary of each man's life. Additional details are contained in their pension and military records.

Robert M. Blair Sr., Seaman, USS Pontoosic

He was awarded the Medal of Honor on June 22, 1865 for his actions on board the USS Pontoosic during the caputre of Fort Fisher and Wilmington from December 24, 1864 to January 22, 1865.

He is buried in Lot 17 of Block E in the Enid Cemetery, Enid, Oklahoma. His grave is marked with a regular government headstone without any mention of the Medal of Honor.

Charles Chambers of Houston, Texas and a member of the Medal of Honor Historical Society is making arrangements to replace this old and wethered headstone with the distinctive gold leaf lettering of a new Medal of Honor marker.

Blair was born at Peacham, Vermont in 1836. (His newspaper obituary indicated he was born in 1840 in Scotland and came to America as a tailor.)

He married Anna J. Pitcher of Stafford County, Kansas on August 16, 1885. They had two children Ruby M. Blair, born November 27, 1888 and Robert M. Blair, Jr., born on August 10, 1891.

Robert M. Blair, Sr. died on April 2, 1899 and Anna J. Blair died about July 4, 1904.

Frank B. Carr, Private, Company D, 124th Ohio Infantry

He was awarded the Medal of Honor on December 16, 1864 at Nashville, Tennessee.

He may be buried in the McAlester, Oklahoma area, as he died on October 16, 1904 in McAlester. No record can be found of his burial.

Carr was born in Stark County, Ohio and married Catharine "Kate" Trubey on June 5, 1867 at Defiance, Ohio. To this union were born five children: Charles, William, Willie, Genie, and Pansy M.

Kate Carr died on November 15, 1914 at St. Joseph's Hospital in Denver, Colorado and is buried in Fairmont Cemetery in Denver. Her daughter Pansy was living in Denver at that time.

James Dunlavy, Private, Company D, 3rd Iowa Cavalry

He was awarded the Medal of Honor on October 25, 1864 at Osage, Kansas for gallantry in single-handedly capturing Confederate Major General John S. Marmaduke.

This was reported to be possibly the only instance of a general officer being captured by a private soldier on the field of battle.

Dunlavy died on March 6, 1923 and is buried at IOOF Cemetery in Maramec, Oklahoma. There is no mention of his Civil War service or Medal of Honor on his headstone.

He was born in Cecatur County, Indiana on February 4, 1844. At the age of four years he came with his parents to David County, Iowa. Here he attended the common schools of the county and grew to manhood.

Soon after the Civil War he studied medicine, graduating from Keokuk College in 1870.

On March 24, 1870 he was married to Letitia C. VonAchen. To this union was born four children, C.A. Dunlavy of New York City, S. W. Dunlavy and M. D. Dunlavy of Parsons, Kansas, H. D. Dunlavy of Enid, Oklahoma, and Mrs. M. A. Hedges of Delnorte, Oklahoma

Charles Higby, Private, Company F, 1st Pennsylvania Cavalry

He was awarded the Medal of Honor for outstanding bravery from March 29 to April 9, 1865 during the Appomattox Campaign in Virginia.

Higby died on February 19, 1903 at McLoud, Oklahoma. His exact burial place is not known.

He enlisted on August 14, 1862 and was discharged on May 21, 1865. He was married to Salina Hunter on July 22, 1898 in McCloud.

John Eckes, Private, Company E, 47th Ohio Infantry

Not much data is available as yet for John Eckes. Charles E. Chambers of Houston, Texas, Graves Registration Officer for the Department of the Southwest, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, only recently provided this information.

He said John Eckes was born in Lewis County, West Virginia and died in Cushing, Payne County, Oklahoma on April 20, 1912. His burial place is unknown. He won the Medal of Honor at Vicksburg, Mississippi on May 22, 1863.

Extensive research will immediately begin on John Eckes. Stay tuned to this channel.


John Alexander Sutherland, Corporal, Company L, 8th U.S. Cavalry

He was awarded the Medal of Honor for outstanding bravery in Arizona between August and October of 1868.

Sutherland was born at Harrodsburg, Indiana on February 19, 1848. When he was a young man he followed his father into service during the Civil War. Shortly after the war he enlisted in the regular army and served two complete enlistments.

He was engaged in the freighting business to nearly all forts and towns on the western frontier. He came to El Reno, Oklahoma shortly after the town opened for settlement and lived there the balance of his life.

He died on December 2, 1891 of bronchial pneumonia and is buried in the El Reno Cemetery.

NOTE: For additional information about the Civil War Medal of Honor program in other states, contact: Charles E. Chambers, 6347 Del Monte Drive, Houston, Texas 77057-3403 (713) 782-6853



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