Heritage Center to Temporarily Close on March 16   Read Updates

Menu

First Medals Recipients

On March 25, our country observes National Medal of Honor Day, a solemn annual recognition of more than 3,500 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines whose service to our nation has been distinguished through extraordinary heroism and sacrifice. It was on this date in 1863 that the first Medal of Honor, our nation’s highest military award, was presented to Private Jacob Parrott for his part in the “The Great Locomotive Chase” that ended just outside of Chattanooga. Ultimately, 19 of the 24 members of Andrews’ Raiders were awarded the Medal of Honor for their incredible acts of valor on April 12, 1862.

In that same year, the Chattanooga area would become hallowed ground where 33 additional Medals of Honor were awarded – from the blood-soaked fields of Chickamauga to Missionary Ridge to the stirring site of the Battle Above the Clouds on Lookout Mountain. These acts of valor — also known as the First Medals — created an important heritage that has been entrusted to Chattanooga to preserve as the Birthplace of the Medal of Honor.

Andrews' Raiders

The Great Locomotive Chase, also know as Andrews' Raid, was a military raid that occurred on April 12, 1862. Six of the Raiders would receive the very first Medals of Honor on March 25, 1863.

Battle of Chickamauga

The Battle of Chickamauga was an engagement that took place from September 18 – 20, 1863, as part of the Chattanooga Campaign during the American Civil War.

Chattanooga Hospital

Learn the story of the first and only woman to receive the Medal of Honor for action near the Union front lines in Chattanooga after the Battle of Chickamauga.

Browns Ferry

The Battle of Brown's Ferry was an engagement that took place on October 27, 1863, as part of the Chattanooga Campaign during the American Civil War.

Lookout Mountain

The Battle of Lookout Mountain was an engagement that took place on November 24, 1863, as part of the Chattanooga Campaign during the American Civil War.

Missionary Ridge

The Battle of Missionary Ridge was an engagement that took place on November 25, 1863, as part of the Chattanooga Campaign during the American Civil War.