African American Congressional Medal of Honor

African American Congressional Medal of Honor


Recipient Trooper William O. Wilson

Stories about African American Congressional Medal of Honor

Mr. Wilson is the only Washington County, Maryland resident to receive the Medal of Honor


William Othello Wilson, a native of Hagerstown was born on September 16, 1867.

He enlisted in the UNITED STATES ARMY on August 21, 1889. He earned the Medal of Honor on December 30, 1890 for "gallantry in action" voluntarily, for successfully carrying a message to the battalion commander at the Pine Ridge Indian Agency in South Dakota. He carried the dispatch when reinforcements were needed when the wagon supply train of Captain John S. Loud came under Indian attack. His Medal of Honor was awarded on September 17, 1891.

In Hagerstown, Mr. Wilson was a "jack of all trades" and worked as a carpenter and upholsterer. He died in January 1928. The grassy triangle at the intersection of Jonathan Street, Charles Street and Pennsylvania Avenue in Hagerstown, was dedicated to his honor in 1988. His home was located near the corner of Sumans Av. and North St., adjacent to the Martin Luther King Center.

Mr. Wilson's gravesite in Rose Hill Cemetery on April 16, 1997. The grave marker was provided by the Veterans Administration.


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