Coates, Francis Jefferson - (Company-H)
Born: August 24, 1843 in Grant Co., Wisconsin - Died: January 27, 1880
Residence at time of enlistment: Boscobel, Grant Co., WI
Enlisted: August 29, 1861 as a Corporal - Mustered Out: September 1, 1864 as a Sergeant
WOUNDED: September 14, 1862 at South Mountain, MD
WOUNDED: July 1, 1863 at Gettysburg, PA (both eyes shot out) Buried: Dorchester Cemetery
MEDAL OF HONOR CITATION: "In action at Gettysburg, PA on July 1, 1863 for
unsurpassed courage in battle where he had both eyes shot out."
Sergeant Jefferson Coates was one of 64 Union soldiers to earn the Medal of Honor during the Battle of Gettysburg July 1 - 3, 1863. The 7th Wisconsin Infantry was heavily engaged in actions against Archer's and Brockenborough's Brigades alone McPherson's Ridge and the Chambersburg Pike on the first day of the battle at Gettysburg. Sergeant Coates courage in battle was notable to his comrades until he fell wounded. An enemy ball passed through and destroyed both of Sergeant Coates' eyes, leaving him totally blind.