AfriGeneas Military Research Forum
USCT James Daniel Gardner Honored
The following article appeared in the Local News: Newport News section of the Daily Press on Thursday, May 25, 2006. A number of you will remember that Wesley Wilson was a presenter at our March AAHGS Meeting, he portrays James Daniel Gardner at historical presentations and was at the forefront in the efforts to honor James Daniel Gardner.
James Daniel Gardner received the Medal of Honor during the Civil War.
SPECIAL TO THE DAILY PRESS
May 25 2006
GLOUCESTER -- A monument was unveiled May 6 on Gloucester's court circle in memory of James Daniel Gardner, a Gloucester native who was awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery during the Civil War.
James Daniel Gardner I (also known as Gardiner) was a member of Co. I, 36th Infantry Regiment United States Colored Troops.
He was awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery demonstrated during a Sept. 29, 1864, battle at New Market Heights near Richmond. After being pinned down for more than 30 minutes, Gardner rallied his fellow troops and initiated a charge that successfully overran the Confederate positions and essentially opened the Union routes to Richmond.
The Medal of Honor was issued April 6, 1865, according to the Web site www.army.mil/ cmh-pg/moh1.htm. It says Gardner "rushed in advance of his brigade, shot a rebel officer who was on the parapet rallying his men, and then ran him through with his bayonet."
The monument's dedication was attended by nearly 200 people. More than 25 Civil War re-enactors, Union, Confederate, black, white, male and female representation units from Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and across Virginia, attended and participated.
Lisetta Brandy, a student at Peasley Middle School, spoke about the history of the Medal of Honor. Demetrius Paige, a student at Page Middle School, spoke about the history of James D. Gardner.
Music was provided by the T.C. Walker Elementary School Dedication Choir directed by James Camillucci.
The unveiling and dedication ceremony was the culmination of more than five years of efforts of Gloucester citizens and officials, according to Wesley Wilson, a living historian who portrays Gardner. Wilson thanked everyone for bringing Gardner home, at least in spirit. Gardner is buried in Ottumwa, Iowa.
Following the unveiling of the marker, the bell in the tower of the Botetourt Masonic Lodge #7 - a bell that according to W.T. Nuttall had not been rung in years - was rung 21 times followed by the bugling of taps and the troops passing in review.
Supervisors Louise Theberge and Burton Bland participated in the ceremony and acknowledged the efforts of all involved and the pride the county took in being a partner in such an event.
Dorothy C. Cooke presided over the ceremony. The Rev. Fred Carter, in his closing prayer, gave honor and praise to all the brave souls in the Blue and the Gray recognized on the Gloucester court circle monuments and elsewhere for their bravery and sacrifice to a cause in which they deeply believed. Copyright © 2006, Daily Press