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Jacob Trautman
Born 1840
Died November 7, 1898(1898-11-07) (aged 58)
Place of birth Hamburg, Germany
Place of death Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Place of burial South Side Cemetery
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service ?–1890
Rank First Sergeant
Unit 7th U.S. Cavalry
Battles/wars Indian Wars
Wounded Knee Massacre
Awards Medal of Honor

First Sergeant Jacob Trautman (1840 – November 7, 1898) was a German-born soldier in the U.S. Army who served with the 7th U.S. Cavalry during the Indian Wars. He was one of twenty-three men who received the Medal of Honor for gallantry, killing a Sioux warrior in armed combat, at what was then called the Battle of Wounded Knee, but now commonly called the Wounded Knee Massacre on December 29, 1890.


Jacob Trautman was born in Hamburg, Germany in 1840.[1] He emigrated to the United States and enlisted in the United States Army in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He served on the frontier with the famed 7th Cavalry Regiment, being a veteran of the Indian Wars against the Plains Indians, and eventually reached the rank of first sergeant. Sent to arrest the Sioux chieftain Big Foot and disarm his 350 followers, he was among the cavalry troopers who, on the morning of December 29, 1890, surrounded his camp on the banks of Wounded Knee Creek. Trautman distinguished himself by killing an armed Sioux warrior "at close quarters", and was among the 23 cavalrymen who received the Medal of Honor.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14] Although he was entitled to retire with pension due to his age and long years of service, he volunteered to remain with Company I and lead his men until the end of the campaign. Trautman returned to Pittsburgh where he died on November 7, 1898, at the age of 58. He was buried at South Side Cemetery and is the only MOH recipient to be interred there.[15]

Medal of Honor citation[]

Rank and organization: First Sergeant, Company I, 7th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Wounded Knee Creek, S. Dak., 29 December 1890. Entered service at: --. Birth: Germany. Date of issue: 27 March 1891.


Killed a hostile Indian at close quarters, and, although entitled to retirement from service, remained to the close of the campaign.[1]

See also[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Medal of Honor recipients". Indian War Campaigns. United States Army Center of Military History. June 8, 2009. Retrieved June 29, 2009. 
  2. Beyer, Walter F. and Oscar Frederick Keydel, ed. Deeds of Valor: From Records in the Archives of the United States Government; how American Heroes Won the Medal of Honor; History of Our Recent Wars and Explorations, from Personal Reminiscences and Records of Officers and Enlisted Men who Were Rewarded by Congress for Most Conspicuous Acts of Bravery on the Battle-field, on the High Seas and in Arctic Explorations. Vol. 2. Detroit: Perrien-Keydel Company, 1906. (pg. 324)
  3. Chandler, Melbourne C. Of GarryOwen in Glory: The History of the Seventh United States Cavalry Regiment. Annandale, Virginia: The Turnpike Press, 1960. (pg. 398)
  4. Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs. Medal of Honor recipients, 1863-1978, 96th Cong., 1st sess. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1979. (pg. 1021)
  5. Hannings, Bud. A Portrait of the Stars and Stripes. Glenside, Pennsylvania: Seniram Publishing, 1988. (pg. 400) ISBN 0-922564-00-0
  6. O'Neal, Bill. Fighting Men of the Indian Wars: A Biographical Encyclopedia of the Mountain Men, Soldiers, Cowboys, and Pioneers Who Took Up Arms During America's Westward Expansion. Stillwater, Oklahoma: Barbed Wire Press, 1991. (pg. 35) ISBN 0-935269-07-X
  7. Gonzalez, Mario and Elizabeth Cook-Lynn. The Politics of Hallowed Ground: Wounded Knee and the Struggle for Indian Sovereignty. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1999. (pg. 392) ISBN 0-252-06669-3
  8. Wilson, D. Ray. Terror on the Plains: A Clash of Cultures. Dundee, Illinois: Crossroads Communications, 1999. ISBN 0-916445-47-X
  9. LaDuke, Winona. Recovering the Sacred: The Power of Naming and Claiming. Cambridge, Massachusetts: South End Press, 2005. (pg. 265) ISBN 0-89608-712-3
  10. Johansen, Bruce E. The Native Peoples of North America: A History. Vol. 2. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 2006. ISBN 0-8135-3899-8
  11. Yenne, Bill. Indian Wars: The Campaign for the American West. Yardley, Pennsylvania: Westholme Publishing, 2006. (pg. 292) ISBN 1-59416-016-3
  12. Nunnally, Michael L. American Indian Wars: A Chronology of Confrontations Between Native Peoples and Settlers and the United States Military, 1500s-1901. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland, 2007. ISBN 0-7864-2936-4
  13. Sterner, C. Douglas (1999). "MOH Citation for Jacob Trautman". MOH Recipients: Indian Campaigns. Retrieved June 30, 2010. 
  14. Army Times Publishing Company. "Military Times Hall of Valor: Jacob Trautman". Awards and Citations: Medal of Honor. Retrieved June 30, 2010. 
  15. Sterner, C. Douglas (1999). "Photo of Grave site of MOH Recipient Jacob Trautman". Medal of Honor recipient Gravesites In The State of Pennsylvania. Retrieved June 30, 2010. 

External links[]

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