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Lewis Warrington
Born ?
Died January 5, 1879(1879-01-05)
Place of birth Washington, D.C., United States
Place of death San Antonio, Texas
Place of burial San Antonio National Cemetery
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1867–1879
Rank First Lieutenant
Unit 4th U.S. Cavalry
Battles/wars Indian Wars
Texas–Indian Wars
Awards Medal of Honor

First Lieutenant Lewis Warrington III (unknown – January 5, 1879) was an American officer in the U.S. Army who served with the 4th U.S. Cavalry during the Texas–Indian Wars. He won distinction while commanding a small cavalry detachment against a hostile band of Comanche Indians in the Muchague Valley on December 8, 1874, and was one of three men received the Medal of Honor in the engagement. He is the only officer during the Indian Wars to receive the award immediately after the battle rather than in subsequent years.


Lewis Warrington III, the grandson of War of 1812 naval hero Commodore Lewis Warrington,[1] was born in Washington, D.C. and later entered the United States Army there. He was assigned to the 4th U.S. Cavalry Regiment as a second lieutenant on June 18, 1867, and then made a first lieutenant on July 31, 1869.[2] Warrington spent most of his career on the Texas frontier and served under Colonel Ranald S. Mackenzie during the Texas-Indian Wars of the 1870s. On December 8, 1874, he and ten cavalrymen pursued a group of hostile Comanche Indians through the Muchague Valley.[3] Both groups were riding at a full gallop and several riders of Warrington's unit were left behind. Warrington personally captured one Indian, turning him over to a trooper whose horse could not continue, and resumed the pursuit with Privates Frederick Bergendahl and John O'Sullivan. After five miles, their horses exhausted, the Comanches dismounted and decided to shoot it out with the troopers. Climbing out of the valley onto the plain, they opened fire on Warrington and his men as they climbed up after them. Warrington eventually became separated from the others and found himself at the mercy of five Comanche warriors. He was forced to fight them off single-handed and, after exhausting his ammunition, used his rifle as a club in hand-to-hand combat. Bergendahl and O'Sullivan found themselves in a similar situation and killed all but one of their attackers. O'Sullivan pursued the lone survivor but was unable to catch him.[4] All three men received the Medal of Honor four months later,[3][5][6][7][8][9][10][11] Warrington being the only officer of the Indian Wars to receive the award following the battle rather than years afterwards like other officers. Warrington died on January 5, 1879, and was buried in San Antonio National Cemetery.[1][12][13]

Medal of Honor citation

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, 4th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Muchague Valley, Tex., 8 December 1874. Entered service at Washington, D.C. Birth: Washington, D.C. Date of issue: 12 April 1875.


Gallantry in a combat with 5 Indians.[14]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Neal, Charles M. Valor Across the Lone Star: The Congressional Medal of Honor in Frontier Texas. Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 2003. (pg. 222) ISBN 0-87611-184-3
  2. Heitman, Francis B. Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army From Its Organization September 29, 1789 To March 2, 1903. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1904. (pg. 1004).
  3. 3.0 3.1 Smith, Thomas T. The Old Army in Texas: A Research Guide to the U.S. Army in Nineteenth-Century Texas. (pg. 160) Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 2000. ISBN 0-87611-170-3
  4. 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. 193)
  5. Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs. Medal of Honor recipients, 1863-1978, 96th Cong., 1st sess. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1979.
  6. Hannings, Bud. A Portrait of the Stars and Stripes. Glenside, Pennsylvania: Seniram Publishing, 1988. (pg. 400) ISBN 0-922564-00-0
  7. 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. 29) ISBN 0-935269-07-X
  8. Cozzens, Peter, ed. Eyewitnesses to the Indian Wars, 1865-1890: The Wars for the Pacific Northwest. Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania: Stackpole Books, 2001. (pg. 689) ISBN 0-8117-0573-0
  9. Yenne, Bill. Indian Wars: The Campaign for the American West. Yardley, Pennsylvania: Westholme Publishing, 2006. (pg. 168) ISBN 1-59416-016-3
  10. Sterner, C. Douglas (1999). "MOH Citation for Lewis Warrington". MOH Recipients: Indian Campaigns. Retrieved June 30, 2010. 
  11. Army Times Publishing Company. "Military Times Hall of Valor: Lewis Warrington". Awards and Citations: Medal of Honor. Retrieved June 30, 2010. 
  12. Harvey, Bill. Texas Cemeteries: The Resting Places of Famous, Infamous, and Just Plain Interesting Texans. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2003. (pg. 222) ISBN 0-292-73466-2
  13. Sterner, C. Douglas (1999). "Photo of Grave site of MOH Recipient Lewis Warrington". Medal of Honor recipient Gravesites In The State of Texas. Retrieved June 30, 2010. 
  14. "Medal of Honor recipients". Indian War Campaigns. United States Army Center of Military History. June 8, 2009. Retrieved June 29, 2009. 

Further reading

  • Konstantin, Phil. This Day in North American Indian History: Important Dates in the History of North America's Native Peoples for Every Calendar Day. New York: Da Capo Press, 2002. ISBN 0-306-81170-7

External links

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