Sunday, May 11, 2014

Francis E. Brownell

Private F. E. Brownell.
Library of Congress.
Push to enlarge.
Francis Edwin Brownell.

Birth: 1840.
Death: Mar. 15, 1894

Burial: Bellefontaine Cemetery, Saint Louis, St. Louis City, Missouri. Civil War

Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. He enlisted in Company A, 11th New York Volunteer Infantry in 1861, having been drawn to the colors by the unit's commander, Colonel Elmer Ellsworth, and Ellsworth's passion for Zouave uniforms and drill. His regiment were among the first Union volunteers to arrive in Washington, DC to guard it from anticipated Confederate incursions. When Ellsworth was killed by the proprietor of the Marshall House Hotel in Alexandria, Virginia, Brownell tried to deflect the shot, but Ellsworth was hit in the chest. Brownell shot the proprietor in the head, and finished him off with a bayonet. He was soon after commissioned directly into the Regular Army as a 2nd Lieutenant of the 11th United States Infantry. He was promoted to 1st Lieutenant, and served in that rank until leaving the army two years later. For his bravery in Colonel Ellsworth's defense, he was awarded the Medal of Honor on January 26, 1877, sixteen years after the event.

New York State Records.

BROWNELL, FRANCIS E.—Age, 25 years. Enlisted, April 20, 1861, at New York city; mustered in as corporal, Co. A, May 7, 1861, to serve during the war; promoted sergeant, May 26,1861; mustered out to date, July 4, 1861, to accept commission in regular United States Army; medal of honor.

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