|This soldier was awarded the Medal of Honor|
Josiah O. Livingston
Rank and Organization: 1st Lieut., and Adjutant, 9th Vermont Infantry.
Place and date: Newport Barracks, N.C., 2 Feb 1864.
Entered service at: Marshfield.
Born: Walden, Feb. 3, 1837.
Died: 23 Jul 1917.
Buried: Robinson Cemetery, Calais, VT
Date of Issue: 8 Sep 1891.
Citation: When, after desperate resistance, the small garrison had been driven back to the river by a vastly superior force, this officer, while a small force held back the enemy, personally fired the railroad bridge, and, although wounded himself, assisted a wounded officer over the burning structure.
Captain J.O. Livingston was one of the few soldiers of the Civil War who received a gold medal from congress in recognition of bravery. He was also for many years a well known lawyer of Montpelier, and is now living retired. To the soldiers that fought and suffered, giving several of the best years of their early manhood to the preservation of the country under whose flag they were born-to these heroes, universal tribute of gratitude is given, and it is fitting that their patriotic services should find mention in the annals of country, state and nation.
Captain Josiah Livingston was born in Walden, Vermont, February 3, 1837, and is a son of Wheaton and Melissa (Burbank) Livingston. He was reared by his sister, Mrs. Farrington, of Walden, and was educated in the common schools and in the academy at Morrisville, Vermont, thus acquiring a good literary education. Determining to make the practice of law his life work, he then became a student in the office, and under the direction of Gleed and Hendee, well known attorneys, and in 1861 he was admitted to the bar. He entered upon the practice, but could not long content himself to remain at home while the country was endangered by the spirit of rebellion in the south.
It was, therefore, in May, 1862, that Captain Livingston offered his services to the government, and was assigned to Company I of the Ninth Vermont Volunteer Infantry. He was commissioned a lieutenant, and his regiment was mustered into service July 9,1862. He participated in the battle at Harper's Ferry, and was there taken prisoner, but was afterward paroled. Subsequently he was sent to Chicago, Illinois with his regiment, where he was engaged in guarding prisoners until March, 1863, when he went to Fortress Monroe acting as escort to prisoners who were to be exchanged. He afterwards took part in the siege of Suffolk, about that time in September, 1863; his regiment was assigned to Fortress Monroe and Yorktown, and later the Department of North Carolina, and there remained until August of 1864. In September, in the latter year, he joined General Butler's army, on the James River, and on the 29th of September he was at the attack made on Richmond. He likewise participated in the battle of Chapin's Farm and Fair Oaks. On the 3d of February, 1864 his regiment was guarding the railroad from Newbern, North Carolina to the coast. The guard consisted of about three hundred and fifty guns, and they withstood an approach of three thousand men. Withstanding the enemy as long as possible, the Union troops were withdrawn across Newport River, and under concentrated fire, Captain Livingston ( then adjutant), with Lieutenant Jewett and Lieutenant Peck, of the same regiment, set fire to, and destroyed the county railroads and bridges, and saved the Union troops from capture. For his gallantry Congress awarded him a gold medal. He was commissioned first lieutenant on arriving at the front, in October, 1862, and was detailed a regimental adjutant. He served as adjutant until October, 1864, when he was commissioned Captain of Company G., and was mustered out with the rank of captain on the 9th of June, 1865.
Mr. Livingston's health had become somewhat impaired during his arduous army service, but as soon as possible resumed the practice of law, establishing an office in Orange County, Vermont, where he remained until 1869, when he removed to Montpelier, and an active member of the legal profession until 1884, when he retired to private life. He has filled the office of city assessor for twenty years, and was also a grand juror six years.
On the 15th of November, 1866, occurred the marriage of Mr. Livingston and Miss Alice M. Kent, daughter of Ezekiel and Minerva A. ( Curtis) Kent, of Calais, Vermont. In political affiliation the Captain is a Democrat, and socially he is connected with several civic and military organizations. He belongs to the Masonic fraternity, and was a commander of Brooks Post G.A.R., four years, while for four years he served as adjutant general of the department. He is likewise a member of the Loyal Legion, and of the Society of the Medal of Honor. As a citizen , he is patriotic and public-spirited, and is found as true today as he was when he wore the nation's blue uniform and protected the stars and stripes upon the southern battlefields.
Hiram Carleton, Genealogical and Family History of the State of Vermont, Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, 1903), pp. 242-243.
Courtesy of Deanna French.
SPECIAL TO THE FREE PRESS: 1917
CAPT. J.O. LIVINGSTON DIES AT SOLDIERS HOME
Formerly of Montpelier----Awarded Medal for Gallantry in Action
Bennington, July 24,1917---Capt. Josiah O. Livingston, who had been an inmate of Vermont Soldiers Home here during the past three years, died at that institution last night, age 86.
He entered the war of the rebellion as first lieutenant of Company I, 9th Vt. Vols, June 30,1862, and was commissioned adjutant June 12,1863, and promoted to captain of Company G. November 19,1864. On September 8,1891, he was awarded by Congress a medal of honor for " gallantry in action at Newport Barracks, North Carolina, February 2, 1864."
He was a lawyer by profession and pracriced for many years in Montpelier, where he held many public offices. He married late in life but his wife died a number of years ago, and it is not known here whether he leaves any relatives.
Burial will probably be at Green Mount Cemetery, Montpelier.
Submitted By: Deanna French.
Deeds of Valor (Beyer and Keydel), p. 171
Medal of Honormen - Montpelier Citizens Honored for Conspicuous Gallantry in Battle (Montpelier Watchman, February 24, 1910, in Chronicling America, Library of Congress)
NARA File Number: R&P 296635.