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Medal of Honor

A reader meets his father on the pages of American Heritage...for the first time

When I opened the recent issue of American Heritage and turned to Edward G. Lengel’s incredible account of the Battle of the Meuse-Argonne, tears filled my eyes. The story looked in part at the contributions of 13-year-old Pvt. Ernest L. Wrentmore, the youngest U.S. Read more >>

Fate brought Custer and Sitting Bull together one bloody June evening at the Little Bighorn—and marked the end of the Wild West

Act 1: The Characters Read more >>

Fifty years ago in the frozen mountains of Korea, the Marines endured a campaign as grueling and heroic as any in history

That’s what the newspapers called him, and he spent an increasingly reckless career trying to edit out the adjective. But even winning a war single-handed didn’t get him what he wanted.

On the night of March 22, 1901, as fierce rains battered his campsite in the wildest reaches of Luzon Island, Frederick Funston pondered what awaited him the next day. In a career that had been full of mortal risks, he was about to take by far the greatest risk of all. Read more >>
There is something irresistible about Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, the soft-spoken, be-spectacled Bowdoin College professor who somehow transformed himself into one of the Union Army’s ablest commanders. Read more >>
As I write, the earnest image of Marine lieutenant colonel Oliver North has faded from our television screens, but a volume of his complete testimony in the Iran-contra hearings still tops the nonfiction paperback best-seller list, a video cassette of the highlights of his appe Read more >>

Their High Command abandoned them. Their enemy thought they wouldn’t fight. But a few days after Pearl Harbor, a handful of weary Americans gave the world a preview of what the Axis was up against.

The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, was only one blow in an offensive without parallel in warfare. Read more >>

Charles Hopkins received the Congressional Medal of Honor for gallantry at the battle of Gaines’ Mill, but his toughest fight was trying to survive at the Andersonville prisoner-of-war camp. He left this never-before-published record.

Henry Ware Lawton

He arrived in Manila on March 18, 1899, bearing his six-foot-four frame with such easy strength that it would have been natural to wonder how he could so recently have suffered the “ill health” for which he had been relieved of the military governorship of Santiago. Read more >>

In the Meuse-Argonne, this backwoods pacifist did what Marshal Foch saw as “the greatest thing accomplished by any private’ soldier of all the armies of Europe.”

Pershing called him “the greatest civilian soldier” of World War I. Foch described his exploit in the Argonne as “the greatest thing accomplished by any private soldier of all the armies of Europe.” Read more >>
In a “Postscripts” feature on Dr. Read more >>

The doughboys numbered only 550 men -- the remnants of four battalions -- and were surrounded by Germans. Then they were given the order to attack.

In the early fall of 1918 five hundred American infantrymen were cut off from their regiment and surrounded by Germans during five days of fighting in the Argonne Forest. Read more >>

It was called “the most extraordinary and astounding adventure of the Civil War”

On the pleasant Sunday evening of April 6, 1862, the men of Company H, 33rd Ohio Infantry, were relaxing around their campfires near Shelbyville, Tennessee, admiring the Southern springtime and trading the latest army rumors. Read more >>

The famed aviator recalls the dramatic bombing raid he led on Tokyo early in World War II.

The admiral who commanded "the ship that wouldn't die" recalls the hellish and heroic hours after a kamikaze turned the carrier Franklin into an inferno.

In the wily, elusive leader of the Philippine Insurrection a bedeviled Uncle Sam almost met his match.