Edward Gilligan

Edward Lyons Gilligan (1843 - 1922)

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Edward Lyons Gilligan
Born in Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USAmap
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
[children unknown]
Died in Oxford, Chester County, Pennsylvania, USAmap
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Profile last modified | Created 19 Jan 2015
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Edward Lyons Gilligan - Born: April 18, 1843, Died: Apr. 2, 1922, Buried: Oxford Cemetery, Oxford, PA, Captain, Co. E, 88th Pennsylvania Vol. Infantry, Awarded Medal of Honor: April 30, 1892, Action Date: July 1, 1863 at Gettysburg, PA

The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to First Sergeant Edward Lyons Gilligan, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism on 1 July 1863, while serving with Company E, 88th Pennsylvania Infantry, in action at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. First Sergeant Gilligan assisted in the capture of a Confederate flag by knocking down the color sergeant.

From Deeds of Valor - How America's Heroes Won The Medal Of Honor - Volume 1 - Pages 223 & 224 - Detroit, Mich., U.S.A. - The Perrien-Keydel Company - 1905. [1]


It was a gallant feat that entitled Captain Edward L. Gilligan of the Eighty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers to a Medal of Honor. He assisted in the capture of the colors of the Twenty-third North Carolina on the first day of the battle of Gettysburg. Gilligan, who was first-sergeant at the time thus describes the affair.

"Iverson's Brigade of North Carolinians had attacked Baxter's Brigade of the First Corps and been repulsed. "We got the order to charge the retreating enemy and we struck the Twenty-third North Carolina and captured nearly the entire regiment. Captain Joseph H. Richard, of my company, singled out the color-bearer of the Twenty-third and had a hand-to-hand fight with him. The Confederate pluckily held on to the colors and only gave them up when I reasoned with him with the butt of my musket."

Another exploit of Captain Gilligan was performed during General Warren's raid to destroy the Weldon railroad in December, 1864. Gilligan was then captain and acting adjutant of the regiment and so was mounted. He says :

" The enemy's cavalry had driven in a squadron of horse which formed our rear guard and annoyed us considerably before they could be driven off. When I saw them coming on again, I rode back and made an effort to rally our cavalry, but was unsuccessful. I found myself alone, facing the rebels who were madly charging after our boys. There was but one way out of it for me. I slipped out of my saddle, threw myself on the ground and allowed them to ride over me. I was covered with mud, but escaped injury. When the rebels once more retired, I rose and made my way back to my command. I was able to report to General Baxter the strength of the enemy and we laid a trap for them.

" The Ninth New York Infantry was left in ambuscade by the side of the road, and when the rebels came on again, gave them such a hot reception, that they fled in confusion and did not trouble us any more."


  1. Deeds of Valor - How America's Heroes Won The Medal Of Honor

Congressional Metal of Honor Society Website

Find A Grave: Memorial #7203241

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