John Francis Weston – Major General, United States Army

Born at Louisville, Kentucky, November 13, 1845, he earned the Medal of Honor in the Civil War while serving as Major, 4th Kentucky Volunteer Cavalry near Wetumpka, Alabama, April 13, 1865. The Medal was issued to him on April 9, 1898 “for gallantry at Wetumpka, Alabama, April 13, 1865, where with five men he swam the river, defeated a force of the enemy and captured steamboats loaded with supplies lying in the river.”

He was commissioned First Lieutenant, 4th Kentucky, November 26, 1861; Major, November 1, 1864; honorably muster out of the Volunteer Service August 21, 1865; appointed from Kentucky, Second Lieutenant, 7th United States Cavalry, August 9, 1867; First Lieutenant, November 27, 1868; graduated from Artillery School, 1887; Captain, Commissary Subsistence, November 24, 1875; Major, August 1, 1892; Lieutenant Colonel, Assistant Commissary General, November 15, 1897; Colonel, Assistant Commissary General, April 30, 1898; Brigadier General, United States Volunteers, September 21, 1898; Brigadier General, Commissary General of the Army, December 6, 1900.

Following his retirement from the Army, he made his home in Briarcliff Manor, New York, where he died on August 3, 1917. He was buried in Section 2 of Arlington National Cemetery. His wife, Sarah E. G. Weston (1856-1943), and his daughter, Kathleen Weston (1893-1957), are buried with him.


Rank and organization: Major, 4th Kentucky Cavalry. Place and date: Near Wetumpka, Alabama, 13 April 1865. Entered service at: Kentucky. Birth: Kentucky. Date of issue: 9 April 1898.


This officer, with a small detachment, while en route to destroy steamboats loaded with supplies for the enemy, was stopped by an unfordable river, but with 5 of his men swam the river, captured 2 leaky canoes, and ferried his men across. He then encountered and defeated the enemy, and on reaching
Wetumpka found the steamers anchored in midstream. By a ruse obtained possession of a boat, with which he reached the steamers and demanded and received their surrender.

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