Medal of Honor







Rank and Organization:  First Lieutenant, Company C, 102d U.S. Colored Troops.
Place and Date:  Near Camden, S.C., April 1865.
Entered Service At:
  Leighton, Allegan County, MI
Birth:  Conquest, NY
Date of Issue: 14 May 1891.


Charles Luther Barrell was born on August 1, 1842 in Conquest, New York, the son of Joseph Barrell, 1815-

1895 (family listed in 1840 Census for Conquest, NY) and Emily Carey Barrell, 1816-1886.  They moved

to Michigan by wagon in 1845 to the Township of Albion, where they bought a farm. They sold the farm in

1852 to go west and join the great California Gold Rush.  It took them six months to reach California. They

remained there two years, Joseph engaged in mining, and then returned to Michigan via boat and train.  The family settled in Allegan County, Leighton Township in 1854.  They took up a homestead of 120 acres, which Charles farmed with his father until he enlisted in the Civil War.

Enlisted as a Private on 02 August 1862 at the age of 20
Enlisted in Company D 17th Infantry Divsion Michigan on 08 August 1862.
Promoted to Full Sergeant on 03 January 1863
Promoted to Full Lieutenant 2nd Class on 29 October 1863 effective 17 December 1863 (As of Co. C 1st MI Colored Inf)
Discharged for promotion on 03 November 1863
Commission in Company C, 1st Infantry Colored Regiment Michigan on 17 December 1863.
Promoted to Full Lieutenant 1st Class  on 03 October 1864 effective 16 November 1864
Mustered out on 30 September 1865 in Charleston, SC


He is listed in the Michigan “brown books” as Charles L. Burrell.  The 1st was later mustered into service as the 102nd United States Colored Infantry. 
Even though Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox, Virginia on April 9, 1865, virtually ending the war, there were many skirmishes that continued on for several weeks. On April 17, 1865, 1st Lt. Barrell was near Camden, South Carolina under the command of Col. Henry Chipman. In his officers report, Col. Chipman writes, “Not knowing the whereabouts of Gen. Potter, I deemed it necessary to communicate with him. I sent 1st Lieut. Charles L. Barrell with two orderlies, mounted, with the communication.  After leaving camp Lieut. Barrell met a Confederate Colonel and his orderly; by his coolness and bravery succeeded in capturing the orderly, whom he made a guide to conduct him past the Confederate forces into our Union lines.  Brisk skirmishing commenced with the enemy’s cavalry on the morning of the 18th, who made spirited resistance, fighting behind breastworks of rails, until driven back by my skirmishers. We were hemmed in on every side, but moved steadily forward. My loss during the forenoon was 1 man killed and 1 officer and 7 men wounded.  At 11:00 am Lieut. Barrell joined me, with Major Webster’s detachment of his cavalry.”

“The 102nd had driven the enemy from my front, and gave information concerning the movement of Gen. Potter’s forces. Skirmishing with my rear guard was kept up till afternoon. I joined the command of Gen. Potter where my regiment was united.”

Barrell was discharged on September 30, 1865, afterwhich he returned to Leighton Township.  He married

Ellen “Nellie” Graves.  After her death he married again, taking Charlotte Lottie Barrell for his wife.  He had three

children. His son, Joseph Edmund Barrell, died in 1900 at the age of 33.

Barrell belonged to C. J. Bassett Post 56 of the Grand Army of the Republic in Allegan. On May 14, 1891

Charles was awarded the Medal of Honor for his “Distinguished bravery near Camden, South Carolina”,

under resolution of Congress, No. 43. 

Charles continued to farm his 120 acres until 1909, when he moved to Parma, Michigan where he sold musical instruments and later became a banker, opening his own bank in Parma.

Death came to Charles on April 18, 1914 at the Ann Arbor Hospital.  His body was taken to his brother Frank’s

home in Leighton Township for the funeral. He was then laid to rest in Hooker Cemetery near Wayland, Michigan.
*Note - some information lists Charles Barrell as being born in Savannah, NY.  There was another Charles L. Barrell who was born and resided in Savannah who served in the Union Army - he is not the Medal of Honor recipient described above.



Rank and Organization:  Specialist Fourth Class, C Company, 1st Battalion,
                                              26th Infantry Regiment
, 1st Infantry Divsion
Place and Date of Action:  Near Loc Dinh, South Vietnam., 7 November 1967
Entered Service At:
  Throop, NY
Birth:  9 November 1944, Auburn, NY
Date of Issue:  1969



posthumously to

Specialist Four
Army of the United States

for service as set forth in the following


For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. SP4 Stryker, U.S. Army, distinguished himself while serving with Company C. SP4 Stryker was serving as a grenadier in a multicompany reconnaissance in force near Loc Ninh. As his unit moved through the dense underbrush, it was suddenly met with a hail of rocket, automatic weapons and small arms fire from enemy forces concealed in fortified bunkers and in the surrounding trees. Reacting quickly, SP4 Stryker fired into the enemy positions with his grenade launcher. During the devastating exchange of fire, SP4 Stryker detected enemy elements attempting to encircle his company and isolate it from the main body of the friendly force. Undaunted by the enemy machinegun and small-arms fire, SP4 Stryker repeatedly fired grenades into the trees, killing enemy snipers and enabling his comrades to sever the attempted encirclement. As the battle continued, SP4 Stryker observed several wounded members of his squad in the killing zone of an enemy claymore mine. With complete disregard for his safety, he threw himself upon the mine as it was detonated. He was mortally wounded as his body absorbed the blast and shielded his comrades from the explosion. His unselfish actions were responsible for saving the lives of at least 6 of his fellow soldiers. SP4 Stryker's great personal bravery was in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

Links:  Virtual Wall - Vietnam War Medal of Honor Recipients:  

         Robert F. Stryker Memorial  AmVets Post 513 Montezuma, NY: