#OnThisDay 1862 US Congress authorised the creation of the Army version of the Medal of Honor. Of the 3,524 medals awarded, over 2000 have been awarded to Irish-Americans & 257 to Irish-born Americans which represents over half the foreign born recipients.
The first Irish American to receive the Medal was Michael Madden, who received it for his actions in the American Civil War. However, the earliest action for which the Medal of Honor was awarded was to Irish American U.S. Army Assistant Surgeon Bernard J.D. Irwin from Roscommon, for the engagement at Apache Pass, February 1861. Irwin received 30 years later before he retired from the Army.
Out of the 19 men to receive a second Medal of Honor, five were born in Ireland. They are, according to Concannon, “Henry Hogan from Clare, John Laverty from Tyrone, Dublin’s John Cooper, whose name at birth was John Laver Mather, John King and Patrick Mullen. Three double recipients were Irish-Americans: U.S. Marines Daniel Daly and John Joseph Kelly, and the U.S. Navy’s John McCloy.