Monday, August 12, 2013

Raised The Fallen Colors

Second Lieutenant Stephen Potter Corliss, a Medal of Honor recipient, enlisted in the Union army August 12th 1862.

Stephen Potter Corliss was born July 25th 1842 in Albany, New York, the son of Roswell B and Catherine Corliss.

Corliss enlisted as a Private in the 11th New York Artillery August 12th 1862 at Albany, New York.  He would be promoted to Second Lieutenant of Company F of the 4th New York Heavy Artillery on June 26th 1864.  He was taken prisoner on August 25th 1864 at the Second Battle of Ream’s Station, returning to duty in December 1864.  Corliss received the Medal of Honor for his action at the Battle of South Side Railroad in Virginia on April 2nd 1865.  It was here that the 4th faced a Confederate battery near the railroad where it intersected with the White Oak Road.  The company charged three times.  When the color bearers were shot down, Corliss dismounted, picked up the flag, remounted and road, carrying the colors into the Confederate works planting them on the line.  The rest of the company followed him, and routed the enemy.  His citation reads, “raised the fallen colors and, rushing forward in advance of the troops, placed them on the enemy's works."  Corliss was discharged from service December 9th 1865.

He received the Medal of Honor April 5th 1898.  Corliss died May 9th 1904 in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.  He is buried in the Albany Rural Cemetery, Albany, New York.

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