Sunday, January 19, 2014

Going Beyond The Call Of Duty

Union Private Michael McKeever a member of the 5th Pennsylvania Cavalry was awarded the Medal of Honor for actions preformed January 19th 1863 at Burnt Ordinary, Virginia.

Michael McKeever was born in Ireland March 25th 1842.  He immigrated with his family in 1848.

When the Civil War started McKeever enlisted in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on September 9th 1861 as a Private in Company K of the 5th Pennsylvania Cavalry.  He was awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery for his actions at Burnt Ordinary, Virginia [now the town of Toano, Virginia] on January 19th 1863.  The citation of the Medal of Honor reads that he "was one of a small scouting party that charged and routed a mounted force of the enemy six times their number. He led the charge in a most gallant and distinguished manner, going far beyond the call of duty".  McKeever would reach the rank of First Sergeant before the end of the war.

Following the war McKeever worked as a mechanic, and then as a wholesaler.  He died December 24th 1916, and is buried in the Holy Sepulcher Cemetery in Cheltenham, Pennsylvania. 

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