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J.J. PURMANs Medal of Honor

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J.J. PURMANs Medal of Honor

Sue Quinn-Morris (View posts)
Posted: 1159175157000
Classification: Query
Surnames: PURMAN
Long story short, a friend is in possesion of James Jackson PURMANs Congressional Medal of Honor - if anyone is interested in seeing it, go to and click on the photos...or if you want more info email

Born in Pennsylvania in 1841, he was awarded the Medal of Honor for service in the Civil War while serving with Company A, 140th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on July 2, 1863. The Medal was actually issued to him on October 30, 1896.

He died on May 10, 1915 and was buried in Section 1 of Arlington National Cemetery. His wife, Mary Witherow Purman (1840-1909), is buried with him.


At Gettysburg, on July 2, 1863 the 140th Pennsylvania was assigned to the 3rd Brigade of the 2nd division of the 2nd Army Corps. Lieutenant James Jackson Purman and James Milton Pipes were part of the 140th Pennsylvania, and both were awarded the Medal of Honor for their heroism at Gettysburg.


Rank and organization: Lieutenant, Company A, 140th Pennsylvania Infantry. Place and date: At Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, 2 July 1863. Entered service at: Greene County, Pnnsylvania. Birth: ------. Dare of issue: 30 October 1896.


Voluntarily assisted a wounded comrade to a place of apparent safety while the enemy were in close proximity; he received the fire of the enemy and a wound
which resulted in the amputation of his left leg.



(From the Gettysburg Compiler May 22, 1915)

Dr. James J. Purman died at his home in Washington, D.C., where he was for many years been employed in the pension office, on Monday evening. He was born in Greene county and received his education at Waynesburg (Pa.) College. In his junior year at that institution a call was sent out by President Lincoln for volunteers and he answered the summons. He became first lieutenant of the “Green County Rifles,” which later became Company A of the 140th Pennsylvania Infantry. In the battle of Gettysburg, Dr. Purman was twice wounded. One ball crushed the bones of his left leg, which necessitated amputation and the other passed through the right leg. He received the second wound while in the act of helping a wounded comrade from the field and for his bravery was awarded a congressional medal of honor. He lay on the Wheat Field under the fire of both armies from the afternoon of July 2nd to the afternoon of July 3rd when he was rescued by a Confederate officer and taken to the residence of Samuel Witherow. It was here he met the girl whom he afterwards married, Miss Mary Witherow. She nursed him through his sickness and he was later discharged from the army on account of his wounds. Dr. Purman was principal of Baptist Academy, which later became Monongehela College; he studied law and was admitted to the bar of Greene county. After moving to Washington he pursued a course in a medical school and was graduated. He was a member of Kit Carson Post, G.A.R., Washington, D.C. Two children are living, James Witherow Purman of Washington, D.C., and Mrs. L. B. Leavitt of New York City. The funeral and internment was held in Washington, D.C.

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