Oscar Burkard at Leech Lake – October 5, 1898

On October 5, 1898, just two weeks after the 3rd Infantry Regiment returned to Fort Snelling, Minnesota from a deployment fighting in Santiago, Cuba during the War with Spain, the Regiment was in the thick of fighting again.

A group of Chippewa at the reservation at Leech Lake, Minnesota, were being cheated by local white residents of the revenue derived from the sale of timber on the reservation. An argument ensued, and the local U.S. Marshal was summoned, only to be forcefully ejected from the reservation by the Indians, who were now armed. A company of the 3rd Infantry Regiment was sent to settle the disturbance in October 1898, commanded by Brevet Major James Wilkinson and Lieutenant Tenney Ross, the former a seasoned veteran of the Civil War and campaigns against Indians for thirty years. The Indians kept the company pinned down by well-directed sniper fire for almost three days until it was reinforced. Wilkinson and several of the recruits who had only recently joined the Regiment to fight in Cuba were killed, and ten were wounded. In ministering to the latter, Private Oscar Burkard, a Hospital Corps soldier attached to the Regiment, earned the third Medal of Honor awarded to an Old Guardsman.

During the course of the fight, “Private Burkard rescued and tended to several wounded in the action, continuously exposing himself to sniper fire. His award was the last given for actions against hostile Indians.”

This action was the last combat between an Army unit and Native Americans.

CPL Michael F. Folland -Medal of Honor recipient – July 3, 1969

Today, we remember Corporal Michael F. Folland. On this day in 1969, while assigned to
Company D, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), CPL Folland acted with “gallantry and intrepidity” when his unit was ambushed in Long Khanh Province, Republic of Vietnam. His actions cost him his life and were recognized with the posthumous awarding of the Medal of Honor.

The 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) Headquarters building, located at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, VA, was named for CPL Folland on October 2, 1998.
Medal of Honor Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Cpl. Folland distinguished himself while serving as an ammunition bearer with the weapons platoon of Company D, during a reconnaissance patrol mission. As the patrol was moving through a dense jungle area, it was caught in an intense crossfire from heavily fortified and concealed enemy ambush positions. As the patrol reacted to neutralize the ambush, it became evident that the heavy weapons could not be used in the cramped fighting area. Cpl. Folland dropped his recoilless rifle ammunition, and ran forward to join his commander in an assault on the enemy bunkers. The assaulting force moved forward until it was pinned down directly in front of the heavily fortified bunkers by machine gun fire. Cpl. Folland stood up to draw enemy fire on himself and to place suppressive fire on the enemy positions while his commander attempted to destroy the machine gun positions with grenades. Before the officer could throw a grenade, an enemy grenade landed in the position. Cpl. Folland alerted his comrades and his commander hurled the grenade from the position. When a second enemy grenade landed in the position, Cpl. Folland again shouted a warning to his fellow soldiers. Seeing that no one could reach the grenade and realizing that it was about to explode, Cpl. Folland, with complete disregard for his safety, threw himself on the grenade. By his dauntless courage, Cpl. Folland saved the lives of his comrades although he was mortally wounded by the explosion. Cpl. Folland’s extraordinary heroism, at the cost of his life, was in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

Medal of Honor Day – March 25

March 25 is Medal of Honor Day. We take time today to remember the four members of the 3d Infantry Regiment that have been awarded the Medal of Honor.

Sergeant James Fegan, Company H
Plum Creek, Kansas, March 1868
http://www.cmohs.org/recipient-detail/1641/fegan-james.php

Corporal Leander Herron, Company A
Near Fort Dodge, Kansas, 2 September 1868
http://www.cmohs.org/recipient-detail/1691/herron-leander.php

Private Oscar Burkard, Hospital Corps (attached to 3rd Infantry Regiment)
Leech Lake, Minnesota, 5 October 1898
http://www.cmohs.org/recipient-detail/1576/burkard-oscar.php

Corporal Michael Fleming Folland, Company D, 2d Battalion, 3d Infantry, 199th Infantry Brigade
Long Kahn, Province, Republic of Vietnam, 3 July 1969
http://www.cmohs.org/recipient-detail/3280/folland-michael-fleming.php

Below is a link to the Fort Larned National Historic Site’s Multimedia page. Fort Larned recently uploaded an audio clip of Corporal Leander Herron speaking about the experience (5:33 mins).

http://www.nps.gov/fols/learn/photosmultimedia/multimedia.htm

Oscar Burkard – Medal of Honor recipient

On October 5, 1898, just two weeks after the 3rd Infantry Regiment returned to Fort Snelling, Minnesota from a deployment fighting in Santiago, Cuba during the War with Spain, the Regiment was in the thick of fighting again.


A group of Chippewa at the reservation at Leech Lake, Minnesota, were being cheated by local residents of the revenue derived from the sale of timber on the reservation. An argument ensued, and the local U.S. Marshal was summoned, only to be forcefully ejected from the reservation by the Indians, who were now armed. A company of the 3rd Infantry Regiment was sent to settle the disturbance in October 1898, commanded by Brevet Major James Wilkinson and Lieutenant Tenney Ross, the former a seasoned veteran of the Civil War and campaigns against Indians for thirty years. The Indians kept the company pinned down by well-directed sniper fire for almost three days until it was reinforced. Wilkinson and several of the recruits who had only recently joined the Regiment to fight in Cuba were killed, and ten were wounded. In ministering to the latter, Private Oscar Burkard, a Hospital Corps soldier attached to the Regiment, earned the third Medal of Honor awarded to an Old Guardsman.


During the course of the fight, “Private Burkard rescued and tended to several wounded in the action, continuously exposing himself to sniper fire. His award was the last given for actions against hostile Indians.”

This action was the last combat between an Army unit and Native Americans.

Leander Herron – Medal of Honor recipient


On the night of September 2, 1868, Corporal Leander Herron and Trooper Paddy Doyle, while detailed as mail couriers, were making a return trip from Fort Dodge, Kansas to Fort Larned, Kansas. They heard firing and found a supply wagon train under attack by fifty Kiowas. Herron took charge, organized a defense and sent Doyle for reinforcements. Herron kept the Indians at bay until relief arrived. For this act, CPL Herron was awarded the Medal of Honor.

Herron would not receive the award until February 27, 1917, almost 50 years after his actions took place.