Civil War Medal of Honor
Civil War Medal of Honor

A ceremony Saturday will remember York native Sgt. John Henry Denig and commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Mobile Bay, the Civil War battle in which he earned a Medal of Honor.

The ceremony is organized by the First Capitol Detachment of the Marine Corps League under the direction of Dave Brady, senior vice commandant of the detachment.

Denig was born in York on Sept. 8, 1838, and served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Civil War. Denig earned his Medal of Honor while aboard the USS Brooklyn in the Battle of Mobile Bay on Aug. 5, 1864.

Sgt. John Henry Denig’s grave site is marked with flags at Prospect Hill Cemetery. Denig will be honored during a ceremony Saturday at the cemetery.
Sgt. John Henry Denig's grave site is marked with flags at Prospect Hill Cemetery. Denig will be honored during a ceremony Saturday at the cemetery. (Submitted)

Soldier remembered: Brady said the fifth annual ceremony will remember Denig and will include the reading of Denig's citation for receiving the Medal of Honor. The Marine Corps motto, "always faithful," is a large part of why the detachment started the ceremony after learning Denig was buried at Prospect Hill Cemetery, Brady said.

"We're faithful to each other and we remember those who came before us," he said.

The ceremony will also include remarks from Scott Mingus, a local historian who has written several books on the Civil War, Brady said.

The Battle of Mobile Bay was a significant victory for the Union, because Alabama's Mobile Bay had been the last important port on the Gulf of Mexico east of the Mississippi River still under Confederate control, according to a release about the ceremony.


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The Union victory at the port helped to complete the blockade in that region.

Information sought: The detachment is still hoping to find out more about Denig's family and perhaps trace his descendants, Brady said. Denig moved back to York after the Civil War, but Google and Ancestry.com searches haven't yielded many results, Brady said.

More than 1,000 Civil War soldiers are buried at Prospect Hill Cemetery. Provided fair weather on Saturday, the remembrance ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. at Denig's burial site in the cemetery, located at 700 N. George St. in York.

— Reach Nikelle Snader at nsnader@yorkdispatch.com.