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Medal of Honor

March 1, 2017

 

Francis Jefferson Coates of Boscobel, Wisconsin served in the 7th Wisconsin regiment of the Iron Brigade. During day 1 of the battle of Gettysburg, a single rifle shot entered behind his right eye and exited behind his left eye severing the connections of both eyeballs. Coates received a Medal of Honor "For extraordinary heroism on 1 July 1863, while serving with Company H, 7th Wisconsin Infantry, in action at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, for unsurpassed courage in battle, where he had both eyes shot out." He was 19.  After the war he was married and moved to Dorchester, Nebraska. He died there in 1880 and is buried in the local cemetery.