Full Corporal Gabriel Cole - Medal of Honor Company I, 5th Michigan Calvary Other

NameGabriel Cole - Medal of Honor
RankFull Corporal
UnitCompany I, 5th Michigan Calvary
Birth 03/22/1831
Died 01/07/1907
Grave GPSN44°07.035, W085°23.010
Grave GPS 44.1172485, -85.3834991
War(s)/Conflict(s)American Civil War

Added By

alan teelander


Gabriel Cole, Corporal, Company I, 5th Michigan Calvary, Medal of Honor, US Veteran, Sherman Township, South of Cadillac, Michigan (GPS N44°07.035, W085°23.010)

American Civil War Soldiers about Gabriel Cole Name: Gabriel Cole Residence: Salem, Michigan Enlistment Date: 19 Aug 1862 Enlistment Place: Allegan, Michigan Side Served: Union State Served: Michigan Birth Date: 22 Mar 1831 Death Date: 7 Jan 1907 Service Record: Promoted to Full Corporal. Enlisted as a Private on 19 August 1862 at the age of 31. Enlisted in Company I, 5th Cavalry Regiment Michigan on 30 Aug 1862. Discharged from Company I, 5th Cavalry Regiment Michigan on 27 Jun 1865 at Annapolis, MD.

He was listed as: Left 7/1/1863 Hanover, PA Wounded 7/1/1863 Gettysburg, PA Wounded 4/6/1865 High Bridge, VA Promotions: Corpl Other Information: born 3/22/1831 in Chenango County, NY died 1/7/1907 Buried: Sherman Township Cemetery, Tustin, MI

Gabriel Cole was born in New York State and worked as a farmer. Gabriel was a widower at the time of his death. His father was William Cole and mother was Henrietta Wheeler. A copy of the death certificate can be viewed in the gallery. Medal of Honor Information: He was awarded the Medal of Honor for action on 9/19/1864 at Winchester, VA. (Capture of flag)

Sources used by Historical Data Systems, Inc.: - Record of Service of Michigan Volunteers 1861-65 - Deeds of Valor. How our Soldier-heroes won the Medal of Honor - Medal of Honor Recipients 1863-1994 (c) Historical Data Systems, Inc. @

Gabriel Cole, Alphonso M. Lunt Winchester, VA 09/19/64


THE stars and stripes and a rebel flag at the battle of Winchester, Va., September 19, 1864, made heroes of two brave Union soldiers-Color-Sergeant Alphonso M. Lunt, of Company F, Thirty-eighth Massachusetts Infantry, and of Corporal Gabriel Cole, of Company I, Fifth Michigan Cavalry. Their stories stand out prominently among the many remarkable incidents of the war.

The brigade to which Sergeant Lunt's regiment belonged was ordered to advance about 800 yards and halt. The impetus of the charge carried the troops way beyond the designated place and brought them into uncomfortable proximity with a much superior rebel force.

Because of the long, rapid advance over ploughed fields, fences, and rough broken country generally, the Union line was in no condition to face such an assault and began to waver. At this Sergeant Lunt, who carried his colors aloft thus far through the fight, seeing that a rally must be made, waved the flag and with a yell rushed ahead about 200 yards in advance of the line and shouted: " Dress on the colors! " Inspired by his bravery, the men of Company F at once responded, to be followed immediately by others, until about 100 men were supporting him, and there they stood facing a Confederate line of battle until the overwhelming numbers of the enemy forced them to retreat. No less than twenty-two bullet holes were counted in the folds of the flag which Sergeant Lunt had defended so bravely.

Corporal Cole was at another point of the battlefield participating in those fierce cavalry charges led by General Custer, which to a large extent decided the battle in favor of the Union cause. During the last great charge, which culminated in a desperate hand-to-hand fight between the opposing foes, Corporal Cole, who was in the thickest of the fray, espied a Confederate color-bearer. He dashed up to him, swung his sabre over the rebel's head and would have killed him with one blow had the man not ducked in time and dropped the flag. Corporal Cole seized the colors, but just at that instant his horse was shot in the shoulder and leg and fell; While trying to help the poor animal the brave corporal was himself wounded in the left leg.
Still carrying the flag he limped along till a Union officer came to his assistance. It was not long before Corporal Cole took possession of a riderless horse and, mounting it, rejoined his regiment and stayed in the fight till the battle was ended.

Source: Deeds of Valor, p. 418

Three men earned the Medal of Honor while serving with the 5th Michigan Cavalry. Captain Smith H. Hastings of Company M was awarded the medal for his actions during an engagement in Newby's Crossroads, Virginia, on July 24, 1863. Two enlisted men, Corporal Gabriel Cole of Company I and Sergeant Henry M. Fox of Company M, received the medal for capturing battle flags during the Battle of Opequon at Winchester, Virginia, on September 19, 1864.