Private First Class Charles George: Awarded the Medal of Honor
Born: August 23, 1932, Cherokee, North Carolina
Died: November 30, 1952, age of 20
Entered United States Army from Whittier, North Carolina
Charles George received the Medal of Honor during the Korean
War for heroism on November 30, 1952, in a battle near Songnae-dong.
|Pfc. Charles George, US Army
|Medal of Honor Recipient
Private First Class George was a member of a unit committed to engage the enemy and capture a prisoner for interrogation.
Forging up the rugged slope of the key terrain feature, the unit was subjected to intense mortar and machine gun fire and
suffered several casualties. Throughout the advance, PFC George fought valiantly and, upon reaching the crest of the hill,
leaped into the trenches and engaged the enemy in hand-to-hand combat. When friendly troops were ordered to return to its
initial position upon completion of the assignment, he and two comrades remained to cover the withdrawal. While in the process
of leaving the trenches a hostile soldier hurled a grenade into their midst. Private First Class George shouted a warning
to one comrade, pushed the other soldier out of danger, and, with full knowledge of the consequences, unhesitatingly
threw himself upon the grenade, absorbing the full blast of the explosion. Although seriously wounded in this display of valor,
he refrained from any outcry which would divulge the position of his comrades. The two soldiers evacuated him to the forward
aid station and shortly thereafter he succumbed to his wounds.
Sources: Department of Defense; National Archives; Library of Congress
Reading: The Cherokee Nation: A History. Description:
Conley's book, "The Cherokee Nation: A History"
is an eminently readable, concise but thoughtful account of the Cherokee people from prehistoric times to the present day.
The book is formatted in such a way as to make it an ideal text for high school and college classes. At the end of each chapter
is a source list and suggestions for further reading. Also at the end of each chapter is an unusual but helpful feature- a
glossary of key terms. The book contains interesting maps, photographs and drawings, along with a list of chiefs for the various
factions of the Cherokee tribe and nation. Continued
to being easily understood, a principal strength of the book is that the author questions some traditional beliefs and sources
about the Cherokee past without appearing to be a revisionist or an individual with an agenda in his writing. One such example
is when Conley tells the story of Alexander Cuming, an Englishman who took seven Cherokee men with him to England
in 1730. One of the Cherokee, Oukanekah, is recorded as having said to the King of England: "We look upon the Great King George
as the Sun, and as our Father, and upon ourselves as his children. For though we are red, and you are white our hands and
hearts are joined together..." Conley wonders if Oukanekah actually said those words and points out that the only version
we have of this story is the English version. There is nothing to indicate if Oukanekah spoke in English or Cherokee, or if
his words were recorded at the time they were spoken or were written down later. Conley also points out that in Cherokee culture,
the Sun was considered female, so it is curious that King George would be looked upon as the Sun. The "redness" of Native
American skin was a European perception. The Cherokee would have described themselves as brown. But Conley does not overly
dwell on these things. He continues to tell the story using the sources available. The skill of Conley in communicating his
ideas never diminishes. This book is highly recommended as a good place to start the study of Cherokee history. It serves
as excellent reference material and belongs in the library of anyone serious about the study of Native Americans.
Reading: Storm in
the Mountains: Thomas' Confederate Legion of Cherokee Indians and Mountaineers (Thomas' Legion: The Sixty-ninth North Carolina Regiment). Description:
Vernon H. Crow, Storm in the Mountains, spent 10 years conducting extensive
Thomas Legion's research. Crow was granted access to rare manuscripts, special collections, and privately held diaries
which add great depth to this rarely discussed Civil War legion. He explores and discusses the unit's formation, fighting
history and life of the legion's commander--Cherokee chief and Confederate colonel--William Holland Thomas. Continued below...
Numerous maps and photographs allow the reader to better understand and
relate to the subjects discussed. It also contains rosters which is an added bonus for researchers and genealogists. Crow,
furthermore, left no stone unturned while examining the many facets of the Thomas Legion and his research is conveyed on a
level that scores with Civil War students and scholars alike.
Reading: Touring the Western North Carolina
Backroads (Touring the Backroads). Editorial
Review: This guidebook, unlike most, is so
encyclopedic in scope that I give it as a gift to newcomers to the area. It is also an invaluable reference for the visitor
who wants to see more than the fabulous Biltmore Estate. Even though I am a native of the area, I learned nearly everything
I know about Western North Carolina from this book alone and it is my primary reference.
I am still amazed at how much fact, history and folklore [just enough to bring alive the curve of the road, the odd landmark,
the abandoned building] is packed in its 300 pages. The author, who must have collapsed from exhaustion when she finished
it, takes you on a detailed tour, laid out by the tenth of the mile, of carefully drawn sections of backroads that you can
follow leisurely without getting lost. Continued below...
is completely absent from the text. The lucid style will please readers who want the facts, not editorial comment. This book,
as well as the others in this publisher's backroads series, makes an excellent gift for anyone, especially the many seniors
who have relocated, or are considering relocating to this fascinating region. It is also a valuable reference for natives,
like me, who didn't know how much they didn't know.
Try related studies by using the search engine with: List of Korean War Medal of Honor
Winners (Recipients), Famous Native American Inventors, Famous Native Americans and Native American Indians Inventions, Accomplishments,