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First Name: William

Last Name: Brown


Gender: Male

Branch: Continental Army (1775 - 1784)

Date of Birth:

Rank: Sergeant

Years Served:
William Brown

•  Revolutionary War (1775 - 1783)


William Brown

Sergeant, Continental Army
1st Recipient of Purple Heart

The dates of birth and death are both unknown.

Continental Army Soldier. A Sergeant in the 5th Connecticut Infantry, he fought in the Revolutionary War and was the first American soldier to be awarded a Purple Heart.

Only three Purple Hearts were awarded, and all were given for valor (not for wounds, as today's Purple Heart Medal is given). General George Washington gave him the award (a cloth patch) for leading a dangerous assault of a kind called "forlorn hope" because few were expected to survive.

Tradition says that Martha Washington sewed the award. Although he survived the war, very little is known about him.

He is buried at the Fulton-Presbyterian Cemetery in Fulton, OH.

Honoree ID: 2291   Created by: MHOH




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