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First Name: Hugh

Last Name: Purvis

Birthplace: Philadelphia, PA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Marines (present)

Date of Birth: 05 March 1843

Date of Death: 12 February 1922

Rank: Corporal

Years Served: 1869-73, 1874-79, 1879-84
Hugh Purvis

•  Korean Expedition (1871)


Hugh Purvis
Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps

Hugh Purvis was born on 5 March 1843 in Philadelphia, PA.

Purvis enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps on 27 October 1869. He reported immediately to the Marine detachment on board the USS Alaska that was soon departing for the Far East.

On 11 June 1871, then-Private Purvis was serving on the USS Alaska during the Korean Expedition.

The U.S. Expedition to Korea in 1871, also known as Sinmiyangyo (Western Disturbance of the Year Sinmi year), was the first American military action in Korea. It took place predominantly on and around the Korean island of Ganghwa. The reason for the presence of the American military expeditionary force in Korea was to support an American diplomatic delegation sent to establish trade and diplomatic relations with Korea and to ascertain the fate of the General Sherman merchant ship.

On 8 February 1872, Private Hugh Purvis was a recipient of the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his heroic actions on 11 June 1871.

Medal of Honor:

Rank and organization. Private, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 5 March 1843, Philadelphia, PA. Accredited to: Pennsylvania. G.O. No. 169, 8 February 1872.


On board the USS Alaska during the attack on and capture of the Korean forts, 11 June 1871. Braving the enemy fire, Purvis was the first to scale the walls of the fort and capture the flag of the Korean forces.

Purvis was discharged in 1873 and then served two additional tours with the Marine Corps: 1874-79 and 1879-84, rising to the rank of Corporal.

Death and Burial

Private Hugh Purvis died on 12 February 1922. He is buried at Saint Anne's Cemetery, Annapolis, MD, in the Cedar Bluff Section, Lot 154.

Honoree ID: 3323   Created by: MHOH




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