Medal of Honor Recipients
The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force that can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States. Recipients receive the Medal of Honor from the president on behalf of Congress. It was first awarded during the Civil War and eligibility criteria for the Medal of Honor have changed over time.
Recipients buried or memorialized here:
Chief Boatswain’s Mate James Elliott Williams (Vietnam). James Elliott Williams, a native of South Carolina, enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1947, and retired in 1967 as one of the most highly decorated sailors in U.S. Navy history, having received the Navy Cross, Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Navy and Marine Corps Medal among other commendations. Williams received the Medal of Honor in 1968 for actions in the Mekong Delta, Republic of Vietnam. On October 31, 1966, Williams’s patrol was attacked and during the three-hour battle, he exposed himself to the enemy to direct the counter-fire. Williams’s patrol took out 65 enemy boats and, that day, defeated guerilla forces. He died October 13, 1999, and is buried in Section F, Site 177.
Florena Budwin was the bride of a captain from Pennsylvania. After Captain Budwin joined the federal forces, his bride disguised herself as a man and donned a uniform, hoping to find her husband. She was captured near Charleston, S.C., in 1864 and sent to Florence in the autumn of that year. After arriving at the stockade with thousands of other Union troops, she took sick as the rations were meager and medical supplies scarce. While the camp physician was making a routine examination, he found that one of his patients was a woman. She was moved to separate quarters and given food and clothing by the sympathetic women of Florence. When she recovered, she told a most remarkable story of how she had donned a federal uniform so as to serve by the side of her husband, that her husband has been killed, and that she was captured. After Florena grew strong, she stayed on at the prison as a nurse, and her devotion for her husband was bestowed on the hundreds of soldiers who were suffering from lack of food and medicine. A few months later, she fell sick a second time and did not recover. She died on Jan. 25, 1865 (Section D, Site 2480).