Maj. Gen. Frank Dwight Baldwin
Two-Time Medal of Honor Recipient
From The U.S. Department of Defense
Just 19 men have had the privilege of being two-time Medal of Honor recipients. The first individual to receive this honor was U.S. Army Major General Frank Dwight Baldwin, who received his Medals of Honor for Civil War bravery and for saving two child hostages years later. Baldwin would go on to have a storied career that lasted through World War I.
Baldwin was born on June 26, 1842, to Francis and Betsy Ann Baldwin in Manchester, Michigan.
Civil War - 1st Medal of Honor
Over 19 years later and just a few months into the Civil War, Baldwin would enlist in the Volunteer Army as a Second Lieutenant. He initially enlisted with the Michigan Horse Guards but didn't last long, later rejoining in September 1862 as a First Lieutenant with the 19th Michigan Volunteer Infantry.
Throughout the Civil War, Baldwin would be captured twice by the Confederates. In 1864, he rose to the rank of Captain and was reassigned to the 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division, 20th Corps of Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman's Army.
On July 12, 1864, Captain Baldwin fought back a Confederate charge, then led his company on a countercharge in battle at Peachtree Creek, Georgia. Despite intense enemy fire, Baldwin charged ahead and was first to break the enemy line. During the fight, Baldwin captured two armed Confederate officers and a Georgia regimental flag, known as a "guidon."
For his efforts, Baldwin was awarded the Medal of Honor. Though he would not receive it until December 3, 1891.
Post-Civil War - 2nd Medal of Honor
After the war ended, Baldwin was discharged and attended Hillsdale College. But he desired a return to the Army, so he accepted a commission in 1866 as a Second Lieutenant in the 19th U.S. Regular Infantry. This was two steps down in rank from what he attained as a volunteer soldier, though that didn't bother him.
In 1867, Baldwin married Alice Blackwood, who he'd met in 1863 shortly after one of his stints in captivity with the Confederates. They had a daughter named Juanita.
On November 8, 1874, then-1st Lt. Baldwin led two companies on a mission against a Native American camp at McClelland's Creek, Texas. The soldiers were outnumbered, but Baldwin knew the enemy was traveling with two girls, a 7- and a 5-year-old. According to the Texas State Historical Association, their family had been attacked by the natives in Kansas. Most of their family was killed but the girls were taken hostage.
Baldwin knew if he and his party waited for reinforcements, the natives would likely escape and possibly kill the girls. So, he led his men on a raid into the camp. The natives were so surprised that they abandoned the village and most of their belongings.
According to the TSHA, Army scouts were riding through the camp when they found the two girls - emaciated and near starvation - hiding under a pile of buffalo hides.
For leading the raid, Baldwin earned a second Medal of Honor on March 17, 1894. He also earned the brevet rank of captain. At the time, Baldwin became the first person out of 19 to be awarded the Medal of Honor twice.
An Undeniable Legacy
From that point, Bladwin's legacy would only grow. He served as a Colonel in the Philippine-American War - formerly known as the Philippine Insurrection - which lasted from 1899 to 1902. In that final year of conflict, he was promoted to Brigadier General and returned from the Philippines a year later. Baldwin would then be assigned to command the Department of Colorado - which was a division of the Army at the time.
In June of 1906, Baldwin retired and chose to remain in Colorado. He briefly came out of retirement during World War I when the state's governor asked him to serve as the Adjutant General for the Colorado National Guard.
On April 22, 1923, Frank Dwight Baldwin died at the age of 80 in Denver, Colorado.