The Medal of Honor is the United States' highest award for military valor in action. One recipient of it, Andrew Davidson, is buried in Lakewood Cemetery.
Davidson received the award for his actions during a battle in the Civil War. The citation states that he was "One of the first to enter the enemy's works, where, after his colonel, major, and one-third of the company's officers had fallen, he gallantly assisted in rallying and saving the remnant of the command."
Davidson was born in 1840 in Scotland. In the Civil War he was a First Lieutenant in the Army and eventually achieved the rank of Colonel. He was a commanding officer of Company H of the 30th United States Colored Infantry Regiment, which was composed of African American enlisted men commanded by white officers.
He received the award for his actions on July 30, 1864 during the Crater Mine Battle in Petersburg, Virginia. A group of Union soldiers, who were also Pennsylvania miners, had tunneled underground to a position underneath a Confederate position. They filled the mine with explosives and detonated them. Union soldiers, many of them U.S. Colored Troops, then charged into and around the mine. However, Confederate soldiers quickly launched a counterattack, and the Union side suffered terrible casualties.
Andrew Davidson's gallantry and leadership on that day were recognized when he was presented with the Medal of Honor in October 1892.
He died on November 10, 1902, in Bath, NY.
Each year on Memorial Day the American Legion Post of Cooperstown honors the memory of Andrew Davidson by placing a wreath on his grave.
Visit his page on the Congressional Medal of Honor Society website: https://www.cmohs.org/recipients/andrew-davidson-1 .
Read more about the Crater Mine Battle here: https://www.battlefields.org/learn/civil-war/battles/crater