Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Westchester) presented Sparkill resident, Viola Silverman with her great grandfather’s long lost Civil War medal at his New City office on Wednesday.
Silverman’s grandfather, John Ferguson Pratt went for many years unacknowledged for his heroic service as a Sergeant under General Ulysses S. Grant for the Union Army. He honorably served from 1863 to 1865 and was shot and injured on the battlefields of Virginia. He was then transferred to Veterans Reserve Corps on June 21, 1864. Later, he was honorably discharged on July 20, 1865. Unfortunately, Pratt passed away in 1892 at the age of 72, 15 years before a service medal was given to those who fought in the Civil War.
“Many of our veterans do not come home to celebrations or receive the recognition they deserve. Pratt received only a $2 a month pension for his injuries suffered at war. When Viola came to my office seeking help to get her great grandfather a headstone, I knew this was just another way we could help honor her great grandfather’s service to country,” said Senator David Carlucci.
The Civil War Campaign Medal presented to Silverman was the first campaign service medal awarded to those who served in the Civil War. The blue and gray ribbons denote the colors of the U.S and confederate troops. Senator Carlucci worked diligently to obtain the replica of the medal previously given out by the Department of War.
“Senator Carlucci and his office went above and beyond to help me and make sure my great grandfather was recognized and honored. I could not thank them enough and really have no words for what this meant to me,” said Viola Silverman.
Senator Carlucci is now working with the Department of Veterans Affairs and Silverman to get Pratt a headstone at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn where Pratt is buried.
Senator Carlucci is encouraging any veterans or family of veterans who have had a similar experience to Silverman, contact his office so he can help make sure they are honored respectfully.