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Published: Thursday, 3/13/2003

Plaque honors top medal winner


WAUSEON - A plaque honoring Oscar Slagle, a Medal of Honor recipient born in Fulton County, now hangs at the county administration building.

The county's Veterans Service Commission bought the $1,100 plaque and placed it on the first floor of the administration building last month, county service officer David Metcalf said.

“It is very important that we recognize people who sacrificed their lives and did good for us,” he said.

The Medal of Honor is the military's highest award for valor in action against an enemy force.

The veterans commission is researching whether another Medal of Honor recipient, Lemuel F. Holland, was born in the county and should be added to the plaque.

The state's Veterans Bicentennial Committee encouraged Ohio counties to honor Medal of Honor recipients that were born, lived, or died within their borders.

“I think it's a great way for Ohio to recognize the contributions of veterans in the year of our 200th birthday,” committee co-chair Shannon Scherer said.

The state committee sent lists to all counties giving the names of Medal of Honor recipients they should recognize. The original list included Mr. Holland in Lawrence County, located at the southern tip of the state.

But Ohio Historical Society records show that Mr. Holland was born in Fulton County.

Roxanne Albert Macioci, a member of the Medal of Honor Historical Society who helped compile the state committee's list, explained the confusion.

She said Mr. Holland's citation shows he was born in Burlington, Ohio. There are communities called Burlington in Fulton and Lawrence counties.

Mr. Slagle and Mr. Holland served during the Civil War in the U.S. Army's 104th Illinois Infantry regiment. The troop was organized in northern Illinois and spent much of the war in Tennessee and Georgia.

Medal of Honor citations state that the two men voluntarily joined a small party that faced heavy fire to capture a stockade and save a bridge in Elk River, Tenn., in July 1863.

Mr. Slagle and Mr. Holland received Medals of Honor in 1897.

Ohio claims 350 Medal of Honor recipients with connections to about 80 counties, Ms. Scherer said. Forty of these counties have agreed to purchase commemorative plaques.

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