Congressional Medal of Honor winner portrayed at Fort Walla Walla Museum



Bob Bennett portrays Fort Walla Walla's only Congressional Medal of Honor winner, Sgt. Michael McCarthy. McCarthy received the medal for his actions in the Nez Perce War.

Fort Walla Walla's only Congressional Medal of Honor winner, Sgt. Michael McCarthy, will be portrayed by Walla Walla author and restaurateur Bob Bennett 2 p.m. Sunday at Fort Walla Walla Museum, 755 Myra Road.

McCarthy was a soldier in the 1st U.S. Calvary stationed at Fort Walla Walla.

In 1877, as a result of broken treaties, encroachment on their traditional lands and pressure from the military to join other bands of the Ni Mii Puu, or Nez Perce people, on designated reservations, several young men of the Wallowa band of the Nez Perce Tribe took deadly vengeance on settlers.

Reluctantly, Chief Joseph and war leaders including his brother Ollokot, White Bird and Looking Glass led their people on a long, desperate but ultimately unsuccessful trek across Idaho, Yellowstone Park and Montana in search of freedom.

As a sergeant during the Nez Perce War, McCarthy was involved in the fierce battle at Whitebird Canyon, the first major skirmish in the war, near today's Lewiston, Idaho, where 34 cavalry men were killed in action.

McCarthy was responsible for bringing the soldiers killed in the Whitebird Canyon battle back to Walla Walla for reburial at Fort Walla Walla Cemetery, where others who died in the Indian Wars are also buried.

He was later awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroism in saving many troopers' lives during that battle.

He retired in Walla Walla as a colonel following service as adjutant of the Washington state militia.

The museum's own Oregon Trail Band, featuring Bob Bohlman, Gordon Hare, Leroy Hogenboom and Neil Busby, begin the afternoon's entertainment at 1:30 p.m. with 19th century popular music.

Museum hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Admission is free to members and children under 6, $3 for children ages 6-12, $6 for seniors 62 and older and students and $7 general admission. Membership includes free admission to more than 40 Living History performances and other benefits, beginning at $25. For more information, contact Fort Walla Walla Museum at 509-525-7703, by e-mail at, or visit


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