Private, Company H, 21st Ohio Infantry, U.S. Army. Awarded for actions in Big Shanty, GA.
April 01, 1862
Buffam, one of the famed Andrews Raiders of Civil War legend, was born on July 7, 1828, in Salem, MA, and enlisted into the 21st Ohio Infantry at Gilead, OH, on September 2, 1861. He was among the 21 men who volunteered for the mission to disrupt Confederate communication and supply lines by stealing a locomotive. In Big Shanty, GA, (now Kennesaw), the men highjacked the General, and driving it north through Georgia, attempting to destroy rail lines as they went.
Pursued by other trains, the Raiders were able to cut telegraph lines and do some damage to tracks before running out of fuel in Ringgold, GA. The men scattered but were eventually captured. Some were tried, convicted and hanged, including Andrews himself, while others became prisoners of war and were eventually exchanged. Buffum died July 20, 1871 and was buried in Auburn, NY.
There are markers and monuments along their route, including Kennesaw, Atlanta, where Andrews was hanged, Ringgold and the Chattanooga National Cemetery, where a large monument bears a replica of the locomotive.
Citation: One of the 19 of 22 men (including 2 civilians) who, by direction of Gen. Mitchell (or Buell), penetrated nearly 200 miles south into enemy territory and captured a railroad train at Big Shanty, Ga., in an attempt to destroy the bridges and track between Chattanooga and Atlanta.