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Amos J. Cummings

Amos Jay Cummings
Born (1838-05-15)May 15, 1838
Conklin, New York
Died May 2, 1902(1902-05-02) (aged 63)
Baltimore, Maryland
Place of burial Clinton Cemetery, Irvington, New Jersey
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch Union Army
Years of service 1862 - 1863
Rank Sergeant Major
Unit 26th New Jersey Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Second Brigade, VI Corps
Battles/wars American Civil War
Awards Medal of Honor

Amos Jay Cummings (May 15, 1838 – May 2, 1902) was a United States Representative from New York and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration, the Medal of Honor.


Born in Conklin, New York, Cummings attended the common schools before being apprenticed to the printing trade at age twelve.[1]

He was with William Walker in his last invasion of Nicaragua in October 1858.

During the Civil War, Cummings enlisted in the Army at Irvington, New Jersey in September 1862 and served as a Sergeant Major in the 26th New Jersey Volunteer Infantry Regiment. He earned the Medal of Honor on May 4, 1863 at Salem Heights, Virginia. His official citation reads: "Rendered great assistance in the heat of the action in rescuing a part of the field batteries from an extremely dangerous and exposed position." His medal was not awarded until several decades later, on March 28, 1894. He was mustered out in June 1863.

After his military service, Cummings filled editorial positions for the New York Tribune under Horace Greeley. He later worked for The New York Sun and the New York Express.

Cummings was elected as a Democrat to the 50th Congress (March 4, 1887-March 3, 1889). He declined renomination in 1888, but was subsequently elected to the 51st Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Samuel S. Cox. He was reelected to the 52nd and 53rd Congresses and served from November 5, 1889, to November 21, 1894, when he resigned. He served as chairman of the Committee on Naval Affairs during the 53rd Congress.

Cummings was elected to the 54th Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Representative-elect Andrew J. Campbell. He was reelected to the 55th, 56th, and 57th Congresses and served from November 5, 1895, until his death in Baltimore, Maryland, on May 2, 1902. He was interred in Clinton Cemetery in Irvington, New Jersey.

Medal of Honor citation

Rank and organization: Sergeant Major, 26th New Jersey Infantry. Place and date: At Salem Heights, Va., 4 May 1863. Entered service at: Irvington, N.J. Born: 15 May 1841, Conklin, N.Y. Date of issue. 28 March 1894.


Rendered great assistance in the heat of the action in rescuing a part of the field batteries from an extremely dangerous and exposed position.[2]

See also



  • Find a Grave
 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  • Retrieved on January 30, 2008
Preceded by
Nicholas Muller
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 6th congressional district

Succeeded by
Frank T. Fitzgerald
Preceded by
Samuel S. Cox
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 9th congressional district

November 5, 1889 – March 3, 1893
Succeeded by
Thomas J. Bradley

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