JAMES R. CHURCH
1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry
Las Guasimas, Cuba
24 June 1898
Known to history as the Rough Riders, Col. Roosevelt’s men earned more Medals of Honor on the Charge up San Juan Hill than any other unit in history but that wasn’t the end of the Gallantry the Rough Riders exhibited.
Assistant Surgeon James Church was a simple doctor who volunteered to serve and ended up patching broken men back together in the field.
Church wasn’t content to wait for the wounded to come to him.
He took the initiative and made numerous trips to the battle lines where he acted as a combat medic recovering wounded Soldiers and personally carrying them to the rear then treating their wounds before returning to the front to look for another patient.
Although he could have stayed in the rear, safe from the enemy, Assistant Surgeon James Church braved some of the heaviest enemy fire of the battle to treat and recover his wounded comrades.
Col. Church remained in the Army and deployed as and advisor to the French military before the United States entered the war. In France COl.Church was exposed to chemical warfare and injured ina gas attack. His report on the event and recommendations are the foundation fo the US Army CHemical Corps.
James Robb Church died on May 18, 1923 at the safe of 57. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.