December 30, 1890 – This Day During The American Indian Wars – Charles Albert Varnum Medal of Honor recipient Charles Albert Varnum (June 21, 1849 – February 26, 1936) was a career United States Army officer.
In 1890, Captain Varnum commanded Company B of the 7th Cavalry at the Wounded Knee Massacre on December 29, against the aging Sioux Chief Big Foot and some 350 of his followers. The following day, during the Drexel Mission Fight at White Clay Creek, his heroics helped ensure a safe withdrawal for his troops.
Captain Varnum‘s official Medal of Honor citation reads:
While executing an order to withdraw, seeing that a continuance of the movement would expose another troop of his regiment to being cut off and surrounded, he disregarded orders to retire, placed himself in front of his men, led a charge upon the advancing Indians, regained a commanding position that had just been vacated, and thus insured a safe withdrawal of both detachments without further loss.