This historical marker honors the Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, Henry Benedict Mattingly. It is located in the Lebanon Junction City Cemetery where Mattingly is buried. It is described below in an article by Stephen Thomas of The Pioneer News which is shared here by permission. All rights to this article and the included photos are reserved by Mr. Thomas and the newspaper.
New marker installed in LJ Cemetery to honor Mattingly’s Congressional Medal
By Stephen Thomas, The Pioneer News Nov 9, 2022
LEBANON JUNCTION — At a high point located in the middle of the Lebanon Junction Cemetery lies a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient.
Thanks to the efforts of a few local residents, visitors can easily spot the grave site, courtesy of a new historical marker.
Presented by the Kentucky Historical Society and the Kentucky Department of Highways, the marker recognizing Henry Benedict Mattingly stands just behind the grave markers of Benedict and his wife, Amanda.
Local historian Jose Rosario, a Vietnam veteran, said the Congressional Medal of Honor was the biggest award an American soldier could receive. Mattingly earned it for his service during the Civil War.
The marker shares that Mattingly was awarded following the Battle of Jonesborough in 1864.
Steve Masden, another local historian, mentioned that Mattingly was nominated for the Medal by President Abraham Lincoln on April 7, 1865, just over a week prior to his assassination.
A native of Loretto in Marion County, Benedict spent the final years of his life in Bullitt. Rosario said he was originally buried at a cemetery in Pitts Point.
In the 1960s, as the military took over that area to become part of Fort Knox, Benedict was moved to Lebanon Junction, alongside Amanda.
Years ago, when Rosario learned that Mattingly was at the cemetery, he immediately realized, and was surprised, that there was no acknowledgement of the medal. He said that by law, via the Department of Defense, that there should have been a mention.
Rosario had referred to Mattingly’s resting place as one of the many neglected Congressional Medal of Honor graves, taking more than 100 years following his death to receive recognition.
Through Rosario’s efforts in contacting state officials, Mattingly eventually received a new plaque in 2010, complete with a major military ceremony. Rosario then continued with further efforts to have the new marker erected earlier this year.
“This is not about me, this is something that all people need to appreciate,” Rosario said. “Receiving the Congressional Medal of Honor, this is a special club. That significance is something that takes you over while you’re fighting. It is something special.”
Lola Miles, Mattingly’s great-granddaughter, attended both graveside ceremonies for the plaque and the marker. Miles reminded that Mattingly was a teenager during his stint in the war, and also mentioned that he played the violin.
“Whenever I’ve told somebody about him being in the Civil War, the first question I always get is which side was he fighting for,” said Miles. “I’m very proud he was on the Union side.”
Sharon Johnson, another great-granddaughter, also attended the ceremonies with her husband, Harold. They were joined by 96-year-old Paul Mullins, a long-time friend of the Mattingly Family.
Sharon expressed her appreciation for her great-grandfather’s accomplishments, as well as the recognition he is now receiving. She and Harold thanked Rosario for his ongoing efforts.
Mattingly joined the 10th Regiment Kentucky Volunteer Infantry in 1861 at age 17, serving with both the Army of Ohio and the Army of the Cumberland. He served through December 1864.
The 10th Regiment served prominently in the Tullahoma and Chickamauga Campaigns prior to the Battle of Jonesborough, which took place Aug. 31 and Sept. 1, 1864. The battle figured prominently in the Atlanta Campaign, in which Union troops occupied the city under General William Tecumseh Sherman.
As a Private, Mattingly earned the Medal for his role in capturing 600 Confederate troops and the flag of the Arkansas 6th and 7th Infantry. Only four soldiers earned medals as a result of the battle, including the event’s volunteer commander, Brigadier General Absalom Baird.
According to Rosario, Mattingly moved forward, risking his own life, during a battle that involved hand-to-hand combat with bayonets and resulting in heavy casualties, to capture the 6th/7th flag, which was used as a symbol to represent the regiment’s honor.
Following his honorable discharge from the Army, Mattingly returned to Marion County. He and Amanda were married in 1867 and eventually moved to the Pitts Point area in 1872 and Shepherdsville in 1880.
When Mattingly died in 1893, Amanda and a bulk of their family then moved to Lebanon Junction, where she passed away in 1926.
Along with the plaque and the marker, Mattingly was recognized in 2013 as Highway 61 in Bullitt County was designated as the Pvt. Henry B. Mattingly Memorial Highway.
In 2019, a portrait of Mattingly, painted by great-grandson Dr. Stephen Mattingly, was donated by the Mattingly Family to the Bullitt County History Museum.
Below is an image insert from Google showing the location of this Bullitt County historical marker near the intersection of Highway 44 and Buckman Street in Shepherdsville. You can use the arrows in the upper left corner to move the image, or use the plus and minus signs to zoom in or out. You may also put the cursor on the map and drag the image to where you want it.