Medal of Honor in the Family
Despite the fact that it has been awarded rather rarely, the Medal of Honor is held by two fathers and their.
Arthur MacArthur, who received a Medal of Honor in 1899 after lobbying for over 30 years for recognition of his part in the Battle of Missionary Ridge in 1863, was the father of Douglas MacArthur, who received one in 1942, to honor the heroic defenders of Bataan.
Maj. Gen. Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., the son of the president, received a Medal of Honor in 1944 for heroism during the Normandy invasion. His father, the president, rather confusingly also Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., received a Medal of Honor in 2001, for his heroism on the Heights of San Juan, in Cuba, in 1898, one of the most belated awards on record.
Curiously, these awardees were connected. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who awarded the Medal of Honor to both Douglas MacArthur and the younger Theodore Roosevelt, was a fifth cousin of the former President Roosevelt, and, as a result of a connection through one Sarah Barney Belcher, of Taunton, Massachusetts in the seventeenth century, was a sixth cousin of Douglas MacArthur
Fining Reluctant Militiamen
The Militia Act of 1792 required all adult, white men in the U.S. to enroll in their state militia. Despite tradition, the heirs of the “embattled farmers” proved very reluctant to serve. So by 1800 most states had imposed fines for such offenses as failure to enroll, missing periodic musters, or lacking certain articles of equipment, particularly muskets, which the men were supposed to supply themselves (however common muskets may have been among frontiersmen, they were by no means as common among folks in more settled regions).
The size of the fine varied depending upon the state and the nature of the offense. Missing company training might cost a man $0.75, while failing to show up with a musket might run $2.00. Refusing to serves as a non-commissioned officer could cost a man $10.00. In general, fines levied against officers were a great deal higher than those levied against enlisted men, an interesting example of anti-aristocratic tendencies in American society.
These were very heavy fines. A common workman might earn $150 in the course of a year. In Virginia at the time a pound of beef could be had for $0.05, of mutton or pork, $0.07, of butter, $0.20-$0.25, while a dozen eggs ran $0.08, the same price as a whole chicken.
If a man was particularly recalcitrant, and not only refused to serve, but refused to pay his fines, the state could seize his goods and sell them to the highest bidder to satisfy the debt.
Despite these seemingly draconian penalties, evasion of militia duty was extremely common, so that of perhaps 500,000 active militiamen on the rolls in 1800, fewer than ten percent seem to have even owned a firearm.