I was at the archives yesterday and Curtis was just leaving as I was arriving but I did get a chance to show your information to him. I will follow up with him about it next time he is in. One thing he did say was that the metal of honor could have been issued by the State of Kentucky and not the United states. He also said that just because it was issued from Newport doesn't necessarily mean he was in Kentucky. We have all the Civil War Pension applications at the archives and I will take a look through them for Robert. i did check through the 1851 census for New Mexico Territory but he wasn't there. i also found a Robert McDonald in 1840 Monroe Co., NY census which is relativley near Erie, so I will check him out too. The other thing that Curtis said was that he doubted that the MOH files were lost and that maybe you should try again with a different person. I have heard that from other people too about "missing" files with the NARA.