He was honored with the award on 13 May 1892. Coffey was born in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada on 15 December 1842. At the outbreak of the war he first enlisted into the 2nd Vermont Volunteer Regiment on 3 May 1861, serving for three months.
He mustered into the 4th Vermont Infantry on 10 September of that year.
He was promoted to 3rd Sergeant within this company and participated in several battles including the Siege of Yorktown (1862), Battle of Antietam, Battle of Gettysburg, Battle of Fredericksburg and the Battle of Funkstown. Following the war Coffey married Demis Hattie Burnham, with whom he had one child.
He was involved in the hotel business in Vermont and also served in the state"s National Guard. He died on July 9, 1901 and his remains are interred at the Green Mount Cemetery in Montpelier, Vermont.