Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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U.S. Civil War - U.S. Navy

Edwin Smith

  • Rank: Ordinary Seaman (Highest Rank: Mate)
  • Conflict/Era: U.S. Civil War
  • Unit/Command:
    U.S.S. Whitehead
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Navy
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: October 3, 1862
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Franklin, Virginia, USA

On board the U.S.S. Whitehead in the attack upon Franklin, Va., 3 October 1862. When his ship became grounded in a narrow passage as she rounded a bend in the Blackwater River, Smith, realizing the hazards of lowering a boat, voluntarily swam to shore with a line under the enemy's heavy fire. His fearless action enabled his ship to maintain steady fire and keep the enemy in check during the battle.

Additional Details
  • Accredited to: New York, New York
  • Awarded Posthumously: No
  • Born: 1841, NY, United States
  • Died: September 15, 1875, Indianola, TX
  • Buried: body not recovered; In Memory Of marker at Port Lavaca Cemetery, Port Lavaca, TX

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