Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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

Samuel Woods

  • Rank: Seaman (Highest Rank: Boatswain's Mate)
  • Conflict/Era: U.S. Civil War
  • Unit/Command:
    U.S.S. Mount Washington
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Navy
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: April 14, 1863
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Nansemond River, Virginia, USA
As captain of the gun, served temporarily on board the U.S.S. Mount Washington during the Nansemond River action, 14 April 1863. When one of his comrades was struck by a bullet and knocked overboard, Woods fearlessly jumped into the water and swam after him. Before he reached him, the man sank beneath the surface and Woods promptly swam back to the vessel, went to his gun, and fought it to the close of the action. At the close of the battle, he tirelessly cared for the wounded.
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: California
  • Awarded Posthumously: No
  • Born: 1838, San Francisco, San Francisco County, CA, United States
  • Died: May 23, 1893, Portsmouth, VA, United States
  • Buried: Oak Grove Cemetery (MH), Portsmouth, VA, United States

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