Read the latest entry in the Medal of Honor Blog: Seven Medal of Honor Recipients who Saved Lives Between the Lines

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Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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U.S. Civil War - U.S. Army

William Rufus Shafter

  • Rank: First Lieutenant (Highest Rank: Major General U.S. Army)
  • Conflict/Era: U.S. Civil War
  • Unit/Command:
    Company I,
    7th Michigan Infantry
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: May 31, 1862
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Fair Oaks, Virginia, USA
Lt. Shafter was engaged in bridge construction and not being needed there returned with his men to engage the enemy participating in a charge across an open field that resulted in casualties to 18 of the 22 men. At the close of the battle his horse was shot from under him and he was severely flesh wounded. He remained on the field that day and stayed to fight the next day only by concealing his wounds. In order not to be sent home with the wounded he kept his wounds concealed for another three days until other wounded had left the area.
Medal of Honor Recipient William R. Shafter
Medal of Honor Recipient William R. Shafter
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Galesburg, Kalamazoo County, Michigan
  • Awarded Posthumously: No
  • Presentation Date & Details: June 12, 1895
  • Born: October 16, 1835, Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County, MI, United States
  • Died: November 12, 1906, Bakersfield, CA, United States
  • Buried: San Francisco National Cemetery (MH) (OS-30-46), San Francisco, CA, United States

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