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William Smith
Born 1838
Died January, 12, 1902 (aged 63–64)
Place of birth Ireland
Place of death Merrimack County, New Hampshire
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch Union Navy
Rank Quartermaster
Unit USS Kearsarge (1861)

American Civil War

  • Cherbourg, France
Awards Medal of Honor

William Smith (1838 – January 12, 1902) was born in Ireland and was a Union Navy sailor during the American Civil War who received America's highest military decoration the Medal of Honor for his actions at Cherbourg, France. He was buried at Blossom Hill Cemetery in Concord, Merrimack County, New Hampshire.[1]

Medal of Honor citation[edit | edit source]

US Navy Medal of Honor (1862 original).png

Rank and Organization:

Quartermaster, U.S. Navy. Born: 1838, Ireland. Accredited to: New Hampshire. G.O. No.: 45, 31 December 1864.


Served as second quartermaster on board the U.S.S. Kearsarge when she destroyed the Alabama off Cherbourg, France, 19 June 1864. Acting as captain of the 11-inch pivot gun of the second division, Smith carried out his duties courageously and deserved special notice for the deliberate and cool manner in which he acted throughout the bitter engagement. It is stated by rebel officers that this gun was more destructive and did more damage than any other gun of Kearsarge.[2][3]

See also[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

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