John Smith (Medal of Honor, b. 1826)
Albany, New York
|Service/branch||United States Navy|
|Rank||Second Captain of the Top|
|Battles/wars||American Civil War
• Battle of Mobile Bay
|Awards||Medal of Honor|
John Smith (born 1826, date of death unknown) was a Union Navy sailor in the American Civil War and a recipient of the U.S. military's highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his actions at the Battle of Mobile Bay.
Born in 1826 in Albany, New York, Smith joined the Navy from that state. By August 5, 1864, he was serving as a second captain of the top and gun captain on the USS Richmond. On that day, during the Battle of Mobile Bay, Alabama, he continued to man his gun despite heavy fire. For this action, he was awarded the Medal of Honor four months later, on December 31, 1864.
Smith's official Medal of Honor citation reads:
As captain of a gun on board the U.S.S. Richmond during action against rebel forts and gunboats and with the ram Tennessee in Mobile Bay, 5 August 1864. Despite damage to his ship and the loss of several men on board as enemy fire raked her decks, Smith fought his gun with skill and courage throughout a furious 2-hour battle which resulted in the surrender of the rebel ram Tennessee and in the damaging and destruction of batteries at Fort Morgan.