Thomas Smith (Medal of Honor)

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Thomas Smith
Born 1838
England
Died October 22, 1905
Place of burial Mountain Home National Cemetery
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Navy
Rank Seaman
Unit USS Magnolia
Battles/wars American Civil War
 • Battle of Natural Bridge
Awards Medal of Honor

Thomas Smith (1838 – October 22, 1905) 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 Natural Bridge.

Born in 1838 in England, Smith joined the U.S. Navy from the state of New York. By March 5, 1865, he was serving as a seaman on the USS Magnolia. On that day and the next, he accompanied a Union Army force during the Battle of Natural Bridge near St. Marks, Florida. He helped transport and fire a naval howitzer throughout the engagement despite heavy Confederate fire. For this action, he was awarded the Medal of Honor three months later, on June 22, 1865.[1][2] He was one of six sailors to receive the medal for manning artillery pieces during the battle, the others being Landsman John S. Lann, Seaman John Mack, Seaman George Pyne, Ordinary Seaman Charles Read, and Coxswain George Schutt.[2][3] He was buried at the Mountain Home National Cemetery in Johnson City, Washington County, Tennessee.[4]

Smith's Medal of Honor citation reads:

As seaman on board the U.S.S. Magnolia, St. Marks, Fla., 5 and 6 March 1865. Serving with the Army in charge of Navy howitzers during the attack on St. Marks and throughout this fierce engagement, Smith made remarkable efforts in assisting transport of the gun, and his coolness and determination in courageously standing by his gun while under the fire of the enemy were a credit to the service to which he belonged.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Thomas Smith". Hall of Valor. Military Times. Retrieved September 9, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c "Civil War Medal of Honor Recipients (M–Z)". Medal of Honor Citations. United States Army Center of Military History. June 26, 2011. Retrieved September 9, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Civil War Medal of Honor Recipients (A–L)". Medal of Honor Citations. United States Army Center of Military History. June 26, 2011. Retrieved September 9, 2011. 
  4. ^ Thomas Smith at Find a Grave