David L. Bass

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David L. Bass
Civil War era Navy Medal of Honor
Born 1842
Died 15 October 1886 (aged 43–44)
Buried at Wilcox Cemetery, Little Falls, New York
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Navy
Rank Seaman
Unit USS Minnesota
Awards Medal of Honor

David L. Bass (1842 – 15 October 1886) was a Union Navy sailor in the American Civil War and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his actions at the Second Battle of Fort Fisher.


Born in Ireland, Bass immigrated to the United States and settled in New York. He joined the US Navy and by January 1865 was serving as a seaman on the USS Minnesota. He participated in the assault on Fort Fisher near Wilmington, North Carolina. With a landing party from the Minnesota, he advanced through heavy fire toward the fort, reaching the surrounding palisades. Most of the men then made a panicked retreat, but Bass stayed on the field until darkness fell, when he and the remainder of the attacking force made an orderly withdrawal, carrying out wounded comrades, abandoned weapons, and battle flags. For these actions, he was awarded the Medal of Honor on 22 June 1865.[1]

After the war, Bass lived in Little Falls, New York, and worked as a blacksmith. He died at age 43 or 44 and was buried at Wilcox Cemetery in Little Falls.[2]

Medal of Honor citation[edit]

Bass' official Medal of Honor citation reads:

On board the U.S.S. Minnesota in action during the assault on Fort Fisher, 15 January 1865. Landing on the beach with the assaulting party from his ship, S/man Bass advanced to the top of the sand hill and partly through the breach in the palisades despite enemy fire which killed and wounded many officers and men. When more than two-thirds of the men became seized with panic and retreated on the run, he remained with the party until dark, when it came safely away, bringing its wounded, its arms, and its colors.[1]

See also[edit]


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Army Center of Military History.
  1. ^ a b "Civil War Medal of Honor recipients (A–L)". Medal of Honor citations. United States Army Center of Military History. 6 August 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  2. ^ Handelman, David (28 June 2009). "Questions surround Medal of Honor recipient's grave". Observer-Dispatch. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 

External links[edit]