William Densmore

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William Densmore
Born 1843
New York
Died June 17, 1865 (aged 21–22)
Place of burial Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Navy
Rank Chief Boatswain's Mate
Unit USS Richmond
Battles/wars American Civil War
 • Battle of Mobile Bay
Awards Medal of Honor

William Densmore (1843 – June 17, 1865) 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 1843 in New York, Densmore was still living in that state when he joined the Navy. He served during the Civil War as a chief boatswain's mate and gun captain on the USS Richmond. At the Battle of Mobile Bay on August 5, 1864, he "fought his gun with skill and courage" despite heavy fire. For this action, he was awarded the Medal of Honor four months later, on December 31, 1864.[1][2]

Densmore'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, Densmore 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.[2]

Densmore died on June 17, 1865, at age 21 or 22 and was buried in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[1]


  1. ^ a b "William Densmore". Hall of Valor. Military Times. Retrieved September 26, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Civil War Medal of Honor Recipients (A–L)". Medal of Honor Citations. United States Army Center of Military History. June 26, 2011. Retrieved September 26, 2012. 

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