William Downey (Medal of Honor)

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William Downey
Born 1832
Died June 30, 1909
Buried Saint Marys Cemetery, New Bedford, Massachusetts
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1863 - 1865
Rank Private
Unit Massachusetts Company B, 4th Massachusetts Cavalry
Awards Medal of Honor

William Downey (1832 – June 30, 1909) was an Irish soldier who fought in the American Civil War. Downey received the United States' highest award for bravery during combat, the Medal of Honor, for his action at Ashepoo River, South Carolina on 24 May 1864. He was honored with the award on 21 January 1897.[1][2][3]


Downey was born in Ireland in 1832, and joined the US Army from Fall River, Massachusetts in September 1863. He was captured at the Battle of Gainesville, and paroled in April 1865. He was mustered out in June 1865. [4]

Downey died on 30 June 1909 and his remains are interred at Saint Mary's Cemetery in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

Medal of Honor citation[edit]

Volunteered as a member of a boatcrew which went to the rescue of a large number of Union soldiers on board the stranded steamer Boston, and with great gallantry assisted in conveying them to shore, being exposed during the entire time to a heavy fire from a Confederate batter.[1][2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Civil War (A-L) Medal of Honor Recipients". Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "William Downey". Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  3. ^ "U.S. Army Medal of Honor Recipients". Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  4. ^ Massachusetts Soldiers, Sailors and Marines in the Civil War