William Henry Harrison Benyaurd

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William Henry Harrison Benyaurd
William Henry Harrison Benyaurd.png
William Henry Harrison Benyaurd
Born (1841-05-17)May 17, 1841
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Died February 7, 1900(1900-02-07) (aged 58)
New York City
Place of burial West Point Cemetery, West Point, New York
Allegiance United States United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Union Army
Years of service 1863–1900
Rank Union Army LTC rank insignia.png Lieutenant Colonel
Battles/wars American Civil War
Awards Medal of Honor

William Henry Harrison Benyaurd (May 17, 1841 – February 7, 1900) was a Union Army officer during the American Civil War who earned the Medal of Honor for his actions at Five Forks, Virginia on April 1, 1865.[1]

Military career[edit]

Benyaurd graduated sixth in his class at West Point in 1863. Upon graduation he was immediately promoted to the rank of first lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers.

In August 1864 he was breveted to the rank of captain for "gallantry and meritorious service" in the campaign before Richmond, Virginia. In April 1865 received a brevet to major for heroism in the Battle of Five Forks. He was awarded the Medal of Honor on September 7, 1897 for the same action.[1]

He was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel in 1889. During the Spanish–American War he was in charge of submarine defenses (i.e., mines) at Jacksonville and Tampa Bay, Florida. He was also in command of defensive fortification on the St. John River in Florida.[2]

He died on active duty in 1900 and is buried at the West Point Cemetery.[3]

He was a member of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States and the Military Order of Foreign Wars.


The United States Army Corps Of Engineers operates a large towboat named in his honor. The Motor Vessel (M/V) Benyaurd[4][5][6] works out of the Corps of Engineers' Mississippi Valley Division in Vicksburg, Mississippi, as is assigned to the Corps' Vicksburg District.


  • 1st Lieutenant – June 11, 1863
  • Brevet Captain – August 1, 1864
  • Brevet Major – April 1, 1865
  • Captain – May 1, 1866
  • Major – March 4, 1879
  • Lieutenant Colonel – July 2, 1889

Medal of Honor citation[edit]

"With one companion, voluntarily advanced in a reconnaissance beyond the skirmishers, where he was exposed to imminent peril; also, in the same battle, rode to the front with the commanding general to encourage wavering troops to resume the advance, which they did successfully."[7]


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Army Center of Military History.
  1. ^ a b "William Henry Harrison Benyaurd". Military Times. Retrieved 2009-04-09. 
  2. ^ Register of the Military Order of Foreign Wars. 1900. pg. 114.
  3. ^ "William H.H. Benyaurd". FindaGrave.com. Retrieved 2009-04-09. 
  4. ^ https://www.flickr.com/photos/vicksburgdistrict/5751895921/in/set-72157625683481765 | Motor Vessel Benyaurd
  5. ^ Motor Vessel Benyaurd
  6. ^ M/V Benyaurd towing barges on the Mississippi River
  7. ^ "Medal of Honor recipients, Civil War (A-L)". United States Army Center of Military History. Retrieved 2009-04-04.