Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War

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Andrew Jackson Smith

The following is the citation of Medal of Honor Recipient Corporal Andrew Jackson Smith of the 55th Massachusetts Infantry, presented posthumously by President William Clinton in January, 2001:

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, March 3, 1863, has awarded in the name of the Congress
the Medal of Honor to
CORPORAL ANDREW JACKSON SMITH
UNITED STATES ARMY

for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty: Corporal Andrew Jackson Smith, of Clinton, Illinois, a member of the 55th Massachusetts Voluntary Infantry, distinguished himself on 30 November 1864 by saving his regimental colors, after the color bearer was killed during al bloody charge called the Battle of Honey Hill, South Carolina. In the late afternoon, as the 55th Regiment pursued enemy skirmishers and conducted a running fight, they ran into a swampy area backed by a rise where the Confederate Army awaited. The surrounding woods and thick underbrush impeded infantry movement and artillery support. The 55th and 54th regiments formed columns to advance on the enemy position in a flanking movement. As the Confederates repelled other units, the 55th and 54th regiments continued to move into flanking positions. Forced into a narrow gorge crossing a swamp in the face of the enemy position, the 55th's Color-Sergeant was killed by an exploding shell, and Corporal Smith took the Regimental Colors from his hand and carried them through heavy grape and canister fire. Although half of the officers and a third of the enlisted men engaged in the fight were killed or wounded, Corporal Smith continued to expose himself to enemy fire by carrying the colors throughout the battle. Through his actions, the Regimental Colors of the 55th Infantry Regiment were not lost to the enemy. Corporal Andrew Jackson Smith's extraordinary valor in the face of deadly enemy fire is in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon him, the 55th Regiment, and the United States Army.

Photograph courtesy of Congressional Medal of Honor Society and submitted by P.Fazzini, Camp #91, Ohio Department, SUVCW. Information from U.S. Army Center of Military History, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, DC.


Andrew Jackson Smith

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