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William Edgar Simonds
November 24, 1842(1842-11-24) – March 14, 1903 (aged 60)
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William Edgar Simonds, Medal of Honor recipient
Place of birth Collinsville, Connecticut
Place of death Hartford, Connecticut
Place of burial Canton Center Cemetery Canton, Connecticut
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Union Army
Rank Second Lieutenant
Battles/wars American Civil War
*Battle of Irish Bend
Awards Medal of Honor
Other work Lawyer

William Edgar Simonds (November 24, 1842–March 14, 1903) was a United States Representative from Connecticut and a recipient of the U.S. military's highest award, the Medal of Honor, for his actions as a soldier in the American Civil War.


Early life and education

Born in Collinsville, a neighborhood of Canton, Connecticut, Simonds attended the public school and Collinsville High School. He graduated from Connecticut State Normal School at New Britain in 1860 and became a teacher.

Military career

During the Civil War, Simonds enlisted as a private in Company A of the 25th Regiment, Connecticut Volunteer Infantry, on August 18, 1862. He was promoted to Sergeant Major before being mustered into the service. On April 14, 1863, he participated in the Battle of Irish Bend, Louisiana. It was for his actions at Irish Bend that he would later be awarded the Medal of Honor. Ten days after the battle he became a commissioned officer with a promotion to second lieutenant and was re-assigned to Company I of his regiment.

Political career

After his military service, Simonds attended Yale Law School and graduated in 1865. He was admitted to the bar and commenced the practice of law in Hartford, Connecticut. He served as a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives in 1883 and 1885, and served as Speaker in the latter year.

Simonds was elected as a Republican to the 51st United States Congress (March 4, 1889-March 3, 1891). He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1890 to the 52nd Congress. He then served as United States Commissioner of Patents from 1891 to 1893.

On February 25, 1899, he was issued the Medal of Honor for his action at the Battle of Irish Bend thirty-six years earlier.

After leaving politics, Simonds resumed the practice of law. He died in Hartford, Connecticut, on March 14, 1903, and was buried at Canton Center Cemetery in his hometown of Canton, Connecticut.

Medal of Honor citation

ank and organization: Sergeant Major, 25th Connecticut Infantry. Place and date: At Irish Bend, La., April 14, 1863. Entered service at: Canton, Conn. Birth: ------. Date of issue: February 25, 1899.


Displayed great gallantry, under a heavy fire from the enemy, in calling in the skirmishers and assisting in forming the line of battle.[1]

See also


  1. ^ "Civil War Medal of Honor Recipients (M-Z)". Medal of Honor Citations. U.S. Army Center of Military History. June 8, 2009. Retrieved 2007-11-28.  


PD-icon.svg This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.



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