49th Indiana's own Medal of Honor Recipient


49th Indiana's own Medal of Honor Recipient

photo of Kendall
Medal of Honor


Voluntarily led the company in a charge and was first to enter the enemy's works, taking a number of prisoners.

DATE AND PLACE OF ACTION: 17 May 1863 at Black River Bridge, Mississippi.

WILLIAM WESLEY KENDALL, 1st Sgt. Company A, 49th Indiana Infantry. Entered service at Jeffersonville, Clark County, IN and was born in Hall Township, Dubois County, IN 31 August 1839, and enlisted Oct. 31, 1861, in Co. A, 49th Indiana Infantry. He was soon promoted 1st Sergeant, June 18,1863 (62?), and afterwards to 1st Lieutenant of his company, and was wounded once during the war. He served till the very last shot was fired, and was present in many battles, being discharged September 13, 1865.

DESCRIPTION OF ACTION: At Black River Bridge, on May 17th, 1863, Sgt. William W. Kendall, Co. A, 49th Indiana Infantry gained his Medal. Our troops under General Lawler struck the enemy, who held a strong position, well defended. The 49th was one of the regiments in the charge and nearly all the officers were shot down in the first rush of our troops. All the officers of Kendall's Company were killed or wounded and early in the action he found himself in command of his company, and when nearing the enemy's works was confronted by a ditch almost ten feet wide. He was an athlete and leaping the opening, he landed on a pile of planks. Quickly throwing them one by one across the opening he made a way for his men to follow, and when a number had crossed he led a charge on the enemy's line, capturing guns and more prisoners than he had men in his command.


DIED AT: West Baden, IN ,14 August 1920 and is buried at the Ames Chapel Cemetery, Abydel, Indiana.

Headstone of Kendall

As you can see in the photo above, Mr. Kendall has no recognition on his headstone for the fact he was awarded the Medal of Honor. We are trying to rectify this. We would like to add a bronze plaque or marker stating that Mr. Kendall was awarded with the Medal of Honor. We are presently checking into this. At this time, we are still checking into several posibilites for plaques. We hope to resolve this very soon. We are looking for donations to help fund this project. I feel it is very important to honor Mr. Kendall in this way, his service to his country is what the war was all about. If you'd like to donate a few dollars, please contact me, via Barry Johnson, or send a check to:

49th Indiana
C/O Mark Guyer
1330 N. 10th Street
Noblesville, Indiana

and in the memo, write, donation for Kendall Plaque...

Thank you for any help you can give!

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