On this Monday, Dec. 19, 2016, picture of Stacey Parobek, Nevada for the Republican Rep. Mark Amodei, right, presents the Medal of Honor to Jerry Reynolds in Reno, Nev.
(Stacey Parobek via AP)
RENO, Nev. – A Nevada Army veteran who died without knowing he won the country with the highest medal of courage, and received the honor he is due for almost 140 years, in a ceremony on Monday.
Nevada Rep. Mark Amodei held, an event on his Reno office to a new Medal of Honor Jerry Reynolds, the 82-year-old grandson of the late Private Robert Smith.
Smith fought in a battle against the American Indian tribes in the Dakota Territory, Sept. 9, 1876, when he was 29. The then President Rutherford B. Hayes approved the Medal of Honor for Smith in 1877, for showing “exceptional courage in trying to dislodge Indians secreted in a ravine,” according to Army records.
But the award is never made to the veteran, who was born as Harry Reynolds, but used an alias for unknown reasons. His grandson said that the medal was delivered to Camp Sheridan, Nebraska Territory, where Smith had previously lived, but someone else signed for the package.
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Smith returned to using his birth name after his discharge from the Army, and later moved to Elko, Nevada. He died in 1930, without knowing that he won the prize.
In 2011, the Sons of the Union Veterans of the civil war contact with Jeffrey Reynolds to let him know about his grandfather’s award. Smith had served as a drummer boy in the civil war for enlisting in the Army in 1872, under the pseudonym of.
Jerry Reynolds contacted Amodei’s office this summer to ask for help, getting a new medal. Congress staff worked together with the Army, the Command Awards and Decorations Branch, which announced on Oct. 14 that there is a medal for the family as a symbol of the one, that was never presented to Smith.