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William Thomas Simmons



Fading light dims the sight,
And a star gems the sky,
    Gleaming bright.
From afar drawing nigh,    
    Falls the night.

Day is done, gone the sun,
From the lake, From the hills,
    From the sky.
All is well, safel
y rest,
    God is nigh.

Then good night, Peaceful night,
Till the light of the dawn
    Shineth bright,
God is near, do not fear,
  Friend, good night.

St. Helena Public Cemetery

Born:  January 29, 1843 at Greene County, IL

Entered Service in the US Army from Springfield, IL

Earned The Medal of Honor During the Civil War For heroism February 25, 1865 at Nashville, TN

Died:  December 27, 1908 at the age of 65

In action against rebel forces at Nashville, Tennessee, on December 16, 1864, while leading his men in a charge on the enemy positions, First Lieutenant William Simmons was first to enter the enemy's works where he captured the flag of the 34th Alabama Infantry. He recalled: "Just before the assault all the boys in my company as well as myself were commenting upon a Confederate flag (the stars and bars) planted on the enemy's entrenchment directly in our front. Several of us had remarked, banteringly, that we would have the flag before dark, when the order came to assault. We had been under a heavy fire but as we started forward the regiment in our immediate front wavered and became somewhat broken up under the murderous fire, so that my regiment pressed forward and , passing them, dashed on about 200 yards. A moment later my captain fell. I was left in command of the company, and leaving my place as file closer I sprang to the front and led the way, making straight for the flag. I was first to reach the breastworks, and demanded the surrender of the colors. The Confederate sergeant attempted to run away and I was compelled to shoot, wounding him and thereby securing the flag."



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