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Bill Thayer

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 [decorative delimiter] Class of 1863

Vol. II

(Born Pa.)

William H. H. Benyaurd

(Ap'd Pa.)


Born May 17, 1841.

Military History. — Cadet at the Military Academy, July 1, 1859, to June 11, 1863, when he was graduated and promoted in the Army to

First Lieut., Corps of Engineers, June 11, 1863.

 p870  Served during the Rebellion of the Seceding States, 1863‑66: as Asst. Engineer in the construction of the Defenses of Pittsburg, Pa., June 15 to Aug. 3, 1863, — and of the Fortifications at Portland Harbor, Me., Aug. 3‑11, 1863; with Engineer Battalion (Army of the Potomac), Aug. 24, 1863, to Jan. 24, 1864, being engaged in constructing a bridge over the Rappahannock at Kelly's Ford, Nov. 7, 1863, — and in Mine Run Operations, Nov. 26 to Dec. 3, 1863; on leave of absence, Jan. 24 to Feb., 1864; in command of Company of Engineer Battalion, Feb. 17, 1864, to Apr. 13, 1865 (Army of the Potomac), being engaged in making roads and reconnoissances, building block-houses and defensive works, constructing and dismantling bridges, sapping and mining, and on the staff of corps commanders in the various Battles on the March from the Rapidan to the James, — on General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Kilpatrick's Raid to Richmond, Mar., 1864, — throwing Ponton Bridge across the James River, June 15, 1864, — Operations about and Siege of Petersburg, June 17, 1864, to

(Bvt. Captain, Aug. 1, 1864,
for Gallant and Meritorious Services during the Campaign before Richmond, Va.)

Mar. 3, 1865, — Battles at Deep Bottom, Aug. 15‑20, 1864, — Destruction of Weldon Railroad to Meherrin River, Dec. 7‑10, 1864, — Combat near Dabney's Mill, Feb. 6‑7, 1865, — Battle of Five Forks, Apr. 1, 1865, — and Pursuit of the Rebel Army, terminating in the Capitulation

(Bvt. Major, Apr. 1, 1865,
for Gallant and Meritorious Services at the Battle of Five Forks, Va.)

of Appomattox C. H., Apr. 9, 1865; as Asst. Engineer in making Surveys of the theatre of Military Operations before Petersburg, Va., Apr. 13 to June 19, 1865; and in charge of Engineer Depot at Washington, D. C., June 19 to Aug. 23, 1865.

Served: in command of Engineer Company at West Point, N. Y., Aug. 25, 1865, to Nov. 13, 1866; as Asst. Professor of Engineering, Aug. 31, 1866, to Aug. 28, 1869; as Assistant Engineer of construction

(Captain, Corps of Engineers, May 1, 1866). 31, 1865)

of Superstructure of Rock Island Bridge across the Mississippi, Sep., 1869, to Aug., 1872, — and of works for the preservation of the Falls of St. Anthony, and of Improvement of Minnesota River, Aug., 1872, to Apr., 1873; as Superintending Engineer of the Improvement of the Ouachita and Yazoo Rivers, May 9, 1873, — in charge of Water Gauges on the Mississippi and its principal tributaries, Aug., 1874, — of removal of Red River Raft, La., and of Improvement of Cypress Bayou, and Soda Lake, Tex., Nov., 1874, — and of Surveys and Improvements of various Rivers and Harbors in the Valley of the Lower Mississippi, June 26, 1878, to June 30, 1882, in Illinois, June 19, 1882 (sick leave of

(Major, Corps of Engineers, Mar. 4, 1879)

absence, Dec. 19, 1884, to June 30, 1885, and Nov. 30, 1885, to May 31, 1886), to Nov. 19, 1886, and in Southern California, since Nov. 30, 1886; in temporary charge of defensive works at San Francisco and San Diego, Cal., and surveys and improvements of rivers and harbors in Western California, Mar. 21 to Sep. 23, 1889; and as Member of Commission on reclamation of the alluvial basin of the Mississippi, July 2, 1874, to Jan. 16, 1875, — of Board of Engineers for Protection of Vicksburg, Mis., Water-front, June 28, 1877, to July, 1878, — and for protection of New Orleans Wharves, Nov., 1877, to Apr. 8, 1878, — and of various Engineer Boards, 1881‑90.

Lieut.‑Colonel, Corps of Engineers, July 2, 1889.

Vol. IV
[Supplement, Vol. IV: 1890‑1900]

Military History. —

Medal of Honor

for most distinguished gallantry in action at Five Forks, Va., April 1, 1865: Major General Warren, commanding 5th Army Corps, seeing his troops wavering, seized his headquarters flag, rode to the front accompanied by Lieut. Benyaurd, Corps of Engineers, and calling on his men to follow, the troops resumed the advance and were success­ful. Also, in the same action, Lieut. Benyaurd, with one companion, voluntarily advanced beyond the skirmishers, where he was exposed to imminent peril. In this reconnoissance seven prisoners were captured; while serving as 1st Lieutenant, Corps of Engineers.

— In charge of improvements of the harbors of San Diego, Wilmington, and  p139 San Luis Obispo, and of Napa River and Redwood Creek, from Jan. 1, 1890 to July 22, 1895; of the Colorado River, Ariz., from July 14, 1892 to July 22, 1895. — In charge of the defensive works at Lime Point, Angel, and Alcatraz islands, Cal., and of Yerba Buena Island, July 14, 1891 to July 22, 1895; of Fort San Diego, March 13, 1895 to July 22, 1895. — Member of Board of Engineer Officers to investigate the subject of hydraulic mining in the State of California, until Feb. 3, 1891. — Between Sept. 20, 1890 and Oct. 28, 1890, charged with examination of Colorado River above Yuma, and of various harbors and rivers in California. — Member of Board to establish harbor lines of San Francisco Bay and adjacent waters, Jan. 1, 1890 to Dec. 31, 1895. — Member of Board on project for improvement of Humboldt harbor, Cal., Oct. 18, 1890 to March 13, 1891. — Member of Board of Engineers on deep water harbor on the Pacific coast, between Points Dume and Capistrano, Sept. 30, 1891 to Dec. 8, 1891. — On various Boards for examination of officers for promotion in the Corps of Engineers; also on Boards on harbor lines at San Diego, Cal., at Wilmington and Humboldt harbors, and Napa River, Cal. — On Board for post-office site at San Francisco, April 20, 1895 to July 8, 1895. — Served in Florida, in charge of defenses at Key West and harbor at Key West, Jan. 7, 1896 to Feb. 1, 1898. — In charge of defenses of St. Augustine, and improvement of various harbors and rivers in Florida, etc., Jan. 7, 1896 to May, 1899. — In charge of improvement of Cumberland Sound, Ga., Dec. 6, 1897 to May 31, 1899; of construction of temporary and emergency defenses of the St. John's River, St. Augustine harbor, Biscayne Bay, and Tampa Bay, during the war with Spain, and of the permanent defenses of the St. John's River and Tampa Bay to May 31, 1899. — In charge of surveys at Biscayne Bay and Palm Beach, Feb. 28, 1896 to Jan. 31, 1897; removal of wrecks Man-of‑War harbor, Key West, May 15, 1896 to Sept. 28, 1897; and of preliminary examinations of various harbors and rivers and surveys, from Jan. 16, 1898 to –––––; Member of Board of Engineer Officers to investigate obstructions to navigable waters of the United States in Florida, Louisiana, and other Gulf States, caused by the water hyacinth, July, 1897 to Nov. 30, 1898. — Member of Board of Engineer Officers to consider harbor lines at Savannah, Ga., Oct., 1897 to Dec., 1897. — Member of Board of Engineer Officers for examination of officers of the Corps of Engineers for promotion, July, 1898. — In charge of defenses of Cumberland Sound, Jan. 22 to May 31, 1899. — In charge of the improvement of harbors, channels, rivers, etc., in New York. — To supervise the construction of permanent and temporary bridges; of bridges across the East River between the city of New York and Long Island, across Harlem River, across Bronx River, and across Beach Channel, Jamaica Bay, at Rockaway Beach, etc., June 8, 1899. — Member of Board of Engineer Officers to examine and report upon respective routes and advisability of improving Biscayne Bay, Fla., 1898.

Died Feb. 7, 1900, at New York City, N. Y.: Aged 59.

Buried, West Point Cemetery, West Point, NY.

See Annual Association of Graduates, U. S. M. A., 1900, for an obituary notice, with a portrait.

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