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MEDIA ADVISORY: Rep. Amodei to Issue Replacement Medal of Honor to Jerry Reynolds

December 9, 2016
Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                 Contact: Logan Ramsey, 202-225-6155

Dec. 09, 2016

RENO, Nev. – On Monday, Dec. 19 at 11:00 A.M. PST, Congressman Mark Amodei (NV-02) will issue a replacement Medal of Honor to Private Robert Smith’s grandson, Jerry Reynolds. Smith was awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery displayed while serving in action at Slim Buttes, Dakota Territory on Sept. 9, 1876 – but never knew of the award before passing away on Jan. 5, 1930. Jerry Reynolds (age: 82), as Smith’s closest surviving relative, will be accepting the replacement on behalf of their family. Accompanying Jerry will be his second cousin, Roy Reynolds, Roy’s wife Johanna Reynolds, and his friends Robert Vizina, and Col. Warren Walters (USMC Ret.) – all of Reno. He will also be joined by his friends Robert, Betty, and Win Smith of Elko. The ceremony will be held at Congressman Amodei’s Reno District Office located at 5310 Kietzke Lane, Suite 103. Members of the media who plan to attend should arrive by 10:30 AM PST.                             


WHAT: Rep. Amodei to Issue Replacement Medal of Honor to Jerry Reynolds

WHEN:Monday, Dec. 19 at 11:00 AM PST

LOCATION:Rep. Amodei’s Reno District Office located at 5310 Kietzke Lane, Suite 103


Private Robert Smith was born as Harry Reynolds in Memphis, TN on Aug. 8, 1847. According to the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Mr. Reynolds served as a drummer boy in the Civil War before enlisting in the U.S. Army on Oct. 14, 1872 under the pseudonym ‘Robert Smith’. The exact motivation for an alias is unknown. However, Smith maintained the alias until his discharge in 1877 – at which point he relocated to Elko and reassumed his birth name.

On Oct. 16, 1877, U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes, in the name of Congress, approved the award of the Medal of Honor to Private Robert Smith (AKA: Harry Reynolds).Mr. Reynolds passed away in Elko on Jan. 5, 1930 without he or his family ever knowing about the Medal of Honor– until 2011 – when his grandson, Jerry Reynolds, was informed of his grandfather’s decoration by the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. The organization contacted the Medal of Honor Society and confirmed that the award of a Medal of Honor to Private Robert Smith (AKA: Harry Reynolds) was approved on Oct. 16, 1877.

Realizing the Medal had never been presented, in June 2016, Jerry Reynolds requested assistance from Rep. Amodei’s office in his attempt to obtain a Medal of Honor. Rep. Amodei’s staff contacted the Army’s Command Awards & Decorations Branch (ADB) on Jerry Reynolds’ behalf, and on October 14, 2016, the ADB announced they would be proud to provide the family with a new Medal of Honor as a symbol of the one earned but never presented so many years ago.