Rep. Amodei Issues Replacement Medal of Honor to Late Soldier's Family (2016)

KTNV Channel 2 Reno

Congressman Mark Amodei issued a replacement Medal of Honor to Private Robert Smith's grandson, after discovering that the original medal was never issued. 



Smith’s closest surviving relative, 82-year-old Jerry Reynolds, accepted the replacement on behalf of the family, at Amodei’s Reno office Monday morning. 

Accompanying Jerry were 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 was also be joined by his friends Robert, Betty, and Win Smith of Elko.   

Robert Smith was awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery displayed while serving in action at Slim Buttes, Dakota Territory on September 9, 1876 – but never knew of the award before passing away on January 5, 1930.

Private Robert Smith was born as Harry Reynolds in Memphis on August 8, 1847. According to the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Reynolds served as a drummer boy in the Civil War before enlisting in the U.S. Army on October 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 October 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 (Harry Reynolds). Reynolds passed away in Elko on January 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 (Harry Reynolds) was approved on Oct. 16, 1877. But, the medal was never presented, and in June 2016, Jerry Reynolds requested assistance from Rep. Amodei’s Office. 

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. 


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    repName Congressman Mark Amodei  
    helpWithFedAgencyAddress 332 Cannon House Office Building
    Washington, DC 20515
    district 2nd District of Nevada  
    academyUSCitizenDate July 1, 2016  
    academyAgeDate July 1, 2016  
    academyApplicationDueDate October 20, 2016  
    repStateABBR NV  
    repDistrict 2  
    repState Nevada  
    repDistrictText 2nd  
    SponsoredBills Sponsored Bills  
    CoSponsoredBills Co-Sponsored Bills  
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