Born October 10, 1845
Died August 23, 1899
Place of burial Fort Vancouver Military Cemetery, Vancouver, Washington
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1866 - 1898
Rank Ordnance Sergeant
Unit 9th Cavalry Regiment
Coast Artillery Corps, Ft. Stevens, Oregon
Battles/wars American Indian Wars
Awards Medal of Honor
Moses Williams (October 10, 1845 – August 23, 1899) was a Buffalo Soldier in the United States Army and a recipient of America's highest military decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions in the Indian Wars of the western United States.
Williams joined the newly formed 9th Cavalry in 1866. Having been illiterate before joining the army, he learned to read and write, reaching the rank of First Sergeant just two years later.
By August 16, 1881, Williams was serving in Company I of the 9th Cavalry Regiment. On that day he participated in an engagement in the foothills of the Cuchillo Negro Mountains in New Mexico. For his actions during the battle, Williams was awarded the Medal of Honor fifteen years later, on November 12, 1896.
Williams became one of the first African-American Ordnance Sergeants in 1886, and starting in 1895, served at Fort Stevens, Oregon, where he was charged with the care of large coastal gun emplacements. He left the Army in 1898 due to health issues and died the next year at the age of 53. He was buried in Fort Vancouver Military Cemetery, Vancouver, Washington.
Medal of Honor citation
First Sergeant Williams' official Medal of Honor citation reads:
Rallied a detachment, skillfully conducted a running flght of 3 or 4 hours, and by his coolness, bravery, and unflinching devotion to duty in standing by his commanding officer in an exposed position under a heavy fire from a large party of Indians saved the lives of at least 3 of his comrades.