b. 22/07/1837 Tiverton, Rhode Island. d. 29/08/1928 East Providence, Rhode Island.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 28/09/1864 Waynesboro, Virginia.
Bliss was born in Tiverton, Rhode Island on 22 July 1837 to James Leonard and Sarah A. Bliss née Stafford. Before the war Bliss completed his law degree at Albany Law School in May 1861 and was called to the bar in New York. That same year he enlisted into the Company B of the 1st Rhode Island Cavalry. The following year he was promoted to captain of Company C. He participated in several Civil War battles including the Battle of Second Bull Run, the Battle of Middleburg within the Gettysburg campaign and the First Battle of Deep Bottom as part of the Siege of Petersburg. It was during the Battle of Waynesboro in September 1864 when he was on duty in the Shenandoah Valley that he performed the act of gallantry that resulted in his capture by Confederate soldiers and earned him his Medal of Honor award after his release from Libby Prison on 5 February 1865.
Bliss mustered out of the army in 1865, following the conclusion of the war. He subsequently married Fanny Amelia Carpenter with whom he had five children. He eventually received his Medal of Honor on 3 August 1897, nearly 33 years after the Battle of Waynesboro.
While in command of the provost guard in the village, he saw the Union lines returning before the attack of a greatly superior force of the enemy, mustered his guard, and, without orders, joined in the defense and charged the enemy without support. He received three saber wounds, his horse was shot, and he was taken prisoner.
BURIAL LOCATION: LAKESIDE-CARPENTER CEMETERY, PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND.
LOTS 379-390 Elm Path
LOCATION OF MEDAL: FAMILY.