Zenas Randall Bliss (1835 - 1900)

‹ Back to Bliss surname

Is your surname Bliss?

Research the Bliss family

Gen. Zenas R. Bliss, Medal of Honor's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


Birthplace: Johnston, Providence, Rhode Island, United States
Death: Died in Washington, D.C.
Managed by: Elizabeth-Gaye Jeans
Last Updated:

About Zenas Randall Bliss


This officer, to encourage his regimen; which had never before been in action, and which had been ordered to lie down to protect itself from the enemy's fire, arose to his feet, advanced in front of the line, and himself fired several shots at the enemy at short range, being fully exposed to their fire at the time.


Zenas Randall Bliss (April 17, 1835 – January 2, 1900) was an officer and general in the United States Army and a recipient of the Medal of Honor. He formed the first unit of Seminole-Negro Indian Scouts, and his detailed memoirs chronicled life on the Texas frontier.[1]

Bliss was a native of Rhode Island and graduated from West Point in 1854. He served most of his thirty-seven-year career on the Texas frontier, and served in the Union Army during the American Civil War. During the Civil War he was captured by Confederate forces and held as a prisoner of war. Bliss received the Medal of Honor for his actions while leading his regiment at the Battle of Fredericksburg

Bliss was born April 17, 1835 in Johnston, Rhode Island to an upper-middle-class family. His parents were Zenas and Phebe Waterman Randall Bliss.[2] He received an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, in July 1850 when he was only fifteen years old.[1] He graduated from West Point in 1854

view all

Gen. Zenas R. Bliss, Medal of Honor's Timeline

April 17, 1835
Johnston, Providence, Rhode Island, United States
Age 31
Johnston Providence County Rhode Island
Age 43
Westchester County New York
January 2, 1900
Age 64
Washington, D.C.
Arlington National Cemetery at Arlington, Virginia