Doc. 29.-Medals of honor to seamen.
Navy Department, July 10, 1863.General order, no. 17. the following-named petty officers and others have been recommended to the Department, agreeably to the requirements of General Order No. 10, of April third, 1863, in such terms as, in the opinion of the Secretary of the Navy, to entitle them to the “Medal of honor,” authorized by an act of Congress approved December twenty-first, 1861, to be bestowed upon “such petty officers, seamen, and marines as shall most distinguish themselves by gallantry in action and other seamanlike qualities during the war.” George Bell, captain of the after-guard, United States frigate Santee, was pilot of the boat engaged in cutting out the rebel armed schooner Royal Yacht from Galveston Bay, November seventh, 1861, and evinced more coolness in passing the four forts and the rebel steamer General Rusk than was ever before witnessed by his commanding officer. Although severely wounded in the encounter, displayed extraordinary courage under the most painful and trying circumstances. William Thompson, Signal Quartermaster, United States steamer Mohican, in the action at Hilton Head, November seventh, 1861, steered the ship with a steady hand and a bold heart under the batteries; was wounded by a piece of shell, but remained at his station until he fell from loss of blood. Leg since amputated. John Williams, Boatswain's Mate, United States steamer Mohican, in the action at Hilton Head, November seventh, 1861. Captain of eleven-inch gun; was conspicuous for his cool courage, and pleasant, cheerful way of fighting, losing few shots and inspiring his gun's crew with his manner. Matthew Arthur, Signal Quartermaster, United States steamer Carondelet, at the reduction of Forts Henry and Donelson, February sixth and fourteenth, 1862, and other actions, most faithfully, effectively, and valiantly performed all the duties of a Signal Quartermaster and captain of rifled bow-gun, and conspicuous for valor and devotion. John Mackie, Corporal of Marines, United States steamer Galena, in the attack on Fort Darling, at Drury's Bluff, James River, May fifteenth, 1862, particularly mentioned for his gallant conduct and services and signal acts of devotion to duty. Matthew McClelland, first-class fireman; Joseph E. Vantine, first-class fireman; John Rush, first-class fireman; John Hickman, second-class fireman, United States steamer Richmond, in the attack on the Port Hudson batteries, March fourteenth, 1863, when the fire-room and other parts of the ship were filled with hot steam from injury to the boiler by a shot, these men, from the first moment of the casualty, stood firmly at their posts, and were conspicuous in their exertions to remedy the evil by hauling the fires from the injured boiler — the heat being so great from the combined effects of fire and steam that they were compelled, from mere exhaustion, to relieve each other every few minutes until the work was accomplished. Robert Anderson, Quartermaster in the United States steamers Crusader and Keokuk, exhibited in the former vessel, on all occasions, in various skirmishes and fights, the greatest intrepidity and devotion. In the latter vessel, during the attack on Charleston, was stationed at the wheel, and when the shot penetrated, scattering the iron, desired to cover his commanding officer with his person. Peter Howard, Boatswain's Mate ; Andrew Brinn, seaman; P. R. Vaughn, Sergeant of Marines, United States steamer Mississippi, in the attack on the Port Hudson batteries, night of March fourteenth, 1863. Commended for zeai and courage displayed in the performance of unusual and trying services, whilst the vessel was aground and exposed to a heavy fire. Samuel Woods, seamen, United States steamer Minnesota, but temporarily on board the United States steamer Mount Washington, Nansemond River, April fourteenth, 1863, fought his gun with the most determined courage; plunged into the stream and endeavored to save a shipmate who had been knocked overboard by a shell, and was conspicuous for his tender care of the wounded. Henry Thielberg, seaman, United States steamer Minnesota, but temporarily on board the United States steamer Mount Washington, Nansemond River, April fourteenth, 1863, conducted himself with the highest coolness and courage, and volunteered to go upon the pilot-house to watch the movements of the enemy, which position he did not leave until ordered down, although the  balls flew thick around him, and three struck within a few inches of his head. Robert B. Wood, Cockswain, United States steamer Minnesota, but temporarily on board the United States steamer Mount Washington, Nansemond River, April fourteenth, 1863, behaved with a courage and coolness that could not be surpassed; did not leave his post, although he had received a severe contusion on the head from a partially spent ball, and ventured in an open boat to carry a hawser under a heavy fire. Robert Jourdan, Cockswain, United States steamor Minnesota, but temporarily on board the United States steamer Mount Washington, Nansemond River, April fourteenth, 1863. Performed every duty with the utmost coolness and courage, and showed an unsurpassed devotion to the service. Thomas W. Hamilton, Quartermaster, United States steamer Cincinnati, in an attack on the Vicksburgh batteries, May twenty-seventh, 1863, was severely wounded while at the wheel, but afterward returned to “lend a hand,” and had to be sent below. Frank Bois, Quartermaster, United States steamer Cincinnati, in an attack on the Vicksburgh batteries, May twenty-seventh, 1863. Coolness in making signals, and in nailing the flag to the stump of the forestaff under a heavy fire. Thomas Jenkins, seaman; Martin McHugh, seaman; Thomas E. Corcoran, landsman; Henry Dow, Boatswain's Mate, United States steamer Cincinnati, in an attack on the Vicksburgh batteries, May twenty-seventh, 1863. All conspicuous for coolness and bravery under a severely accurate fire. “These were no ordinary cases of performance of duty.” John Woon, Boatswain's Mate, United States steamer Pittsburgh, in an engagement with the batteries at Grand Gulf, April twenty-ninth, 1863, had been confined to his hammock several days from sickness, yet insisted on and took command of the gun of which he was captain, fought it for over two hours, and only left it when no longer able to stand. Conduct uniformly good. Christopher Brennen, seaman, United States steamer Mississippi, (but belonging to the Colorado,) in the capture of Forts St. Philip and Jackson, and New-Orleans, April twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth, 1862, by his courageous example to those around him, attracted the particular attention of his commanding officer; was the life and soul of the gun's crew. Edward Ringold, Cockswain, United States steamer Wabash, in the engagement at Pocataligo, October twenty-second, 1862, solicited permission to accompany the howitzer corps, and performed his duty with such gallantry and presence of mind as to attract the attention of all around him. Knowing there was a scarcity of ammunition, he came up through the whole line of fire with his “shirt slung over his shoulders and filled with fixed ammunition, which he had brought two miles from the rear.” A “Medal of honor” is accordingly awarded to each of the persons above named, which will be transmitted upon application being made through their commanding officers respectively.
Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy.