Summary

Civil War Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. Born in Scotland, he served in the Union Navy as a Seaman on board the wooden side-wheel steam warship "USS Metacomet". He was awarded the CMOH for his bravery during the naval actions at Mobile Bay, Alabama, on August 5, 1864. His citation reads "As a member of the boat's crew which went to the rescue of the US Monitor Tecumseh when that vessel was struck by a torpedo in passing the enemy forts in Mobile Bay, 5 August 1864, Seaman Avery braved the enemy fire which was said by the admiral to be "one of the most galling" he had seen, and aided in rescuing from death 10 of the crew of the Tecumseh, eliciting the admiration of both friend and foe." His Medal was awarded to him on January 15, 1866. He remained in the United States Navy after the war, and had a long career serving on the seas.

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1825 1
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11 Oct 1898 1
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Full Name:
James Avery 1
Birth:
1825 1
Scotland 1
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Death:
11 Oct 1898 1
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Burial Place: Captain Ted Conaway Memorial Naval Cemetery Portsmouth Portsmouth City Virginia, USA 1
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Seaman James Avery Navy

James Avery (Medal of Honor) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia   (Redirected from James Avery (sailor)) Jump to: navigation, search For other people named James Avery, see James Avery (disambiguation). James Avery
Medal of Honor recipient Born 1825
Scotland Died October 11, 1898 (aged 72–73) Buried at Captain Ted Conaway Memorial Naval Cemetery
Portsmouth, Virginia Allegiance Service/branch Rank Seaman Unit USS Metacomet (1863) Battles/wars American Civil War Awards Medal of Honor

James Avery (1825 – October 11, 1898) was an American Civil War Union Navy sailor who received the Medal of Honor while serving aboard the USS Metacomet (1863)

Contents Biography

Born in 1825 in Scotland, Avery was living in New York when he joined the Navy. He served during the Civil War as a seaman on the USS Metacomet. At the Battle of Mobile Bay on August 5, 1864, he was among the crew of a small boat sent from Metacomet to rescue survivors of the USS Tecumseh, which had been sunk by a naval mine (then known as a "torpedo"). Despite intense fire, the boat crew was able to pull ten Tecumseh men from the water. For this action, Avery was awarded the Medal of Honor a year and a half later, on January 15, 1866.[1][2] Five other members of the Metacomet boat crew also received the medal: Quarter Gunner Charles Baker, Ordinary Seaman John C. Donnelly, Captain of the Forecastle John Harris, Seaman Henry Johnson, and Landsman Daniel Noble.[2][3]

Many years after the war Avery was serving as a berth-deck cook and it was discovered by the captain that he had won a medal of honor. When asked about the medal he said:

"That can tell you more about it than I can. I did like the rest of the men that day, and I never expected anything more than my pay and rations. We tried to do our duty, and when we saw the men in the other ship being shot down and some drowning, we could only try to help them. God knows it was hard to see them being murdered without much chance for escape"

This incident was reported in the New York Times on January 16, 1898.[4]

Avery later served in one of the bureaus of the Navy Department.

He died on October 11, 1898 and is buried in Captain Ted Conaway Memorial Naval Cemetery Portsmouth, Virginia.[5]

Medal of Honor citation

Rank and organization: Seaman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1825, Scotland. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 71, January 15, 1866.

Citation:

Served on board the U.S.S. Metacomet. As a member of the boat's crew which went to the rescue of the U.S. monitor Tecumseh when that vessel was struck by a torpedo in passing the enemy forts in Mobile Bay, 5 August 1864, S/man Avery braved the enemy fire which was said by the admiral [ David Farragut ] to be "one of the most galling" he had ever seen, and aided in rescuing from death 10 of the crew of the Tecumseh, eliciting the admiration of both friend and foe.[2]

 

USS Metacomet (1863)

USS Metacomet (1863) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search For other ships of the same name, see USS Metacomet.
USS Metacomet Career Name: USS Metacomet Builder: Thomas Stack, Brooklyn, New York Launched: 7 March 1863 Commissioned: 4 January 1864 Decommissioned: 18 August 1865 Fate: Sold, 28 October 1865 General characteristics Type: Steam gunboat Displacement: 1,173 long tons (1,192 t) Length: 205 ft (62 m) Beam: 35 ft (11 m) Draft: 8 ft 6 in (2.59 m) Propulsion: Steam engine Speed: 12.5 kn (14.4 mph; 23.2 km/h) Armament: 2 × 100-pounder guns, 2 × 24-pounder guns, 1 × 12-pounder gun, 4 × 9-pounder guns

The second USS Metacomet was a wooden sidewheel steamer in the United States Navy during the American Civil War. The ship was named for Metacomet, a war chief of the Wampanoag Indians.

Metacomet was launched on 7 March 1863 by Thomas Stack, Brooklyn, New York, and commissioned at New York on 4 January 1864 under the captaincy of Commander James E. Jouett.

Civil War

Metacomet joined the West Gulf Blockading Squadron in the blockade of Mobile Bay and captured British blockade runner Donegal on 6 June. On the 30th, Glasgow forced blockade runner Ivanhoe ashore near Fort Morgan, whose guns protected the ship from destruction by the Union. Unsuccessful in efforts to destroy her by long-range fire from Metacomet and Monongahela, Admiral David Farragut ordered a boat expedition to attempt the task. Under cover of darkness, boats from Metacomet and Kennebec slipped in close to shore and burned the steamer.

Metacomet and 17 other ships entered Mobile Bay in a double column on 5 August 1864. In the ensuing battle Metacomet and other Union ships captured Confederate ram CSS Tennessee, a major threat to the blockaders at Mobile. Farragut's ships maintained a heavy fire on Fort Morgan and Confederate gunboats, capturing CSS Selma. Metacomet then rescued survivors from Union monitor Tecumseh, sunk by a Confederate torpedo. Six Metacomet sailors were awarded the Medal of Honor for helping rescue the crew of the Tecumseh: Seaman James Avery, Quarter Gunner Charles Baker, Ordinary Seaman John C. Donnelly, Captain of the Forecastle John Harris, Seaman Henry Johnson, and Landsman Daniel Noble. A further two sailors, Boatswain's Mate Patrick Murphy and Coxswain Thomas Taylor, were awarded the medal for their conduct during the battle.[1]

With Mobile Bay in Union hands, Metacomet steamed to the Texas coast and captured blockade runner Susanna off Campechy Banks on 28 November, and took schooner Sea Witch and sloop Lilly off Galveston on 31 December 1864 and 6 January 1865, respectively.

Mines, then called "torpedoes", remained a danger to shipping in waters near Mobile, so Metacomet returned there to drag the Bay and Blakely Channel from 9 March-12 April. Returning north after the end of the conflict, Metacomet decommissioned at Philadelphia on 18 August and was sold there to John Roach & Sons on 28 October.

 

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