Private John W. Russell was born on January 28th, 1832 at Green Turtle Cay, Abaco, Bahamas.
In 1860, he along with wife Caroline and two children resided at Key West, Monroe County Florida. His occupation was given as a ship’s carpenter.
He was mustered into service on January 1st, 1862 as seaman with Captain Henry Mulrenan’s Florida Volunteer Coast Guards. He remained in this unit until mustered into Confederate service on April 25th, 1862 when he was enlisted as a Private in Captain Smith’s Company (Key West Avengers), 7th Regiment Florida Infantry by Major R. B. Thomas at Tampa, Florida for a period of 3 years or the war.
He is listed as present on all rolls until June 18th, 1863 when he is reported sick in the Fairground Hospital at Knoxville, Tennessee. He returned to the company sometime in January 1864.
He was transferred to the C.S. Navy while at Dalton, Georgia on April 30th, 1864. He served first in CSS Georgia, and was transferred to CSS Macon on October 6th, 1864.
There is no further mention of him from this date. He did survive the war, and died on May 1st, 1903 at Key West, Monroe County, Florida.