John Freeman Mackie is considered to be the first Marine to be awarded the Medal of Honor. Born October 1, 1835, he was a US Marine Sergeant during the Civil War. During the Battle of Drewry's Bluff, Mackie was aboard the USS Galena when she came under attack. Mackie commanded 12 Marines on the gun deck. The USS Galena was severely damaged and most of the naval gun crew were killed or wounded. Mackie led a group of Marines that took over the operation of the guns for the remainder of the battle. According to his Medal of Honor citation: "As enemy shellfire raked the deck of his ship, Corporal Mackie fearlessly maintained his musket fire against the rifle pits along the shore and, when ordered to fill vacancies at guns caused by men wounded and killed in action, manned the weapon with skill and courage.