Feb 24

Black History Month Highlight: Medal of Honor Recipient John Lawson

Thursday, February 24, 2011 3:13 PM

Biography and images courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command.

John Lawson was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on 16 June 1837. In 1864, he was a member of USS Hartford‘s crew. During the Battle of Mobile Bay, 5 August 1864, while serving as a member of the ship’s berth deck ammunition party, he was seriously wounded but remained at his post and continued to supply Hartford‘s guns. For his heroism in this action, he was awarded the Medal of Honor. John Lawson died on 3 May 1919 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and is buried at Mount Peace Cemetery, Camden, New Jersey.

An August Morning with Farragut
William Heyshand Overend
1883

Medal of Honor citation of Landsman John Lawson (as printed in the official publication “Medal of Honor, 1861-1949, The Navy”, pages 34-35):

“On board the flagship U.S.S. Hartford during successful attacks against Fort Morgan, rebel gunboats and the ram Tennessee in Mobile Bay on 5 August 1864. Wounded in the leg and thrown violently against the side of the ship when an enemy shell killed or wounded the six-man crew at the shell whip on the berth deck, LAWSON, upon regaining his composure, promptly returned to his station and, although urged to go below for treatment, steadfastly continued his duties throughout the remainder of the action.”

 

For more information on the African American experience in the United States Navy, go to THIS LINK.

Or visit the official Civil War Navy Sesquicentennial Blog HERE.

 
 
 
 
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