African American US Medal Of Honor Recipients During The Civil War – Part I: US Navy

Posted on
U.S. Navy poster featuring Medal of Honor recipient Aaron Anderson. Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command # NH 103775.

The Medal of Honor was established in 1862 to honor soldiers and sailors who served beyond the call of duty. It is the United States’ highest military decoration. Battle flags were such significant fixtures on Civil War battlefields for both Union and Confederate armies, and many recipients were awarded their medals for defending or capturing a flag. Twenty-six  Medal of Honor awards were conferred upon African American service members during the Civil War. Eight were presented to naval personnel, the rest to soldiers. 

Landsman Aaron Anderson

Landsman Anderson served aboard the stores ship USS Wyandank with the Potomac Squadron. Anderson, who is also referred to as Sanderson, received his Medal of Honor for a small boat action on Mattox Creek, Virginia. Wyandank was a sidewheeler built in 1847 and was armed with one 20-pounder rifle and one 12-pounder smoothbore. While on blockading duty on the Potomac River on March 17, 1865, a cutter with one boat howitzer was launched from the USS Don. Ensign Summers commanded the boat, and Anderson was detailed to be among several men rowing the vessel. While clearing the creek’s left branch, the cutter came under heavy fire from about 400 Confederates. The launch continued to move forward to burn three schooners successfully.   Read more

Civil War Lecture this Saturday on Technology in the 1800s

Posted on

Join us this Saturday, January 14, for our monthly Civil War Lecture series!

This month we’re looking at the technological revolution of the 1800’s which gave birth to that marvelous ship the USS Monitor. But the Civil War “Battle of the Ironclads” is only a small part of the fascinating journey from sail to steam and wood to iron. From a revolving turret to rubber buttons, life aboard the Monitor was a reflection of changes occurring globally thanks to the civilian Industrial Revolution and the modernization of the world’s navies. We’ll examine the inventions in the decades leading up to the American Civil War and the evolution of technology as a result of that fateful day at Hampton Roads!   Read more

2014 Civil War Lecture Series

Posted on
The partially completed Worthington pump replica.
The partially completed Worthington pump replica.

If you happen to find yourself in Hampton Roads tomorrow (Saturday May 10), stop by The Mariners’ Museum for the May edition of the 2014 Civil War Lecture Series. Conservator Will Hoffman will be giving a presentation on a multi-year project to create a working replica of a bilge pumps from the USS Monitor. The presentation will take place in the newly renovated Explorers Theatre at 1 pm. The lecture is free with admission to the museum.