Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Courageously Standing By His Gun

Seaman Michael Connelly, who served in the Union Navy, was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions at the Battle of Natural Bridge.

Michael Connelly was born in Brooksville, Maine in 1843.

Connelly joined the Union Navy, and served under the name of John Mack.  He was serving as a seaman on the USS Hendrick Hudson off the coast of Florida in March 1865.  On March 5th and 6th 1865, Connelly and several others accompanied some Union troops onto land near St Marks, Florida during the Battle of Natural Bridge.  He assisted with moving and firing a naval howitzer, under heavy Confederate fire.  Three months later on June 22nd 1865 Connelly and six other sailors were awarded the Medal of Honor.

Connelly died November 10th 1881, and is buried in the Saint Mary’s Cemetery in Lynn, Massachusetts.

His Medal of Honor citation reads: “As seaman on board the U.S.S. Hendrick Hudson, St. Marks, FL, 5 and 6 March 1865, Mack served with the Army in charge of Navy howitzers during the attack on St. Marks and, throughout this fierce engagement, made remarkable efforts in assisting transport of the gun. His coolness and determination in courageously standing by his gun while under the fire of the enemy were a credit to the service to which he belonged.”

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