Medal of Honor awarded to John H. James, USS Richmond (1860)
Title: Medal of Honor, John H. James, USS Richmond (1860)
Accession #: NHHC 1957-2-Z
Size: 2 x 2.5
Location: Headquarters Artifact Collection, Naval History and Heritage Command
Obverse: Five pointed bronze star tipped with trefoils containing a crown of laurel and oak. In the center is Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom and warfare, standing with left hand resting on fasces and right hand holding a shield blazoned with the escutcheon of the United States. She repulses discord, represented by a male figure holding snakes. It is made of solid red brass, oxidized and buffed.
Reverse: engraved "Personal Valor / John H. James / Capt of Top / U.S.S. Richmond / Mobile Bay August 5, 1864."
Citation for Award: As captain of a gun on board the USS Richmond during action against rebel forts and gunboats and with the ram Tennessee in Mobile Bay, 5 August 1864. Despite damage to his ship and the loss of several men on board as enemy fire raked her decks, James fought his gun with skill and courage throughout a furious 2-hour battle which resulted in the surrender of the rebel ram Tennessee and in the damaging and destruction of batteries at Fort Morgan.