Medal of Honor awarded to Luke Griswold, USS Rhode Island (1861)
Title: Medal of Honor Luke M. Griswold, USS Rhode Island (1861)
Accession #: NHHC 1957-2-S
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 / Luke M. Griswold / O. Seaman / U.S.S. Rhode Island / Loss of the Monitor / Dec. 31 1862."
Citation for Award: For extraordinary heroism in action while serving on board the USS Rhode Island which was engaged in saving the lives of the officers and crew of the USS Monitor, 30 December 1862 near Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Participating in the hazardous rescue of the officers and crew of the sinking Monitor, Ordinary Seaman Griswold, after rescuing several of the men, became separated in a heavy gale with other members of the cutter that had set out from the Rhode Island, and spent many hours in the small boat at the mercy of the weather and high seas until finally picked up by a schooner 50 miles east of Cape Hatteras.