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James R. Garrison
Born (1838-06-22)June 22, 1838
Died April 19, 1908(1908-04-19) (aged 69)
Place of birth Poughkeepsie, New York
Place of burial Hampton National Cemetery, Hampton, Virginia
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Navy
Rank Coal Heaver
Unit USS Hartford
Battles/wars American Civil War
 • Battle of Mobile Bay
Awards Medal of Honor

James R. Garrison (June 22, 1838 – April 19, 1908) was a Union Navy sailor in the American Civil War and a recipient of the U.S. military's highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his actions at the Battle of Mobile Bay.

Born on June 22, 1838, in Poughkeepsie, New York, Garrison was still living in that state when he joined the Navy. He served during the Civil War as a coal heaver on Admiral David Farragut's flagship, the USS Hartford. At the Battle of Mobile Bay on August 5, 1864, he lost a toe to Confederate fire but continued his duties at the shell whip (a device used to lift ammunition up to the gun deck) until receiving a second, severe, wound. For this action, he was awarded the Medal of Honor four months later, on December 31, 1864.[1][2]

Garrison's official Medal of Honor citation reads:

On board the flagship, U.S.S. Hartford, during successful engagements against Fort Morgan, rebel gunboats and the ram Tennessee in Mobile Bay, on 5 August 1864. When a shell struck his foot and severed one of his toes, Garrison remained at his station at the shell whip and, after crudely bandaging the wound, continued to perform his duties until severely wounded by another shellburst.[2]

Garrison died on April 19, 1908, at age 69 and was buried at Hampton National Cemetery in Hampton, Virginia.[1][3]


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