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John C. McFarland
Born 1840
Died October 3, 1881 (aged 40–41)
Place of birth Boston, Massachusetts
Place of death Lowell, Massachusetts
Place of burial Edson Cemetery
Lowell, Massachusetts
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Union Navy
Rank Captain of the Forecastle
Unit USS Ohio (1820)
USS Hartford (1858)
Battles/wars American Civil War
*Battle of Mobile Bay
Awards Medal of Honor

John C. McFarland (1840 – October 3, 1881) was a sailor in the United States Navy and a recipient of the Medal of Honor for his actions in the Battle of Mobile Bay during the American Civil War.


McFarland entered the Navy at Boston, Massachusetts on December 24, 1861 as seaman on USS Ohio (1820), later transferring to USS Hartford in the West Gulf Blockading Squadron. Rated captain of the forecastle, he had the station at the wheel in every engagement in which Hartford participated. During the Battle of Mobile Bay 4 and August 5, 1864. McFarland left his sickbed to take up station, keeping the wheel of Admiral David Farragut’s flagship throughout the storm of shell and shot. He was commended by his commanding officers for his fortitude and intelligence and was awarded the Medal of Honor for his gallant and meritorious service.

McFarland died on October 3, 1881 at the age of 41.


USS McFarland (DD-237) was named for him.

Medal of Honor citationEdit

US Navy Medal of Honor (1862 original)

Rank and Organization:

Captain of the Forecastle, U.S. Navy. Born: 1840, Boston, Mass. Accredited to: Massachusetts. G.O. No.: 45, December 31, 1864.


Stationed at the wheel on board the flagship U.S.S. Hartford during successful action against Fort Morgan, rebel gunboats and the ram Tennessee in Mobile Bay, on 5 August 1864. With his ship under terrific enemy shellfire, McFarland performed his duties with skill and courage and, when the Lackawanna ran into his ship and every man at the wheel was in danger of being crushed, remained steadfast at his station and continued to steer the ship.[1]

See alsoEdit


  1. "McFarland, John, Civil War Medal of Honor recipient". American Civil War website. 2007-11-08. Retrieved 2007-11-08. 


This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.

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