Richard Dennis (Medal of Honor)

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Richard Dennis
Born 1826
Charlestown, Massachusetts
Died 1889
Charlestown, Massachusetts
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1864 - 1866
Rank Boatswain's Mate
Unit USS Brooklyn
Battles/wars American Civil War
 • Battle of Mobile Bay
Awards Medal of Honor

Richard Dennis (1826 - 1889 [1]) 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.

Dennis was born in 1826 in Charlestown, Massachusetts. He joined the Navy from Boston in March 1864, and served during the Civil War as a boatswain's mate on the USS Brooklyn. At the Battle of Mobile Bay on August 5, 1864, he operated the ship's torpedo catcher (an early naval minesweeping device) and helped fire the bow chase gun despite heavy fire. For this action, he was awarded the Medal of Honor four months later, on December 31, 1864.[2][3] He was discharged in February 1866. [4]

Dennis's official Medal of Honor citation reads:

On board the U.S.S. Brooklyn during successful attacks against Fort Morgan, rebel gunboats and the ram Tennessee in Mobile Bay, on 5 August 1864. Despite severe damage to his ship and the loss of several men on board as enemy fire raked her decks from stem to stern, Dennis displayed outstanding skill and courage in operating the torpedo catcher and in assisting in working the bow chasers throughout the furious battle which resulted in the surrender of the prize rebel ram Tennessee and in the damaging and destruction of batteries at Fort Morgan.[3]


  1. ^ Find a Grave
  2. ^ "Richard Dennis". Hall of Valor. Military Times. Retrieved October 6, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Civil War Medal of Honor Recipients (A–L)". Medal of Honor Citations. United States Army Center of Military History. June 26, 2011. Retrieved October 6, 2012. 
  4. ^ Massachusetts Soldiers, Sailors and Marines in the Civil War