Thomas O'Connell (Medal of Honor)
|Died||1899 (aged 56–57)|
|Place of burial||Windsor, Maine|
|Service/branch||United States Navy|
|Battles/wars||American Civil War
• Battle of Mobile Bay
|Awards||Medal of Honor|
Thomas O'Connell (1842 – 29 August 1899) 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 in 1842 in Ireland, O'Connell immigrated to the United States and was living in New York when he joined the U.S. 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 manned the shell whip (a device used to lift ammunition up to the gun deck) despite being ill, until losing his right hand to a Confederate artillery shell. For this action, he was awarded the Medal of Honor four months later, on December 31, 1864.
O'Connell's official Medal of Honor citation reads:
On board the flagship U.S.S. Hartford, during successful attacks against Fort Morgan, rebel gunboats and the ram Tennessee in Mobile Bay on 5 August 1864. Although a patient in the sick bay, O'Connell voluntarily reported at his station at the shell whip and continued to perform his duties with zeal and courage until his right hand was severed by an enemy shellburst.
- "Thomas O'Connell". Hall of Valor. Military Times. Retrieved October 20, 2012.
- "Civil War Medal of Honor Recipients (M–Z)". Medal of Honor Citations. United States Army Center of Military History. June 26, 2011. Retrieved October 20, 2012.
- "Thomas O'Connell's Medal of Honor". American Heritage. 2011. Retrieved October 20, 2012.