of the United States
in the name of
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
Rank and Organization: Quartermaster, U.S. Navy. Born: 1831, Ireland. Accredited
To: New York. G.O. No.: 11, 3 April 1863.
McGowan occupied one of the most responsible positions on the U.S.S. Varuna during the
attacks on Forts Jackson and St. Philip and in action against the rebel ship Morgan on 24
April 1862. Although guns were raking the decks from behind him, McGowan remained
steadfast at the wheel throughout the thickest of the fight, continuing at his station and
rendering service with the greatest courage and skill until his ship, repeatedly holed and
twice rammed by the enemy, was beached and sunk.
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