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John Jones

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U.S. Navy
Medal Of Honor, Civil War

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On December 30, 1862, following repairs in Washington, D.C., the U.S.S. Monitor was being towed to Beaufort, North Carolina, by the side wheel steamer U.S.S. Rhode Island. Both ships were caught in a heavy gale, the Rhode Island's side wheel becoming entangled in the tow ropes and the Monitor floundering detached in the high seas. As darkness fell, water filled the Monitor, which signaled the Rhode Island from a mile distant that the ship had to be abandoned. Three smaller boats were dispatched from the Rhode Island to rescue the crew of the sinking ship. One of these was a cutter under the command of Ensign Brown, which vessel daringly made two trips to transfer men of the Monitor to the Rhode Island before it sank. On the third trip, under dark skies and in heavy seas, the cutter disappeared and was presumed lost. Only the valiant efforts of Ensign Brown and his crew kept the boat afloat, though at the mercy of the weather for many hours, until it was later picked up by a schooner 50 miles east of Cape Hatteras. As an officer Ensign Brown was not eligible for the Medal of Honor, but Landsman John Jones was one of seven enlisted sailors to receive the award for his heroic conduct in this action.

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