USS Carondelet (NH 93893-KN).
John Gordon Morrison, born in Ireland 13 July 1838, came to the United States in 1855.

Enlisting in the US Army at Lansingburgh (since 1900 the northern business district of Troy), NY, 24 April 1861, he volunteered for service in the ironclad Carondelet 15 February 1862 and was appointed coxswain.

On 15 July, Carondelet under Comdr. Henry A. Walke, wooden gunboat Tyler and ram Queen of the West were on station in the Mississippi River near the mouth of the Yazoo River when the powerful Confederate ram Arkansas appeared, intent on joining the defense of Vicksburg, Mississippi downriver. In a running engagement, Arkansas passed the three Union ships, disabling Carondelet with a shot through her steering gear, then broke through Admiral David Farragut’s main blockading force and made Vicksburg. While Carondelet sustained 35 casualties during the battle, Morrison led showed exceptional bravery in leading the crew, for which he was later awarded the Medal of Honor.

Discharged 31 March 1863, Coxswain Morrison died at New York City 9 June 1897.


Serving as coxswain on board the U.S.S. Carondelet, Morrison was commended for meritorious conduct in general and especially for his heroic conduct and his inspiring example to the crew in the engagement with the rebel ram Arkansas, Yazoo River, 15 July 1862. When the Carondelet was badly cut up, several of her crew killed, many wounded and others almost suffocated from the effects of escaped steam, Morrison was the leader when boarders were called on deck, and the first to return to the guns and give the ram a broadside as she passed. His presence of mind in time of battle or trial is reported as always conspicuous and encouraging.

Sources: US Army; DANFS, Civil War Home.