b. 1842 Brooklyn, New York. d. 15/01/1886 Brooklyn, New York.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 27/10/1864 Plymouth, North Carolina.
Harley was born in 1842, in Kings County (Brooklyn), New York. While aboard the U.S. Picket Boat No. 1, on October 27, 1864, he was awarded the Medal of Honor for his extraordinary heroism in action near Plymouth, North Carolina. The Confederate ram Albemarle had resisted many previous attacks, but Harley and his picket boat, equipped with a spar torpedo, succeeded in passing the enemy pickets. They were then able to destroy the Ablemarle. The picket boat was destroyed by enemy fire, and almost the entire crew was taken prisoner or lost. This included Harley, who was taken as a prisoner of war.
Harley was awarded his Medal of Honor on December 31, 1864. The Medal was presented to him on March 15, 1865 by Commodore Montgomery in the Commandant’s Office of the Washington Navy Yard. He was married to Anna Harley (?-1909). Harley died on January 15, 1886, in Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, and was later buried in the Holy Cross Cemetery.
Harley served on board the U.S. Picket Boat No. 1, in action, 27 October 1864, against the Confederate ram Albemarle, which had resisted repeated attacks by our steamers and had kept a large force of vessels employed in watching her. The picket boat, equipped with a spar torpedo, succeeded in passing the enemy pickets within 20 yards without being discovered and then made for the Albemarle under a full head of steam. Immediately taken under fire by the ram, the small boat plunged on, jumped the log boom which encircled the target and exploded its torpedo under the port bow of the ram. The picket boat was destroyed by enemy fire and almost the entire crew taken prisoner or lost.
BURIAL LOCATION: HOLY CROSS CEMETERY, BROOKLYN, NEW YORK.
ST JAMES SECTION, RANGE M, PLOT 21.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: UNKNOWN.