b. 18/11/1866 Brunswick County, Virginia. d. 11/05/1923 Portsmouth, Virginia.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 11/02/1898 USS Cushing.
Atkins was born on November 18, 1866 in Brunswick, Virginia. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy from the same state. While serving as Ship’s Cook First Class on the USS Cushing, at sea on February 11, 1898, he and Gunner’s Mate Third Class John Everetts attempted to save the drowning officer Ensign Joseph Breckinridge, who had fallen overboard. For their conduct on this occasion, both Atkins and Everetts were awarded the Medal of Honor. Atkins later obtained the rank of Chief Commissary Steward.
On board the U.S.S. Cushing, 11 February 1898. Showing gallant conduct, Atkins attempted to save the life of the late Ens. Joseph C. Breckenridge, U.S. Navy, who fell overboard at sea from that vessel on this date.
BURIAL LOCATION: CAPTAIN TED CONAWAY MEMORIAL NAVAL CEMETERY, PORTSMOUTH, VIRGINIA.
SECTION 2, ROW 8, HEADSTONE 1
LOCATION OF MEDAL: FAMILY.