James Barnum MOH

b. 1816 Massachusetts. d. ?

DATE OF MOH ACTION: 24-25/12/1864 AND 13-15/01/1865 Fort Fisher, North Carolina.

A boatswain’s mate in the United States Navy stationed aboard the Union ironclad USS New Ironsides during the American Civil War. He received the Medal of Honor for his actions during the First and Second Battle of Fort Fisher in December 1864 and January 1865.



The ship steamed in and took the lead in the ironclad division close in shore and immediately opened its starboard battery in a barrage of well-directed fire to cause several fires and explosions and dismount several guns during the first two days of fighting. Taken under fire as she steamed into position on 13 January, the New Ironsides fought all day and took on ammunition at night despite severe weather conditions. When the enemy came out of his bombproofs to defend the fort against the storming party, the ship’s battery disabled nearly every gun on the fort facing the shore before the cease-fire orders were given by the flagship. Boatswain’s Mate Barnum was commended for highly meritorious conduct during this period.