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Dunphy, Richard D. (1842-1904) to Gideon Welles

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC08655 Author/Creator: Dunphy, Richard D. (1842-1904) Place Written: Newark Type: Letter Date: 6 February 1866 Pagination: 3 p. : docket ; carte de visite ; 18.5 x 12.4 cm.

Summary of Content: Letter written for Dunphy, who lost both his arms during the Battle of Mobile Bay in August 1864, to Secretary of the Navy Welles. Also includes a carte de visite (10.1 x 6.2 cm.) pasted to the letter of Dunphy in his uniform with no arms. Wants to know how he can get the medal of honor that was promised to him by Vice Admiral David Farragut. Was on board the flagship USS "Hartford" and says "I was one of the sailors who were wounded in that action and I believe I stand to day the only one in the American Navy who lost both Arms in the late Rebellion." Farragut said he would send the medal by Captain Penock of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, but Dunphy said that it was never done. Says "I place a great value on it and I believe I am justly entitled to it." Says he had the honor to meet Welles last year and has heard since then that he wants to raise pensions of veterans. Says "The pension is low especially in my case where I have to pay a man to accompany me wherever I go. I cannot help myself to anything not even feed myself for my Arms are off above the elbow." Docket says "medal to be prepared." Dunphy was a Civil War Medal of Honor recipient. He served in the U.S. Navy as a Coal Heaver. His citation reads: "On board the flagship U.S.S. Hartford during successful attacks against Fort Morgan, rebel gunboats and the rebel ram Tennessee, Mobile Bay, 5 August 1864. With his ship under terrific enemy shellfire, Dunphy performed his duties with skill and courage throughout this fierce engagement which resulted in the capture of the rebel ram Tennessee."

Background Information: Dunphy was a Civil War Medal of Honor recipient. He served in the U.S. Navy as a Coal Heaver. His citation reads: "On board the flagship U.S.S. ...Hartford during successful attacks against Fort Morgan, rebel gunboats and the rebel ram Tennessee, Mobile Bay, 5 August 1864. With his ship under terrific enemy shellfire, Dunphy performed his duties with skill and courage throughout this fierce engagement which resulted in the capture of the rebel ram Tennessee." His Medal of Honor citation says he was born in 1842, while his headstone says he was born in 1842.See More

People: Dunphy, Richard D
Farragut, Adm

Historical Era: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877

Subjects: Medal of HonorMedalCivil WarMilitary HistoryNavyBattleInjury or WoundPhotographyPensionsSoldier's PayLincoln's CabinetSoldier's LetterUnion Soldier's Letter

Sub Era: Reconstruction

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