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Bartlett Laffey
Personal Information
Born: 1841
Place of Birth: {{{place of birth}}}
Died: March 22, 1901 (aged 59–60)
Place of Death: {{{place of death}}}
Birth Name: {{{birth name}}}
Other Information
Allegiance: United States of America
Participation(s): {{{participations}}}
Branch: United States Navy
Union Navy
Service Years: {{{service years}}}
Service number : {{{servicenumber}}}
Unit: USS Marmora
Battles: American Civil War
Awards: Medal of Honor
Relations: {{{relations}}}
Other work: {{{otherwork}}}

Bartlett Laffey (1841 – March 22, 1901) was an Irish-born US Navy seaman and US Medal of Honor recipient.


Born in Ireland, he enlisted in the United States Navy March 17, 1862 and was assigned to stern wheel gunboat USS Marmora.

On March 5, 1864, the Confederates launched a heavy attack on Union positions at Yazoo City, Mississippi. In the midst of heated battle Laffey landed a 12-pound howitzer and her crew. Despite enemy rifle fire which cut up the gun carriage and severed the rammer, Laffey bravely stood by his gun and contributed greatly to turning back the fierce Confederate assault. Seaman Laffey was awarded the Medal of Honor for his courageous stand. He died at Chelsea, Massachusetts, March 22, 1901.


Two ships in the United States Navy have been given their name in honor of Bartlett Laffey.

His granddaughter, Miss Eleanor Forgerty, christened the first USS Laffey in 1941. The first was USS Laffey (DD-459), a Benson-class destroyer. This ship was lost during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal in 1942. The second ship was USS Laffey (DD-724), an Allen M. Sumner-class destroyer. This second ship was built in 1943 and served at least into 1968. She was laid down less than a year after the loss of the first Laffey and named for that ship, as much as for Seaman Laffey.

Medal of Honor citation[]

Rank and organization: Seaman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1841, Ireland. Accredited to: Massachusetts. G.O. No.: 32, April 16, 1864.


Off Yazoo City, Miss., March 5, 1864, embarking from the Marmora with a 12-pound howitzer mounted on a field carriage, Laffey landed with the gun and crew in the midst of heated battle and, bravely standing by his gun despite enemy rifle fire which cut the gun carriage and rammer, contributed to the turning back of the enemy during the fierce engagement.[1]

See also[]

  • List of American Civil War Medal of Honor recipients: G–L


  1. "Bartlett Laffey, Medal of Honor recipient". American Civil War (A-L). United States Army Center of Military History. June 8, 2009. Retrieved December 6, 2007. 


This article includes text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.