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James Avery
[[Image:File:US Navy Medal of Honor (1862 original).png|center|200px|border]]Medal of Honor recipient
Personal Information
Born: 1825
Place of Birth: {{{place of birth}}}
Died: 1898 (aged 72–73)
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}}}
Rank: Seaman
Service number : {{{servicenumber}}}
Unit: USS Metacomet (1863)
Battles: American Civil War
Awards: Medal of Honor
Other work: {{{otherwork}}}

James Avery (1825–1898) was an American Civil War Union Navy Seaman who received the Medal of Honor while serving aboard the USS Metacomet (1863)


James Avery was born in Scotland in 1825.

On August 5 the USS Metacomet along with 17 other ships entered Mobile Bay and during the battle that ensued the Union monitor Tecumseh was sunk by a Confederate torpedo. James Avery aided in rescuing 10 members of the Tecumseh crew while enduring heavy enemy fire.

Many years after the war Avery was serving as a berth-deck cook and it was discovered by the captain that he had won a medal of honor. When asked about the medal he said:

"That can tell you more about it than I can. I did like the rest of the men that day, and I never expected anything more than my pay and rations. We tried to do our duty, and when we saw the men in the other ship being shot down and some drowning, we could only try to help them. God knows it was hard to see them being murdered without much chance for escape"

This incident was reported in the New York Times in January 16, 1898.[1]

Avery later served in one of the bureaus of the Navy Department.

He died on October 11, 1898 and is buried in Captain Ted Conaway Memorial Naval Cemetery Portsmouth, Virginia.[2]

Medal of Honor citation[]

Rank and organization: Seaman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1825, Scotland. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 71, January 15, 1866.


Served on board the U.S.S. Metacomet. As a member of the boat's crew which went to the rescue of the U.S. monitor Tecumseh when that vessel was struck by a torpedo in passing the enemy forts in Mobile Bay, August 5, 1864, S/man Avery braved the enemy fire which was said by the admiral to be "one of the most galling" he had ever seen, and aided in rescuing from death 10 of the crew of the Tecumseh, eliciting the admiration of both friend and foe.[3]

See also[]

  • List of American Civil War Medal of Honor recipients: A–F


  1. New York Times Article
  2. James Avery (sailor) at Find a Grave Retrieved on 2007-11-06
  3. "James Avery, Medal of Honor recipient". American Civil War. United States Army Center of Military History. June 8, 2009. Retrieved December 1, 2007.