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Joseph E. Vantine
[[Image:Fireman Joseph Vantine|center|200px|border]]Fireman Joseph Vantine
Personal Information
Born: March 1835
Place of Birth: {{{place of birth}}}
Died: Template:Death date
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: Second Class Fireman
Service number : {{{servicenumber}}}
Unit: USS Richmond
Battles: American Civil War
Awards: Medal of Honor
Other work: {{{otherwork}}}

Joseph E. Vantine (March 1835 – May 4, 1904) was a United States Navy sailor and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions in the American Civil War.


Joseph Vantine was born in March 1835 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

During the Civil War, Vantine served as a First Class Fireman aboard the steamship USS Richmond. As a fireman, Vantine's duties were to tend to the ship's steam boilers.

In the prelude to the siege of Port Hudson, Louisiana, Rear Admiral David Farragut attempted to move a flotilla of ships, including the Richmond, up the Mississippi River past the town of Port Hudson. On March 14, 1863, the flotilla reached the town and came under heavy fire from Confederate artillery batteries. The enemy guns inflicted severe damage on the Union flotilla, forcing most of the ships to turn back.

During the battle, the Richmond's fireroom, which housed its boilers, was damaged by an enemy shell and began to fill with hot steam. Vantine entered the room and "hauled the fires", or put out the furnaces, to prevent further danger. For his actions he was awarded the Medal of Honor four months later, on July 10, 1863.

Vantine reached the rank of Second Class Fireman before leaving the Navy. He died at age 69 and was buried at Glebe Cemetery in New Castle, Delaware.

Medal of Honor citation[]

Rank and organization: First Class Fireman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1835, Philadelphia, Pa. Accredited to: Pennsylvania. G.O. No.: 17, July 10, 1863.


Serving on board the U.S.S. Richmond in the attack on Port Hudson, March 14, 1863. Damaged by a 6_inch solid rifle shot which shattered the starboard safety_valve chamber and also damaged the port safety valve, the fireroom of the Richmond immediately filled with steam to place it in an extremely critical condition. Acting courageously in this crisis, Vantine persisted in penetrating the steam_filled room in order to haul the hot fires of the furnaces and continued this action until the gravity of the situation had been lessened.

See also[]

  • List of Medal of Honor recipients
  • List of American Civil War Medal of Honor recipients: M-Z