Cornelius Cronin, Medal of Honor Recipient

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´Black and white photographic portrait of Medal of Honor recipient Cornelius Cronin wearing Medal and standing with hat in hand, for service during the Civil War.
Cronin was awarded the Medal of Honor for his service during the Battle of Mobile Bay, 1864.
On August 5, 1864, Rear Admiral David Farragut commanded a Union fleet of fourteen wooden ships and four Monitors past Fort Morgan in Mobile Bay to attack the Confederate fleet positioned there. Farragut famously climbed the mast of the U.S.S. Hartford and had himself secured with ropes to better view the battle. Out of the Union Monitors, only the Tecumseh was lost in the Confederate minefield at the mouth of the bay. Once in position, Farragut’s ships engaged the Confederate flotilla and the formidable ironclad, C.S.S. Tennessee. Farragut was eventually successful in capturing the well-armored Tennessee and subsequently engaged Fort Gaines and Fort Powell through the month of August, eventually forcing Fort Morgan to surrender. The battle was considered an important Union victory, depriving the Confederacy of its last significant Gulf port east of Texas although the city of Mobile itself was not taken.
The inscription on the reverse of the photograph states that Cronin served as Chief Quartermaster on the U.S.S. Richmond, during the action in Mobile Bay, adding that Cronin was "commended for coolness and close attention to duty in looking out for signals and steering the ship in the action in Mobile Bay on the morning and forenoon of August 5, 1864. He has been in the naval service eight years. Joined the Brooklyn in December, 1861; was in the actions with Forts Jackson and St. Philip, and with the rebel iron-clads and gunboats below New Orleans; was in the action with the Chalmetto batteries; present at the surrender of New Orleans; and in the attack on the batteries below Vicksburg, in 1862. Joined the Richmond in September, 1863. Afterwards appointed a gunner in the navy."
A Buckley-class destroyer-escort, the U.S.S. Cronin, was named in his honor.
Official Citation:
Rank and organization: Chief Quartermaster, U.S. Navy. Born: 1836, Michigan. Accredited to: Michigan. G.O. No.: 45, 31 December 1864. Citation: On board the U.S.S. Richmond in action at Mobile Bay on 5 August 1864. Cool and vigilant at his station throughout the prolonged action, Cronin watched for signals and skillfully steered the ship as she trained her guns on Fort Morgan and on ships of the Confederacy despite extremely heavy return fire. He participated in the actions at Forts Jackson and St. Philip, with the Chalmette batteries, at the surrender of New Orleans, and in the attacks on batteries below Vicksburg.
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
overall: 6 in x 4 1/4 in; 15.24 cm x 10.795 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Medal of Honor Legion of the United States of America
Medal of Honor
related event
Civil War
See more items in
Armed Forces History: Armed Forces History, Naval
Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient Portraits
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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