John H. Stevenson

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John H. Stevenson, a native of New York City, was appointed Volunteer Acting Assistant Paymaster and Clerk in the United States Navy on 19 September 1862. His Civil War career was marked by several exploits of exceptional heroism.

While attached to USS Satellite on the Potomac in December 1862, he led a boat expedition ashore, captured a small party of Confederates, and destroyed signal and recruiting stations. In June 1863, while attached to USS Princess Royal on the West Gulf Blockading Squadron, he reconnoitered in and about an enemy camp. Learning the details of a plan to capture Fort Donaldsonville, Louisiana, he made plans that enabled the small fort and Princess Royal to beat off the attack.

He further demonstrated his heroism on 10 July 1863 when he volunteered to pick up dispatches from USS New London, aground under enemy fire, and carried them to Farragut at New Orleans, a journey of some 85 miles on horseback through enemy territory. He remained in the Navy after the war, serving in United States ports, the South Atlantic and Pacific stations, and at Nagasaki, Japan, until retiring with the grade of Pay Inspector on 25 September 1893, he was called back to active duty during the Spanish–American War and served as pay officer of the Coast Defense System. He died in Brooklyn, New York, on 14 June 1899.


The USS Stevenson (DD-645) is named in his honor.


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

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