Bartlett Laffey
Personal Information
Born: 1841
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Died: March 22, 1901 (aged 59–60)
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Other Information
Allegiance: United States of America
Union
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Branch: United States Navy
Union Navy
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Unit: USS Marmora
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Battles: American Civil War
Awards: Medal of Honor
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Bartlett Laffey (1841 – March 22, 1901) was an Irish-born US Navy seaman and US Medal of Honor recipient.

Biography[edit | edit source]

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.

Namesakes[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

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

Citation:

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[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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