From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall
John Anderson '63

Date of birth: November 16, 1843

Date of death: April 24, 1862

Age: 18

Naval Academy Register

John Anderson was admitted to the Naval Academy from Ohio on September 22, 1859 at age 15 years 7 months.


John was lost on April 24, 1862 when USS Brooklyn (1858) was damaged by shore battery fire in the Mississippi River during the Battle of Forts Jackson and St. Philip near New Orleans, Louisiana.

Other Information

From researcher Kathy Franz:

A member of the Class of 1863, John and his classmates went into active service on May 1861. He was assigned to the sloop Marion. His pension record stated that he served on the Niagara from November 22 to November 26, 1861, and the Montgomery from November 27 to April 15, 1862. He then was assigned to the Brooklyn. He died nine days later when he was struck by an enemy cannon shot and knocked overboard. Eight others on board died during the engagement.

John was survived by his mother, brother Thomas, and sisters Margaret, Janet and Mary. According to the pension record, Thomas served two enlistments during the Civil War. Their father John died in 1854. Their mother married Nathan Barnes in 1858, and when he died, she received $12/month from her son’s Navy pension from 1889 through at least 1891.


From the Naval History and Heritage Command:

Acting Midshipman, 22 September, 1859. Killed in action 24 April, 1862.

Navy Directories & Officer Registers

The "Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps" was published annually from 1815 through at least the 1970s; it provided rank, command or station, and occasionally billet until the beginning of World War II when command/station was no longer included. Scanned copies were reviewed and data entered from the mid-1840s through 1922, when more-frequent Navy Directories were available.

The Navy Directory was a publication that provided information on the command, billet, and rank of every active and retired naval officer. Single editions have been found online from January 1915 and March 1918, and then from three to six editions per year from 1923 through 1940; the final edition is from April 1941.

The entries in both series of documents are sometimes cryptic and confusing. They are often inconsistent, even within an edition, with the name of commands; this is especially true for aviation squadrons in the 1920s and early 1930s.

Alumni listed at the same command may or may not have had significant interactions; they could have shared a stateroom or workspace, stood many hours of watch together… or, especially at the larger commands, they might not have known each other at all. The information provides the opportunity to draw connections that are otherwise invisible, though, and gives a fuller view of the professional experiences of these alumni in Memorial Hall.

September 1861
Acting Midshipman, Sloop Marion

Others at this command:

Memorial Hall Error

John was an "Acting Midshipman" when he was killed. Memorial Hall lists him as an Ensign.

Class of 1863

John is one of 14 members of the Class of 1863 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

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