From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall
John Bradley '63

Date of birth: 1843

Date of death: April 24, 1862

Age: ~18

Naval Academy Register

John Bradley was admitted to the Naval Academy from New York on September 21, 1858 at age 14 years 11 months.


John was lost on April 24, 1862 when USS Richmond (1860) 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:

Born Brownville, New York.

John’s father was Army Colonel John Bradley. His mother was Sarah, and his sister was Mary. The family lived in Brownville, New York, in the 1850 and 1860 census years.

John was acting master’s mate when he was shot by a rifle ball while beside his commander James Alden. Alden wrote that John “was shot down at my side while gallantly performing his duty as my aid.” Immediately, Alden’s clerk, Mr. Bogart, took John’s place. John was first buried on April 26 at New Orleans. On June 5, the USS Connecticut came up the river, and John’s remains were disinterred and put in a metallic coffin to be sent to his friends. The ship also took the invalids and 200 men whose enlistments would soon be finished. John was buried in the Brooklyn Navy Yard Hospital Cemetery. He was then reinterred in St. Peter’s Church Cemetery, Cheshire, Connecticut, on 10/9/1871. Also buried in this cemetery are his father, mother, and sister. His father was born in Connecticut.

He is buried in Connecticut.

John is listed on the killed in action panel in the front of Memorial Hall.


From the Naval History and Heritage Command:

Acting Midshipman, 21 September, 1858. Killed on board Richmond, below New Orleans, 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, Steam Frigate Roanoke

Others at this command:

Memorial Hall Errors

John's rank was "Acting Midshipman;" this is the rank listed alongside his date of death in the Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps of 1863. "Mid" is on his headstone. Memorial Hall lists him as an Ensign.

Separately, the killed in action panel has "JOHN BRADLEY." Other honorees on this panel include a full middle name; however, have been unable to determine what the "B." stands for (though it appears in several contemporaneous documents.)

Class of 1863

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

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